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Progress Monitoring

This section provides an introduction to the arrangements for the monitoring and progression of research degree students.


Research Student Monitoring Procedure

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Section contents:

Progress Monitoring Schedule

This schedule shows the monitoring events for all research degree students. For part-time students the typical cycle of Progress Report and Annual Review will continue until for a further 2 years. At the end of the registered period, progress monitoring event will continue to occur every six months until submission of the thesis.



174. The University is committed to the effective monitoring of research students’ academic progress, from the commencement of the programme until its completion.

175. Monitoring begins with the production of the Research Plan and is then managed through the Research Student Progress Monitoring Procedure.

176. The University recognises that the formal system of monitoring is complemented by the ongoing monitoring and support provided through the supervision process, and expects that scheduled monitoring events are integrated with the timetable of supervision meetings. 


177. It is an essential requirement that every student’s research degree programme starts with the production of an agreed and documented Research Plan. It should be discussed and shaped during early supervision meetings and must be confirmed by the School as part of the first monitoring stage of the Research Student Progress Monitoring Procedure. The Research Plan will evolve during the course of the programme and will be formerly reviewed and updated in conjunction with the student and supervisor Progress Reports.

178. The purpose of the Research Plan is to define the project and describe the strategy for achieving its successful completion within the required timeframe.

179. The Research Plan is negotiated between student and the supervisor(s), and should:

.1 provide a statement of the main goals and outcomes of the research, taking account of the sponsor’s requirements, where appropriate, and stating the expectations for knowledge transfer to academic and non-academic audiences;

.2 identify the key stages anticipated, including experiments, surveys, fieldwork, study visits, data analysis, and so on, highlighting any special skills requirements of each stage;

.3 highlight the formal reporting and progress review points, and indicate the frequency of formal contacts and meetings with the main supervisor and full supervisory team;

.4 as part of the project planning process, identify in detail the work that is intended during the next six-month period;

.5 be adapted to accommodate changes in circumstances and unexpected research outcomes.

180. The Research Plan should be accompanied by a ‘Development Needs Analysis’– i.e. a skills audit. Undertaken by the student and their supervisor(s), the Development Needs Analysis assesses the training and development needs of the student, in respect of the particular demands of the project, and their broader research and professional training needs (See SECTION 11 – RESEARCHER DEVELOPMENT AND SKILLS TRAINING). 


181. The Research Student Progress Monitoring Procedure, was approved by the Chair of Senate on the recommendation of the Academic Standards and Quality Committee (11 July 2013), with effect from session 2013/14.  The Procedure is included in the Handbook of Academic Regulations, and is also appended to the Code of Practice for Research Degrees.