The Graduate School is here to offer support and guidance to all doctoral students throughout their research journey.

Important information is contained in the current students pages, and this may answer many of your questions. If you require further assistance please contact graduateschool@qmu.ac.uk

Please also refer to the PhD Doctoral Candidate Handbook for more information.

Key Stages - PhD

Please find below an outline of the key stages during the PhD programme, including links to where further information on each progression stage can be found.

Forms and reports should be emailed to the Graduate School Team

 

Stage Full Time Part Time Forms/Guidance
1. Outline Proposal 1-2 months from start date 2-4 months from start date Outline Proposal Form and Learning Contract.

CV form for supervisors Short form curriculum vitae template for completion by each supervisor.

2. Probationary Assessment 5 months from start date 10 months from start date Please refer to the following documents for guidance on the PhD probationary assessment.

Probationary Assessment Submission Form for students

Probationary assessment guidance for students (and supervisors)

Section 6.3 of the PhD Regulations (2015) for regulatory guidance.

For Assessors:

Probationary assessment guidance for assessors (and supervisors)

Preliminary Report Form

Joint Report Form

Joint Report Form (Resubmission)

3. Annual Progress Report Annually in September/October Annually in September/October

All candidates and Supervisory Chairs must submit an Annual Progress Report.  APRs are now submitted electronically and a link to the form and submission deadline will be emailed to candidates and supervisors in September.  The link is also provided via the Doctoral Hub Page.

 

4. Assessed Seminar 1 By the end of Year 2 By the end of Year 4

All PhD students must participate in an Assessed Seminar in year 2 (or 4) of their studies. This progression step must be concluded before students enter year 3 (or years 5/6).

For students and supervisors

Refer to Section 6.4 of the PhD Regulations (2015) for guidance on Assessed Seminars.

Additional information is available from the PhD Assessed Seminar (Year 2 or 4) Guidance document.

For Assessors

Joint Report Form

5. Assessed Seminar 2 By the end of Year 3 By the end of Year 6

All PhD students must participate in an Assessed Seminar in year 3 (or 6) of their studies. This progression step must be concluded before submission of the final thesis.

Refer to Section 6.4 of the PhD Regulations (2015) for guidance on Assessed Seminars.

Additional information is available from the PhD Assessed Seminar (Year 3/6) Guidance document.

For Assessors

Joint Report Form

6. Submission of Thesis 3 years from start date (4 years if continuation year used) 6 years from start date (8 years if continuation year used)

For Students and Supervisors

Refer to Section 9 of the PhD Regulations (2015) for guidance on examination regulations and Section 10 for guidance on formatting and binding of the thesis.

The Doctoral Student Thesis Declaration Form must be completed and signed by all supervisors. This form must be submitted with the hard copies of the thesis.

7. Oral Examination (or viva) After the submission of your thesis and student declaration form.

For Students and Supervisors

The Supervisory Chair should complete the PhD Nomination of Examiners form (fully complete with examiner's CV information) and email it to the Graduate School approx. 3 months in advance of thesis submission.

For Examiners

PhD Regulations (2015)

Preliminary Report Form

Preliminary Report Form (Resubmission)

Joint Report Form

Joint Report Form (Resubmission)

Expenses

8. Thesis Deposit Following recommendation of award

Library authorisation form is to be submitted with an electronic copy of the final thesis following notification of your recommendation of award.

Please note you will not be permitted to graduate until these documents have been submitted and received by the Graduate School.

It is important that students are aware of their progression points and the submission requirements of their programme.

All PhD students must undertake and successfully progress past the Probationary Assessment within the permitted time limits in order to be fully confirmed as a PhD candidate.

If you require further guidance on the administrative aspects of your programme, please email the Graduate School Team. For academic queries, please seek guidance from your supervision team in the first instance.

All candidates are encouraged to refer to the PhD Doctoral Candidate Handbook as this is a useful source of information regarding PhD progressions requirements.

