Rules and regulations

Higher Degree General Regulations

Updated on 29 October 2020

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Admission of Research Students

1. All applicants for admission as research students must make a written application to the Dean of the appropriate School stating:

  • the nature of the academic or equivalent qualifications which they already possess
  • the nature of the proposed research they wish to prosecute together with an indication of the higher Degree which they wish to obtain
  • the name of an individual who will be prepared to comment on their suitability as a research student

2. On receipt of the application the Dean of the appropriate School shall decide whether:

  • the applicant is suitably qualified, taking account where appropriate of academic or professional qualifications other than an undergraduate degree and relevant experience
  • the research can be carried out effectively under the supervision of a Professor, Reader or Lecturer of the University with the facilities available, or able to be made available, in the University, or in any other institution approved by the Dean
  • the Head of the Department (or similar Unit) in which it is proposed to carry out the research is agreeable and that either the Head of the Department or a Professor or Reader or Lecturer in the University is prepared to supervise the work. The Dean shall have power to admit as research students applicants who are deemed to be acceptable in terms of this Regulation

3. The Professors, Readers and Lecturers appointed as supervisors shall report to the appropriate School Boards on the progress of their research students once in each year, or whenever progress is unsatisfactory. The School Board shall transmit to the Senatus Academicus reports by supervisors of unsatisfactory progress by research students. The Senatus shall then determine whether the research students in question shall be allowed to continue as research students.

4. Every research student shall be required to matriculate each year.

Maximum periods of postgraduate study

1. Subject to the terms of Regulations 2 and 3, the maximum period of postgraduate research or course of study, calculated by reference to the number of consecutive years from first registration to submission of thesis or dissertation, shall be:




Master's degrees

Full-time candidates

4 years

3 years

Part-time candidates

6 years

5 years

Candidates permitted to undertake a combination of full-time and part-time studies

5 years

4 years

Provided that a full-time candidate who is permitted to transfer to part-time study within one year or less from the end of the period prescribed for full-time study, shall be required to complete his or her work for the degree within that period: Provided further that the maximum period of study of a candidate who is required or permitted to transfer from a course of study or research for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy to a Master's degree course shall remain that of the former course.

2 A School Board may, in respect of any candidate for a Master's degree or a PhD: either

  • for good cause, extend the candidate's maximum period of research or course of study by not more than one year
  • discount not more than one year of the course of study or research of the candidate, if, by reason of illness or other extenuating circumstances, the candidate has been prevented from prosecuting his or her study or research.

3 The Senatus Academicus may, on the recommendation of a School Board, and for good cause grant any further extension or authorise the discounting of any further period of study or research of a Master's Degree or a PhD candidate. In reaching a decision on a submission made by a School Board in terms of this Regulation, the Senatus shall have regard to any special considerations or requirements associated with study or research in the discipline concerned.

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