Progress monitoring

To help you complete your studies within the specified timeframe, your attendance and your progress with your studies will be monitored.

All postgraduate researchers and their supervisors must use the Graduate Record of Achievement and Development (GRAD) system to organise and record supervision meetings, to create a training plan, to organise and record progress monitoring meetings (first formal progress review, transfer, and annual progress reviews), and to manage ‘change requests’ including annual leave, authorised absence and change of location.

Reports on progress

Your supervisors will produce regular reports on your progress. As a minimum, there should be:
  • the first formal progress report at the mid-point of the first year of your studies (or nine months for part-time postgraduate researchers);
  • the transfer stage: progress report at the transfer assessment stage; and
  • a report at least annually after that (the exact frequency will be set by your faculty/school).
Your supervisor will also be monitoring your progress in acquiring generic and subject/professional skills in their reports. Your progress will be reviewed against your training plan and relevant learning outcomes.
You will be asked to provide a review of your progress and be given the opportunity to comment on any issues which have had a negative effect on your progress at each stage.

First formal progress report

This will be completed before you complete six months of study (full-time) or nine months (part-time). The report will include an assessment of your progress, progress against your training plan and an assessment of English Language ability.

Progress report: transfer stage

This will be completed if you are registered on a programme intended to lead to a doctoral award immediately before the transfer stage. The report will include an assessment of your progress, progress against your training plan and your English language ability as well as ethical and data storage requirements.

Annual progress review (post-transfer)

This will be completed for all postgraduate researchers.  Your progress will be monitored annually (post-transfer) until submission of your thesis.
There are two models for annual progress review meetings:
  • Model A:  a meeting with you conducted by your supervisor(s) together with an individual independent of your supervisory team (used by FBS, EPS and Medicine and Health).
  • Model B:  a meeting between you and your supervisor(s).  The report of the meeting will be reviewed by a committee within your faculty/school (used by AHC, Business, Environment, Social Sciences).
You will be required to submit the following in advance of the meeting:
  • reflection on progress to date (with the opportunity to highlight any issues which have had a negative impact on your progress)
  • timetable for completion (eg Gantt chart)
  • written work as required by your faculty/supervisor

Monitoring attendance 

We monitor attendance to help you complete your research degree programme within the specified timeframe. We are also legally required to notify the Home Office of international postgraduate researchers who fail to fully register or who are absent for a prolonged period without authorisation. For more information see our attendance monitoring guidance (pdf).

The responsibilities of postgraduate researchers

The University requires you to:
  • to maintain regular contact with your supervisor(s), 
  • attend a minimum of 10 formal supervisory meetings per year (for full time PGRs) or six per year (for part-time PGRs)
  • keep records of formal supervision meetings 
  • to carry our reach effectively, to submit work regularly and to an adequate standard against a timescale agreed with your supervisor
  • to attend appropriate training courses, personal development programmes and research seminars in consultation with your supervisor(s). 
Please see the code of practice for research degree candidatures for a summary of the responsibilities of postgraduate researchers. The code of practice also provides a summary of the responsibilities of a supervisor.

What happens if I don't make satisfactory progress?

If concerns with your academic progress continue, the Progress Support Process may be instigated as a supportive measure, to help you to get back on track with your research. If you persistently neglect your work, fail to make progress and/or achieve a satisfactory academic standard after the PSP has been implemented, you may be required to withdraw from the University.