(MPhil/)PhD students enrolled on or after 1 August 2011 are automatically registered for 4 years full-time (7 years part-time). It should be noted that the expectation remains for these students to submit their thesis for examination by the end of three years of enrolment for full-time students (5 years part-time). Supervisors and departments will actively encourage students to meet this deadline, or to submit as soon after this deadline as possible. If required, the fourth year (seventh year for part-time students), called ‘Submission Pending’ year, will be dedicated exclusively to writing-up, polishing final drafts and submission.
(MPhil/)PhD students enrolled on or after 1 August 2011 will not be permitted any period of extension beyond the four years (seven years part-time), except in truly exceptional circumstances, normally on health grounds or significant personal difficulties. [NB: Certain degrees, notably the 2+2 PhD in Philosophy fall outside this practice.]
If I believe there are exceptional circumstances to merit an extension beyond my ‘Submission Pending’ year, what do I need to do?
You should first discuss the situation with your supervisor(s) and prepare a request, explaining why it was not possible for you to complete your studies by the end of your ‘Submission Pending’ year, providing a realistic assessment of work completed to-date, a work plan indicating work outstanding and a timeline of milestones leading to successful submission by the new deadline. In addition, persuasive evidence of exceptional circumstances is required, e.g. medical notes.
How will my exceptional circumstances be reviewed?
Your request, with the supervisor's statement of support, will then need to be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies in your department, who will consider it, make a recommendation to the Doctoral College and send your extension request off for approval.