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Annual Research Review

All students (apart from students currently going through the Upgrade procedure or who will be submitting within one month) are subject to a Departmental review process to assess their academic progress.

If you are an M4C student, please contact for information regarding your upgrade process.

Progress is reviewed on the basis of (i) a Review Dossier, similar in format to the upgrade dossier, submitted by the student and (ii) the supervisor’s summary report assessing the student’s progress over the past year. The student’s reviewer will be asked to view the Dossier and to confirm that the work currently produced is at an appropriate level and that the completion schedule remains feasible. The Director of Graduate Studies will then review all submissions, and decide whether there is a need to arrange a meeting with the student to discuss progress.

Please note that the Department measures progress in part quantitatively. In order to make good progress towards completion within the normal 3-year period, most FT students should be producing PhD quality work and have 40-50,000 words at the end of the second year, and 80,000 words by the end of the third year; for PT students the expectation is pro rata (year 3 – 40,000; year 4 – 60,000, year 5 – 80,000). The Annual Review, however, will take into account the nature of the research, any special skills training that might have impeded progress, and also postgraduate students’ teaching commitments, which can sometimes slow down progress; the outcome of the Review may be to suggest practical ways for students to juggle these competing demands on their time.

In preparation for the Review, each student is asked to prepare a dossier containing the following items:

  • Thesis abstract (500 words) plus a list of chapter titles and contents
  • Completion schedule (1-2 pages). Please be precise: for completed chapters or parts of chapters, indicate the number of words written, and when you’ve completed them; for chapters yet to be written, indicate a date when you realistically expect to finish writing them; finally, indicate a projected submission date. We realise that in some cases this might still be far away, but it’s important for our discussion that a completion date figures on the horizon.
  • A sample of recent written work from the PhD – length approximately 5000 words.

You may wish to discuss these items with your supervisor.

Submission deadlines: If you commenced your PhD programme in October, your dossier must be e-mailed to by the end of Week 1 in Summer Term. If you commenced your PhD programme in January, the deadline for submitting your dossier to the Postgraduate Programmes Officer will be the end of Week 1 in Autumn Term. You may of course submit it in advance of this date, but no later. Supervisors will be asked to comment on your progress and this will form part of the dossier.

If a personal review meeting with the Director of Graduate Studies is deemed to be necessary, you will be contacted by the Postgraduate Programmes Officer to arrange a date, and you are required to attend. A report of the meeting will be put on file and another sent to your supervisor to be discussed with you. Students are free to request a personal review meeting with the Director of Graduate Studies. If you do not hear from the Director of Graduate Studies by the end of Term 3, you can rest assured that you will not be required to attend a personal review meeting.