Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Course Handbook for Research Students


The course regulations for research degrees in the Department of Physics are framed with the following objectives:-

  1. To ensure that each postgraduate student continues to receive a training in physics that will deepen their understanding of the general subject area underlying the research project and broaden their knowledge of related areas, so the results of the project can be interpreted fully and set in context.
  2. To assess the progress of the student at all stages of the project: judge whether it is compatible with completion of the project for PhD submission within their period of registration (1 year for an MSc) and initiate any changes necessary.
  3. To provide practise in writing and oral communication, so the student can present their thesis and defend it adequately in the subsequent viva.
  4. To provide a framework within which students may increase their transferable generic skills.

A key element of the training and assessment will take place in the first 9 months so that the student’s on going registration can be confirmed well in advance of the start of the second year of study. The progress of all postgraduate students is monitored by their 'second supervisors' and the director of graduate studies who act in collaboration with the primary project supervisor. In case of joint students with two supervisors, a 3rd academic will fullfill the progress monitoring role.

The regulations and requirements are presented in terms of chronological course requirements and assume that students start at the beginning of October. The schedule for students beginning at other dates will be adjusted accordingly in their first year of study.

PhD Year 1

PhD Year 2 

PhD Year 3

PhD Year 4

MSc By Research



Transferable Skills

PostGrad Timetable

Temporary Withdrawal Request

Submission Deadlines and Important Dates

Thesis Writing and Submission



For most PhD students in the Warwick Physics Department, the training and research has been designed around 3-3.5 years of funding and full time students are expected to submit their thesis close to the end of their funded period. The maximum period of registration, regardless of funding, is 4 years. This deadline is absolute and students will not normally be allowed to submit at all after it. You will have received a letter that clearly states your intended submission and funding end-dates to make sure you plan according to this timeline. Note that the Graduate School is enforcing the rule that students must submit within 4 years rigorously. Students will be withdrawn from the course if they cross this line even by a day.

Exceptions to this require truly exceptional circumstances. Please refer to the Graduate School web page for more details

Full time MSc students are registered for 1 year. They will get an automatic three month extension as their end of registration date approaches.

Students may be part-time, in which case their period of registration is proportionately longer. Again there is a one year extension available for completion.