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Research Student Guide: Admissions and Enrolment

Entry requirements

The normal minimum entry requirement for admission to a PhD is:

  • an upper second class honours degree or;
  • a registerable qualification in medicine or dentistry or;
  • a postgraduate degree from a UK university or:
  • an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

At its discretion, the College may accept candidates with alternative qualifications or an appropriate level of research experience gained in the workplace or similar environment.

College studentships

College research studentships commence on the date stated in the offer letter and normally last for 3 years unless a different period is specified.

College studentships are intended to be held at Queen Mary, University of London and are not transferable to another institution.

A studentship is awarded subject to the recipient making continued academic progress. Studentships will be reviewed on a regular basis and a studentship may be terminated if the holder is not making satisfactory academic progress. Normally such a termination will take place only after the student concerned has been warned about their lack of progress and has been given an opportunity to remedy the position in accordance with specific performance deadlines.

Supervisors who have been awarded a studentship should notify the Research Degrees Office, firstly to advertise the place, and secondly to arrange the payment of tuition and stipend.

Supervisors should complete a Research Studentship form. This will ensure that the students' fees and stipends are correctly paid. A new form needs to be completed whenever a change to payment occurs. Payments can only be authorised when a student has fully enrolled. Subsequent payments will be made on January 1, April 1 and July 1.

Changes to studentship details (such as budget codes, stipend levels, new bank details, additional one-off payments) should be made using a Studentship Change of Details form. 

Transfer from another institution

A student registered for a research degree at another institution may transfer their registration at the discretion of the Academic Board or its delegated authority and be exempt from part of the research studies programme at the College. Where this occurs, the period of registration at the College must be at least 12 months full time or 24 months part time.

On transfer of registration, the registration for the original degree will lapse.

Period of study

Research students usually require 3 years of full-time study to complete a PhD. Part-time time students will require at least 12 months longer. It is therefore important to plan on the overall period of research lasting for this period(including financial support).

The minimum period permitted for full-time study for a PhD is 2 years. The maximum period of study is 4 years of full-time or 7 years part-time study.  

The majority of the work for a thesis must be done after the student’s original registration for the degree. It is not possible to count work that has been done prior to registration except in exceptional circumstances.

Attendance

Students are expected to devote their full attention to their research and related training programme, attending regularly and maintaining close contact with their supervisors, unless involved in research in the field or overseas. Students may not undertake other duties, such as demonstrating, without their supervisors’ approval. 

Part-time students may have other commitments or employment but will be required to maintain regular contact with their supervisors and make steady progress with their studies. A student will not normally be permitted to take more than six weeks vacation in a year.

Students may have the opportunity of undertaking some teaching, demonstrating or tutorial work on the recommendation of their supervisors. This provides useful training in communication skills and is a valuable preparation for those considering a future career in higher education. The amount of teaching will be carefully controlled so that it does not interfere with the research.

Residence

There is no formal residence requirement but students are expected to live within easy travelling distance of the College so that they can maintain regular contact with their supervisors. Research will normally be undertaken at the College except where special arrangements have been agreed.

The exceptions to this requirement are:

  • Research in the field
    This is where a research student needs to study or collect material at some distance from the College involving a significant interruption in the normal pattern of attendance.
  • Research based overseas
    The College may exceptionally consider an application from a prospective student who is resident outside the UK and wishes to undertake research in their home country.
  • Public Research Institute/Industrial Research Laboratory Scheme
    This scheme is designed to enhance the opportunities of an employee in a research centre to gain academic recognition for research activities undertaken in the workplace by allowing them to carry out the major part of their research there whilst being registered for an MPhil or PhD of the University of London. It also helps the College to form links and funding arrangements with external bodies. The College accredits such organisations as being suitable hosts for Queen Mary research students. Fees are payable at the standard rate according to mode of study.
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