Postgraduate research programmes
New postgraduate research degree programmes
Whilst postgraduate research degrees are less structured than taught programmes it is nevertheless important that there are procedures in place to ensure that any area proposing a new PhD or MD programme will be able to accept suitably qualified research students into an environment that provides support for carrying out and learning about research, and where excellent research, recognised by the relevant subject community, is occurring. These procedures are set out in Code of practice for the approval of new PhD and MD programmes.
The policy and procedural framework for the management of research degrees is set out in the Code of practice for research degrees. This ensures that research students are effectively supervised so that the full potential of their research ability may be achieved and their research completed within an appropriate period. It also ensures that students and staff have a common understanding of their respective roles and responsibilities and it promotes policies and procedures which protect the academic standards of the University's research degrees.
Annual programme review provides a "health-check" that programmes are running as they should and uses a range of evidence such as self-evaluation, student feedback and student performance data to do so. Reports are produced at the local unit level which are then summarised at Faculty level before an overview report is scrutinised by URDC. Procedures are set out in the Code of practice for annual programme review: postgraduate research programmes.
External examiners perform an important function in safeguarding the standard of the doctoral degrees awarded by the University. Only experienced researchers are selected to serve as external examiners and the appointment criteria are set out in the Regulations for research degrees, and the Regulations for research degrees on the basis of published works. The University requires that all external examiners submit an independent report after the examination in which they are invited to comment on the standards being applied. These reports are monitored by the University Research Degrees Committee.
QAA Quality Code
- Chapter A1: UK and European reference points for academic standards
- Chapter A3: Securing academic standards and an outcomes-based approach to academic awards
- Chapter B1: Programme design, development and approval
- Chapter B5: Student engagement
- Chapter B11: Research degrees
- Chapter C: Information about higher education provision.