Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The normal period of registration for the Degree shall be three calendar years from the date of 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 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 period of registration for the Degree will be granted only in exceptional cases on the recommendation of the appropriate School or College Board.

Degree of Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

The normal period of registration for the Degree shall be two calendar years from the date of first matriculation in the case of a full-time candidate and four years in the case of a part-time candidate.

Other Master's Degrees (e.g. MSc, LLM, MDSc by Research)

As a guide it is generally the case that Other Master's Degrees require one year full time study and two years part time study although there are some exceptions.

Maximum Periods of Postgraduate Study - Regulations


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:

  PhD MD MPhil
for full-time candidates 4 years 3 years 3 years
for part-time candidates 6 years 4 years 5 years
for candidates permitted to undertake a combination of FT and PT studies 5 years N/A 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

  1. for good cause, extend the candidate's maximum period of research or course of study by not more than one year, or
  2. 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 or College 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 or College 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.


Students who begin their studies from 1.8.2009 will be required to pay a Continuation Fee (in addition to a Matriculation Fee) if they do not submit at the end of the normal period of study for the degree. The Fee will be charged after 6 months of unauthorised non-submission – for Full Time PhD students this will be after 3.5 years and for Part Time PhD Students this will be after 5.5 years. The Fee is currently £250 and is charged to all students who fail to submit in accordance with the regulations above – so it is important for all students to plan their studies accordingly and to seek help and guidance if likely non-submission is caused by health or other personal circumstances.