Key Stages - Professional Doctorate

Structurally, the Professional Doctorate is a modular credit accumulation programme. The general structure of the QMU professional doctorate is to complete four stages or modules as detailed below:

Module Credits Guidance and Forms
Theory and context of professional practice 90 These modules are administered by the Programme Director and the School of Health Sciences.
Development and evaluation of professional practice 90
Doctoral Research Module 60
Doctoral Thesis and oral examination 180

The Graduate School is responsible for administering the doctoral thesis and oral examination (viva).

For Students

Refer to Section 9 of the Professional Doctorate Regulations for guidance on examination requirements. Refer to Appendix 1 (Part B) of the for guidance on formatting and binding of the thesis. The Doctoral Student Thesis Declaration Form must be completed and signed by all supervisors. This form must be submitted with the hard copies of the thesis.

For Supervisors

The Supervisory Chair should complete the Prof Doc Nomination of Examiners form (fully complete with examiner's CV information) and email it to the Graduate School approx. 8-12 weeks in advance of thesis submission.

For Examiners

Guidance for Prof Doc Examiners Preliminary Report Form Preliminary Report Form (Resubmission) Joint Report Form Joint Report Form (Resubmission) Examiners Expense Form

Annual Progress Reports Progression Requirement All candidates and Supervisory Chairs must submit an Annual Progress Report.  APRs are now submitted electronically and a link to the form and submission deadline will be emailed to candidates and supervisors in September.  The link is also provided via the Doctoral Hub Page.

Further details can be found on our Professional Doctorate page.

All candidates are encouraged to refer to the Prof Doc Doctoral Candidate Handbook and Prof Doc Programme Handbook as these are useful sources of information regarding the programme.

Doctoral Regulations

The Graduate School is maintained by the Graduate School Team in the Division of Governance and Quality Enhancement (GQE). Our aim at GQE is to provide an accessible and up-to-date reference point for all regulations, policies and procedures that govern the quality of the academic experience at QMU.

Regulations

These publications should be referred to if you have any procedural queries.

PhD Regulations

QMU published revised regulations for PhD degrees in September 2015. The PhD Regulations (2015) now apply to all new and transitioned students with effect from September 2015. Students (and supervisors) who commenced their studies before Sept 2015 have all been notified by email of their transition arrangements.

Professional Doctorate Regulations

These regulations apply in their entirety for all students first matriculating on the Professional Doctorate programme at QMU from September 2016 onwards. They also apply in full for most continuing Professional Doctorate students. Individual transitional arrangements, where these apply, will be communicated in detail by September 2016.

Additional regulations which govern doctoral programmes are available via the links below. These apply to doctoral students who remain governed under the Research Degree (PhD) Regulations (2012), Professional Doctorate Regulations (2012), and those undertaking a PhD by Publication.

In the case of any appeal, students and supervisors will be deemed to have read the Regulations and all relevant institutional Codes of Practice and Handbooks.

Code of Practice

The Code of Practice provides information on entitlements and responsibilities as a doctoral student at QMU. It is relevant to both students and supervisors.

Please note that the Code of Practice is currently under review to align with the revised PhD regulations (2015) - see above for details.

Doctoral Candidate Handbook

All candidates are encouraged to refer to the PhD or Prof Doc Doctoral Candidate Handbook as this is a useful source of information regarding the doctoral programmes. 

For further information please contact the Graduate School Team.

Changes and Requests

During the course of your studies it may be necessary for you seek approval to make changes to your registration or seek approval for extension requests.

Queries and completed forms should be sent to the Graduate School team.

All requests are considered by members of the Graduate School Academic Board. Please note that the submission of a request does not guarantee approval. In all instances, the Graduate School will formally notify you of the GSAB's decision via email.

