The transfer assessment will 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 working towards a doctorate research degree are initially registered as provisional doctoral candidates and are subject to a formal transfer assessment process within a specified timescale. The assessment at the transfer stage is intended to identify:
- whether you and your project have the potential for research at doctoral level;
- whether it is achievable for you to complete your research and write up your thesis within the standard period of study for your programme.
The University has deadlines for the completion of the transfer assessment, and you can see these on your GRAD record. Some faculties and schools may have earlier deadlines for the submission of the transfer report; if this applies to you, your Graduate School will contact you in advance with more details.
Your Graduate School will provide you with guidance on the transfer process in your area but this will typically include a written report, plan for completion/Gantt chart and your Data management plan. You will be required to upload this to GRAD and complete a ‘Progress report: transfer stage’ in advance of the transfer review.
If you are disabled, you may wish to review the Reasonable adjustments policy on the Policies and procedures page of the SES website as well.
Full time research degrees:
- Postgraduate Research Provisional PhD or MD: Transfer to be held and decision taken within 12 months. Maximum period after deferral of decision is 18 months from the start of study.
- Provisional DpaedDent DclinPsychol or DclinDent: Transfer to be held and decision taken within 18 months. Maximum period after deferral of decision is 24 months from the start of study.
- Provisional EdD: Transfer to be held and decision taken within 24 months. Maximum period after deferral of decision is 24 months from the start of study.
- Integrated degree of PhD and Masters: 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.
- Masters by Research cannot normally transfer registration to Mphil or PhD.
Part time research degrees:
- Postgraduate Research, Provisional PhD: Transfer to be held and decision taken within 24 months. Maximum period after deferral of decision is 30 months from the start of study.
- Provisional DclinDent, DpaedDent: Transfer to be held and decision taken within 30 months. Maximum period after deferral of decision is 38 months from the start of study
- Provisional MD: Transfer to be held and decision taken within 18 months. Maximum period after deferral of decision is 24 months from the start of study.
- Provisional EdD: Transfer to be held and decision taken within 36 months. Maximum period after deferral of decision is 36 months from the start of study.
What to expect
You can access training on the transfer process via the ‘Your academic experience’ and ‘Your professional development’ pages of the Doctoral College Induction programme. The training provides further information about the Transfer process and includes important information around academic integrity and avoiding plagiarism, copyright, ethical review, and data management. It is important you have reviewed this course material as you will be required to complete a statement of academic integrity when you submit your transfer report, and your engagement with the ethical review and data management processes are also assessed as part of the transfer process. You can find more information about academic integrity, data management and research ethics on the Research Practice page of the For Students website.
You should use the GRAD workflow to complete your pre-transfer progress report form and submit the work required for the transfer assessment.
Your supervisor will complete their pre-transfer progress report. You and your project are then assessed by a transfer assessment panel. Their decision is based upon an assessment of academic written material that you have submitted and an oral examination or viva. The panel comprises at least two individuals who must be independent of your supervisory team. Your supervisor will normally attend but will not be involved in any decision-making.
For PGRs who started from Sept 2023, you are expected to review your PGR-Supervisor agreement with your supervisors as part of the transfer process. If you make any changes, please upload an updated copy of the agreement to GRAD.
Recommendation following transfer
The panel will normally inform you of their recommendation at the end of the meeting. The panel will submit a report which will be reviewed by your DPGRS and submitted to the University. You will receive notification of the outcome with access to the report in GRAD at the end of the process.
The panel will recommend one of the following:
- For provisional candidatures for doctoral degrees (including PhD), transfer to doctoral registration
- For provisional candidatures for the degree of PhD only, transfer to MPhil registration (not usually available for split site candidates)
- On the first occasion only, deferral of a decision about the transfer for a limited period so your work can be revised and then reassessed; more information below.
- A decision that the candidate withdraw from the research degree candidature
Please note that you will be unable to transfer to Masters by Research.
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 are on a Tier 4 or Student visa and receive an outcome other than successful transfer, this may have an impact on your visa and you are strongly encouraged to contact the Student Visas Advice team. You must also contact the Students Visa Advice team if you are on a visa and your project has changed or will change significantly.
If you initially registered for provisional PhD and it is recommended that you proceed to an MPhil and you hold funding such as a scholarship or sponsorship, you must let your funders know so that they can make the necessary adjustment in funding.
Deferral of the transfer decision
The transfer assessment panel may recommend a deferral of the transfer decision for academic reasons. The final decision on transfer must be taken within the maximum period permitted for your programme of study.
If your transfer is deferred, the Joint report of the transfer assessment panel, completed by the panel after the first transfer viva, will be available for you to view in GRAD. This report will outline the reasons for the recommendation to defer the transfer decision and the further work required.
Your resubmitted transfer submission should be uploaded to the GRAD system as before. You will now have a task in the GRAD for this, and you can upload your revised report when it is ready. If you have any queries with the process for resubmission please contact your Graduate School.
It is important that you resubmit your work for assessment on or before this deadline. If you do not resubmit by this deadline you may not be able to continue with your studies and may be required to withdraw. If you experience any difficulties it is important that you speak to your supervisor, DPGRS or your Graduate School. Please see the advice and support section below.
Once you have resubmitted your transfer report, a notification will be sent to your panel members. The panel may hold a second transfer viva if they feel this is needed (the panel cannot recommend transfer to MPhil or withdrawal without holding a second viva).
Advice and Support
You should review the report and discuss it with your supervisor. Your supervisor will continue to support you during this period and provide feedback on your work. Regular supervision meetings must be held and recorded in GRAD. If you experience any difficulties, it is important that you speak to your supervisor, DPGRS or your Graduate School. If you require an authorised absence, suspension or extension, you can read about the process on the Taking time out from your research page on the For Students website, and your Graduate School will be able to advise on the process.
You can also find further information about the different support services, together with information about how to get in touch on the Postgraduate support and wellbeing page on the For Students website.
Appealing the decision
You can appeal against an adverse academic decision using the University’s appeals procedure, available from the Student Cases website. You must submit your appeal to the University within 20 working days of the date of the formal outcome notification from DCO . If you are considering an appeal against this outcome, we would strongly encourage you to seek independent advice and support from the LUU Student Advice Centre.
Unfortunately, your Graduate School team cannot answer any questions that you have relating to your appeal, including its progress, however they are still here to help support you with other matters related to your research candidature.
Once you have completed the transfer process, you should start thinking about the route through to thesis submission.
Your supervisors will continue to support you by offering you advice and guidance on your research during your regular supervision meetings.
Annual progress review
You will be required to complete an Annual progress review on the anniversary of your start date. Your Graduate School will provide you with guidance nearer the time on the material you are expected to submit through GRAD, but this is likely to include a reflection on your progress, a timetable for completion of your thesis (eg Gantt chart) and some form of written work. The review is intended to be supportive and to help planning for the completion of your research and submission of your thesis.
You will be required to re-register on an annual basis on the anniversary of your start date. Your Graduate School will notify you when online registration is available. You must re-register within four weeks of the anniversary of your start date.
Learning outcomes and criteria for award
Success at the transfer stage has no direct bearing on whether 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.
If you have not already done so, you should make yourself aware of the criteria for award and learning outcomes for the programme for which you are registered. This is the criteria that will be used by the examiners when examining the thesis.