Rules and regulations
Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) regulations
Updated on 29 October 2020
1. The Degree of Doctor of Philosophy may be awarded following successful completion of a thesis which requires the equivalent of a minimum of three years full-time study and research and which reflects specialised, original, advanced knowledge understanding, and practice at the frontiers of the subject or professional area.
In architecture, design, fine art or television and imaging a substantial body of investigative visual output in an appropriate medium supported by written evidence which clearly identifies the innovative nature of the research work undertaken may be substituted for a thesis.
2. The University does not accept published material in lieu of a specially composed thesis although candidates may attach relevant publications as appendices for information only.
3. The Degree is granted upon the basis of satisfying all of the following characteristic outcomes:
- The creation and interpretation of new knowledge and understanding, through original research, or other advanced scholarship, of a quality to satisfy peer review, extend the forefront of the discipline, and merit publication.
- A systematic acquisition, understanding and interpretation of a substantial body of knowledge which is at the forefront of an academic discipline or area of professional practice.
- The general ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the generation of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the discipline.
- An appropriate level of understanding of applicable techniques for research and advanced academic enquiry.
4.+ Before being admitted as a candidate for the Degree, a person must have obtained, as a minimum, a Degree with Honours of the First or Second class in the University or in another university or institution recognised for this purpose by the Senatus Academicus. A relevant Master's Degree can compensate for a First Degree classification by one level. Individual Schools may apply additional requirements. The Senatus may, in exceptional circumstances, admit a candidate who possesses such other qualification as it may approve for the purpose; and must also have satisfied the Senatus of fitness to undertake higher study and of the suitability of the work which it is proposed to undertake.
5.+ Application for admission as a candidate for the Degree must be submitted to the Senatus Academicus.
6. An applicant may be admitted as either a full-time or part-time candidate for the Degree and may be either resident or non-resident in Dundee or its immediate vicinity
In the case of non-residence in Dundee or its immediate vicinity, the appropriate School Board must be satisfied that the candidate has sufficient access to the necessary facilities for the prosecution of the proposed research and that supervisory arrangements, including thesis monitoring, are adequate.
Duration of study
7. The normal period of registration for the Degree shall be three calendar years from the date of the first matriculation in the case of a full-time candidate and five years in the case of a part-time candidate.
The minimum period of registration for the Degree shall be two calendar years from the date of the first matriculation in the case of a full-time candidate and four years in the case of a part-time candidate. Such a reduction in the normal minimum period of registration for the Degree will be granted only in exceptional cases on the recommendation of the appropriate School Board.
The maximum period of registration for the Degree shall be four calendar years in the case of a full-time candidate and six calendar years in the case of a part-time candidate. An extension to this maximum period may be granted by the appropriate School Board under exceptional circumstances on the recommendation of the supervisor(s).
8. A period of registration for an advanced research degree at another University or equivalent institution may, with the agreement of the School Board, be reckoned towards the fulfilment of the requirement of Regulation 7, subject to a maximum of two years in the case of a full-time candidate and three years in the case of a part-time candidate.
Confirmation of candidature
9. No person shall be admitted as a candidate for the Degree without having completed, to the satisfaction of the relevant School Board (on the advice of the thesis monitoring committee and/or supervisor(s)), one year of study or its equivalent as a research student under Ordinance No. 12. This Regulation applies equally to candidates admitted under the terms of Regulation 8. Such period of study may be reckoned towards the fulfilment of the requirement of Regulation 7.
10. Each candidate for the Degree shall be required to matriculate in each academic year and to pay the prescribed tuition or other, fees.
11. Supervisors of the candidate's work shall be appointed by the School Board.
A candidate shall report to the supervisors on such occasions and in such manner as the supervisors may require. In addition, a candidate may be required by the supervisors, with the approval of the School Board, to attend courses of lectures or other instruction and may be required to pass an examination associated with such lectures or instruction.
12.+ The Senatus, on the recommendation of the School Board, shall appoint the University members of a committee to examine the thesis. The Court, on the recommendation of the Senatus as advised by the School Board, shall appoint one or more external examiners who shall not be members of the University.
The normal expectation is that the Examining Committee shall consist of three members: two internal examiners, one of whom shall be the convener, and one external examiner. Exceptionally an Examining Committee may consist of two members: an internal examiner, who shall act as convener, and an external examiner.
None of the candidate's supervisors shall be an internal examiner.
An Examining Committee for a candidate for the Degree who is a member of the academic staff of the University must comprise two external examiners in addition to the internal examiners.
13. Each member of the Examining Committee must be provided with a complete copy of the thesis in an approved style. Each copy shall be accompanied by a declaration signed by the candidate that the study and research have been carried out and the dissertation composed by the candidate and that the dissertation has not been accepted in fulfilment of the requirements of any other degree or professional qualification.
14. Each candidate for the Degree shall be required to submit to a viva voce examination.
15. The Examining Committee shall report to the Research Degrees Office within a period of three months from the date of submission of the thesis by the candidate. Thereafter, the report of the Examining Committee shall be submitted to the Senatus at the meeting immediately following the date of the receipt of the report by the Research Degrees Office.
16. The examiners shall prepare a joint report after the viva voce examination which shall include an agreed recommendation. In the exceptional case of irreconcilable disagreement between the examiners, each shall submit a separate report and the Senatus shall have the power to recommend to the Court the appointment of a further external examiner or examiners to examine the thesis.
Dr I K Francis
27 January 2006
The powers and duties conferred upon the Senatus under the sections marked + have been delegated to the individual School Boards.