Change Guidance Form
Extension to probationary assessment deadline If you are unable to meet the 5 (or 10) month deadline for your probationary assessment, please make a request for an extension. Please ensure you provide justification for your request and explain why you haven't been able to submit your probationary report within the regulatory timeframe. Probationary Assessment Deadline Extension Form to be completed you and supported by your Supervision Team.
Absence Request for Tier 4 visa students If you require an extended period of absence away from campus then you must apply for GSAB approval. This is mandatory for all international PhD students studying at QMU on a Tier 4 visa and approval for absence must be given before you leave the country. Reasons for requesting approval for an extended absence include data collection, remote research or extended leave to holiday in home country. If your period of approved absence is longer than one month you must submit a monthly progress update the the Graduate School and your Supervision team. Absence Request Form - to be completed you and supported by your Supervision Team.         Absence "Sign In" Form - to be completed you and cc'd to your Supervision Team.
Suspension of study If you are prevented from making due progress by ill-health or another significant cause you may apply to suspend your studies for between 1 and 12 months in the first instance. A request for suspension on medical grounds must be supported by a letter from your doctor. The maximum total period of suspension is normally 24 months. No fee is payable during a full year of continuous suspension. Suspension requests should not be made retrospectively (unless there is a strong justifiable reason for doing so) therefore it is important to be proactive in submitting your application. Suspension requests are considered by members of the Graduate School Academic Board. Suspension request form - to be completed you and supported by your Supervision Team.
Change in mode of study You may apply to change your mode of study from full-time to part-time or vice versa if you have good cause. It is not normally possible to request a change in mode of study retrospectively. Change in mode of study form - to be completed by you, counter-signed by your Supervisory Chair.  
Change in Supervisory Arrangements     During the course of your studies it may be necessary to make a change to your supervisory team. For example, this may be the case if a member of your team has any long term leave planned such as maternity leave or research leave or in the event that a supervisor experiences a longer than three month absence due to unforeseen circumstances. It may also be appropriate to request additional supervisors if they can offer an area of expertise that is required for your research project. Change in supervision form - to be completed by you in consultation with your supervisory team.
Extension to Programme Registration An application for an extension to the period of study beyond the maximum (4 years full time and 8 years part time) may only be made in the most exceptional circumstances. Extension form - to be completed by you and supported by your supervision team.
Withdrawal     If you are considering withdrawing from the PhD programme please contact your supervisory team and/or the Graduate School Team. Withdrawal form - to be completed with you and cc'd to your supervision team.

International Students (Tier 4)

We are proud of the support we provide to International Students studying with us, and the contribution those students make to the University community. The policies and procedures set out below are designed to ensure that International Students can continue to enjoy their education at Queen Margaret University whilst at the same time satisfying the legal requirements placed on them and the University by the UK Government.

Tier 4 Visa Guidance for Students

Visa Guidance for Students

This document provides important guidance for International Students studying at the University, and includes information and dates for the progression & attendance registration (“sign-in”) process.

Doctoral Student Absence Form

This form should be used to notify the University of an authorised or unauthorised absence from your studies.

Student Absence Form - Data Collection

This form should be submitted during the first week of each calendar month, for the duration of time that you are off campus on data collection.

Student Absence Form - Post Thesis Submission

Please use this form if you are unable to sign-in in the period between submission of your thesis and the thesis viva.

Doctorate Extension Scheme

The Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES) allows students who are nearing completion of a PhD or Professional Doctorate to apply for a 12 month period of extension to their visa. During this period the student can look for and undertake work, set up as an entrepreneur, or gain practical work experience in their field.

DES Application Procedure

This document provides an overview of University’s sponsorship application process.

DES CAS Request Form

This form should be completed by students who wish to apply for a visa under the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme.

Please ensure that you meet all of the eligibility criteria and complete all sections of the form. Completed forms should be emailed to graduateschool@qmu.ac.uk with a scan of your current visa and passport.

DES Student Contact Form

All Sections of this form are to be completed every four months, over the period of extension granted. The initial form will be required four months following the start of the visa extension period.

Bursary Student information

The letter of award that students would have received when they received their Offer of Study sets out the conditions of the QMU Research Degree Bursary. These conditions are in addition to those regulations that operate for all research students and are specified in the PhD Regulations.

Award Duration

Research degree bursaries are awarded for a period of 3 years of full-time study, 6 years part-time. Payment of the bursary is conditional on meeting all the progress requirements of the PhD as set out in the PhD Regulations.

The amount of the bursary per annum is as stated at the time of award. This annual amount is divided into equal monthly payments which are paid directly into students bank accounts via BACS transfer on the 25th of each month.

Full time students will receive the bursary amount / 12 months for 36 months. Part time students receive a monthly payment of 50% of the full time payment but for 72 months.

