Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I am submission/ results pending do I have to complete my APR?
A: If you are a PhD/ MPhil/ MD student you will still need to complete your Annual Progress Report unless you have had your viva and the Examiners have recommended 1) Pass, 2) Pass with Minor Modifications, or 3) Pass with Major Modifications.
Q: How do I get a letter to give to my sponsor to show I have completed my degree?
A: When the Research Degree Administration Team receive a complete set of Examiners Reports recommending the degree, and the final version of the thesis from the candidate, a letter will be sent to the student to confirm the recommendation of the Examiners. We can also provide a status letter outlining the key dates of your registration at the University. You can request a status letter by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note status letters can take up to 5 working days to produce and the wording is non-negotiable.
Q: I am having problems with my supervisor, what should I do?
A: Where possible you should discuss the problems with your supervisor. If you feel this is not appropriate you should speak to your School/Institute/Department Director of PGR for advice.
Record of supervisory meetings
The following questions relate to the policy that requires PGR students to log supervisory meetings. If your question is about how to use the Record of Supervisory Meetings system please refer to the PGR Development webpages. If you are experiencing technical issues with the system, such as an error message, please contact the IT Service Desk.
Q: What is the purpose of recording meetings in the Record of Supervisory Meetings?
A: The Record of Supervisory Meetings has been developed to provide PGR students with an online system where they can create a regular record of research progress and targets and to summarise their formal supervision meetings.
PGR students are asked to record meetings in the Record of Supervisory Meetings in line with the requirements of the Guide on the Academic Progress of PGR Students which equates to a minimum of one meeting per month for full time students and one meeting every two months for part time students.
It is expected that, in most cases, students and supervisors will meet more frequently than the minimum requirements set out above and will make some informal record of their meetings. The relationship between the student and the supervisor is critically important.
It is recognised that in many areas students and supervisors will meet on a daily basis. Day-to-day meetings naturally focus on day-to-day concerns; it is therefore recommended that the formal Record of supervisory meetings take a more strategic approach, to reflect on your progress, discuss any needs for personal development, plan for future conferences or ultimately to consider your career needs. It is then straightforward to compare targets from month to month to provide an impartial measurement of progress.
Q: How many supervisory meetings do I need to record in the Toolbox?
A: From 1st September 2013 full time students should record at least one meeting per month with their supervisor. For part time students this should be a minimum of one every two months.
Q: Why have the minimum numbers of meetings part time students are expected to have with their supervisor fallen from 8 to 6 effective from 1st September 2013?
A: The Guide on the Academic Progress of PGR Students aims to simplify the number of meetings students are expected to record. In previous years there has been confusion as to how many meetings are required for part time students and students who start part way through an academic year. The University expects students to receive a satisfactory level of supervisory support that is documented in the Record of Supervisory Meetings. The number of meetings required is the minimum that PGR students entitled. If you are unhappy with the level of supervision you are receiving you should in the first instance raise this with your supervisor. Should problems persist you can contact the Director of PGR in your School/ Institute/ Department
Q: I’ve entered meetings in October; do I need to enter meetings for June, July, August and September?
A: It is good practice to record all formal meetings. The new progress procedures came into effect 1st September 2013 and students are expected to comply as of that date. For the months of June, July and August 2013 the previous policy applies which in practice equates to 2 meetings for all students.
Q: I haven’t recorded any meetings, is it too late?
A: No start with the first meeting you had and record in chronological order. From now on please update the meetings each month.
Q: I have submitted my thesis; do I need to continue having and recording meetings?
A: Yes. All students are expected to have and record supervisor meetings until the award of the degree has been recommended. In the run up to your viva it is expected that you remain in contact with your supervisor to ensure you gain adequate advice in advance of the viva.
Q: I have had my viva and the examiners have recommended ‘pass subject to the completion of minor modifications’ do I need to record meetings?
A: No, the examiners have recommended the award subject to the modifications being completed so you are not required to record meetings but you are encouraged to continue to liaise with your supervisor until the modifications have been signed off by your examiners.
Information for supervisors: You will continue to receive reminders after the minor modification recommendation has been made up until the award is formally processed on SPIDER. Please disregard the emails.
Q: I have had my viva and the examiners recommended ‘resubmission’, do I need to record meetings?
A: Yes. The examiners have not recommended an award so you continue to be a registered and active student of the University and you are expected to have and record supervisory meetings.
Q: Either or both of us [student and supervisor] are away for over two weeks, are we expected to record meetings?
A: If you have an agreed period of absence (ie annual leave or sickness absence) you would not be expected to record meetings during the absence but it is recommended you hold and record a short meeting at the next available opportunity.
If your supervisor is away for a prolonged period of time (longer than three weeks), your supervisor is expected to make arrangements to ensure you receive adequate supervision, for example to hold meetings by Skype or require you to meet with your secondary supervisor. These meetings should be recorded in the Record of Supervisory Meetings.
Q: We couldn’t arrange a meeting for one particular month, what do we do?
A: Whilst it is important to prioritise these meetings, where it is not possible to hold even a short meeting in a particular calendar month a common sense approach should be taken and a meeting held at the next available opportunity.