Transfer

The transfer assessment is intended to identify whether you and your project have the potential for research at doctoral level and whether completing the thesis within the standard period of study is a reasonable expectation.

The transfer process 

All PGRs are initially registered as either provisional doctoral candidates   and are subject to a formal transfer assessment process within a specified timescale. If successful in this assessment, you will be transferred to a specific degree category. 

The assessment at the transfer stage is intended to identify whether the project has the potential for research at doctoral level and also to assess whether completion of a thesis within the standard period of study for the programme is possible.

The exact procedures for the transfer assessment may vary between individual Faculties/Schools according to the requirements of the different disciplines.  Faculties/Schools will provide you with written guidance on the transfer process. All PGRs are required to complete a Progress Report: Transfer Stage with your supervisor(s) in advance of the transfer review.

The decision to transfer is based on the submission of appropriate material for assessment ie a report or document. You must be interviewed by a Transfer Assessment Panel, normally by viva voce examination. You must be present in Leeds for your transfer and a repeat transfer assessment if one is required.

PGRs accepted directly for the degree of MPhil will not be required to undergo a formal transfer assessment and are not permitted to transfer to registration for a PhD degree. 

Transfer assessment

At the transfer stage, you will be assessed to see if both you and your project have the potential for research at doctoral level and if it’s reasonable to expect your thesis to be completed within the standard period of study for the programme. The exact procedures for the transfer assessment varies between individual schools/faculties. Your School/Faculty will provide you with further guidance.

You will be asked to write and submit some appropriate material (such as a report) which will be assessed before the decision to transfer is made. You should also upload the online Statement of Academic Integrity, Safeguarding Data and Ethical Requirements. You will then be interviewed by a transfer assessment panel in the form of a viva examination, which should take place in Leeds.

You will find more information about formal assessment and monitoring in the Code of Practice for Research Degree Candidatures and the relevant faculty protocols.

Transfer deadlines

Transfer deadlines
 Method of study
Degree
Transfer to be held and decision taken within:
 Maximum period after deferral of decision
 Full-time Postgraduate Research Provisional PhD or MD
12 months 
18 months from the start of study
 Part-time Postgraduate Research, Provisional PhD
24 months 
30 months from the start of study
 Full-time Provisional DPaedDent DClinPsychol, DClinDent
18 months 
24 months from the start of study
 Part-time Provisional DClinDent, DPaedDent
30 months 
38 months from the start of study
 Part-time Provisional MD
18 months 
24 months from the start of study
 Full-time  Provisional EdD
24 months 
24 months from the start of study
 Part-time  Provisonal EdD
36 months
36 months from the start of study
 Full-time  Integrated degree of PhD and Master
 Candidates are accepted for study to the registration category of Postgraduate Research. After completing the first year, the progress of candidates is reviewed and, where it is satisfactory, registration to a Provisional PhD candidature is permitted. If successful in progressing to Provisional PhD status, candidates will be required to undergo assessment by a formal Transfer Assessment Panel for transfer to PhD status before the end of the second year of study.
 Mastership by Research
Candidates for a Mastership by Research cannot normally transfer registration to MPhil or PhD.

Postponement of the decision on transfer

Postponement of the decision on transfer should only occur in exceptional circumstances and subject to prior approval by the graduate board’s programmes of study and audit group.

Recommendation following transfer

The transfer assessment panel will recommend one of the following:

  • In the case of provisional candidatures for doctoral degrees (including PhD) transfer to doctoral registration

  • In the case of provisional candidatures for the degree of PhD only, transfer to MPhil registration (not usually available for split site candidates)

  • On the first occasion only, deferment of a decision about the transfer for a limited period so your work can be revised and then reassessed

  • A decision that the candidate withdraw from the research degree candidature

Please note that you will be unable to transfer to Mastership by research.

Deferral of the transfer decision

The transfer assessment panel may, for academic reasons, recommend a deferral of the transfer decision. The final decision on transfer must be taken within the maximum period permitted for your programme of study. 

If a school is unable to recommend that you should proceed to either doctoral or MPhil study within the time limit allowed, then you will be asked to withdraw.

If you initially registered for Provisional PhD and it is recommended that you proceed to an MPhil, you must let your grant awarding authority know so that they can make the necessary adjustment in funding.


Success at the transfer stage has no direct bearing on whether the you will be successful at final examination, it simply confirms that the Transfer Assessment Panel is satisfied that  the project has the potential for success.  

To qualify for a doctoral award you must meet the required learning outcomes for the degree and satisfy the examiners that their achievement is of sufficient merit and that the thesis contains evidence of originality and independent critical ability and matter suitable for publication.   

The Transfer Assessment Panel may, on academic grounds, recommend a deferral of the transfer decision. The time limit for any deferral after a transfer  PGR is 18 months from the start of study. If a school is unable to make a recommendation that the PGR should proceed to either Doctoral or MPhil study (where that option is available) within the time limit allowed then the PGR must withdraw.