Please note that for a first year bursary student starting in September, the first monthly maintenance payment will be paid on 25th October.

The bursary maintenance payment is administered and paid by the QMU Finance department.

Research Budget

A research budget of up to £2000 will also be set up for each bursary holder. Arrangements are made with the Finance department for the lodging of funds to support a student’s research under a unique budget code within their School. This budget belongs to the School, not to the student, and formally it is the Dean of School who has overall responsibility for its management. However, in practice, this will be done in very close co-operation with the Supervisory Team.

This budget is intended to cover expenses directly related to the research work, such as equipment [including software], consumables, travel, costs of data collection and analysis, course and conference attendance. Any material items or equipment purchased from this budget remain the property of the School.

A maximum of £1000 may be spent in the first year, and the remainder will be carried forward to the second year, when an additional £600 becomes available. PhD students may carry forward any money remaining from this £1600 to their third year, when the final £400 will become available (or pro rata for part time students).

The research budget lasts for the duration of the prescribed period of study only.

Fees

The University waives tuition and bench fees for bursary holders. However, bursary holders will be liable for any continuation fee and for the examination fee in common with all other research students. The rate of the continuation or examination fee due is the fee set for the session in which it is due. All research students will also be responsible for the costs of production of all copies of the thesis for examination.

Further information on fees is available on the Registry webpages here.

Doctoral Candidates' Association

The Doctoral Candidates' Association is a student-led initiative and they represent the voice of all doctoral students at QMU on a number of University-wide committees, including the Graduate School Academic Board (GSAB), the Research Strategy Committee (RSC) and the Student Experience Committee (SEC). This ensures that doctoral student needs and interests are well represented throughout the institution. DCA achievements so far include:

  • Advice and Representation,
  • Planning of Professional Development Opportunities,
  • Information Sharing,
  • Social Activities,
  • The Annual QMU Doctoral Student Conference

The Graduate School encourages you to join the DCA Facebook Page which will keep you up to date on DCA developments. Also keep an eye out for emails from the DCA where you can find information about academic and social opportunities throughout the year.

The DCA is a student-led initiative and therefore it needs highly motivated and enthusiastic students to ensure its continued success. The DCA Co-Chairs change on a yearly basis, and those entering their second year of doctoral study have the opportunity to put themselves forward for these positions and continue the work of the association. Becoming a DCA co-chair provides an excellent personal and professional development opportunity, and allows students to use their own experiences to continually improve the lives of current and future doctoral students at QMU. If you are interested in becoming a member of the DCA Committee please speak to the current committee members for more information. Their email address is dca@qmu.ac.uk.

Training and Development

The Graduate School understands the importance of nurturing students and offers a supportive, friendly and welcoming environment that promotes both personal and intellectual growth and doctoral candidates are supported through the provision of research training, seminar and conference opportunities and institutional support.

Doctoral skills training sessions focus on developing the skills and knowledge that candidates require in order to successfully implement and progress their doctoral research projects.  In addition, the programme serves as a forum for sharing experiences and building a supportive research culture for candidates.  Such opportunities also helps candidates enhance future career prospects through increased employability both within and outside academia.

The Centre for Academic Practice (CAP) organises and delivers a programme of research skills training and seminars for doctoral candidates in all years of study.  First year study weeks are usually during the third week of the month in September, January and April each year. 

First year study weeks deliver core research skills training and it is expected that all first years attend each of the three study weeks.  These study weeks help support first year candidates in developing the skills needed to be successful at doctoral level study and research.

Study weeks for continuing candidates are usually offered in November, March and May each year and offer a range of development training relevant to doctoral studies and progression.  These sessions are optional but it is expected that all doctoral candidates attend sessions of interest or benefit to their studies.

Specific dates, study week timetables and further information relating to the training sessions on offer are available to current students to view on the Doctoral Hub page.

Please contact the Lecturer for Researcher Development (WBeautyman@qmu.ac.uk) should you like more information or to make requests for specific training opportunities.  

Graduate School

For further information or enquiries please get in touch.

Show Contacts

Graduate School

Graduate School Professional Doctorate and Ph.D Enquiries
0131 474 0000
Master Research Degree - Application Enquiries Admissions Team
0131 474 0000