Section A: General Regulations Governing All Research Degrees

To be read in conjunction with the individual programme regulations.

A1. Available awards

A1.1 The University awards the following degrees to candidates who have successfully completed approved programmes of supervised research:

  • Master of Arts by Research (MA (Res)).
  • Master of Science by Research (MSc (Res)).
  • Master in Research (MRes).
  • Master of Enterprise (MEnt).
  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil).
  • Professional Doctorates (DAppCrim, DAppLing, DBA, DCouns, DM, DN, DOT, DPA, DPhys, DPod, DSW, EdD).
  • Doctor of Enterprise (EntD).
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
  • PhD by Publication.


A1.2 Higher Doctorates

A1.2.1 The University awards the following Higher Doctorates:

  • Doctor of Laws (LLD).
  • Doctor of Letters (DLitt).
  • Doctor of Music (DMus).
  • Doctor of Science (DSc).

A1.2.2 Candidates are required to state the Higher Doctorate for which they wish their work to be considered.


A1.3 Named awards

A1.3.1 All research awards may be offered as named awards with the approval of the University Research Committee and the Senate. Named awards will be assessed and conferred in line with standard regulations, which are outlined in sections B-F of the Regulations for Research Degree Awards.


A1.4 Posthumous awards

A1.4.1 All of the University’s research degrees may be awarded posthumously. In such cases, the University Research Committee will consider evidence showing that the candidate was likely to have been successful, had the viva examination taken place.

A1.4.2 Evidence comprising any written material that is available (for example, draft chapters; published work; work prepared for publication; presentations to conferences / seminars; progress reports by the candidate) will normally be supplied by the candidate’s supervisor.

A1.4.3 The supervisor will submit an accompanying report for consideration by the University Research Committee. The supervisor’s report should have the support of the School Director of Graduate Education and the Dean of the Graduate School. The following criteria should be satisfied:

  • Enough of the research project must have been completed to allow a proper assessment to be made of the scope of the thesis.
  • The research work completed must be of a standard normally required for the award of the degree and must demonstrate the candidate’s grasp of the subject.
  • The written material available must demonstrate the candidate’s ability to write a thesis of the required standard.


A1.5 Conferment

A.1.5.1 Conferment is the formal ratification by the University of the recommendations made by the approved examiners. All awards (apart from Higher Doctorates, which will be conferred by the Higher Doctoral Board) will ratified by either the Dean of the Graduate School or the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research & Enterprise).


A1.6 Certificate of Award

A1.6.1 The certificate of an award conferred by the University shall record:

  • The name of the University together with, if appropriate, the name of any other institution sharing responsibility for the student’s course of study or programme of research.
  • The student’s name, as provided by them through the University Applicant and Student Record System (ASIS), at the time of conferment.
  • The award.
  • The title of the course (if any) as approved for the purpose of the certificate.
  • The certificate shall bear the signatures of the Vice-Chancellor and the Director of Registry.


A1.7 Programme scope

A1.7.1 Programmes of research may be proposed in any field of study. All proposals must have the potential to lead to a programme of scholarly research that meets the learning outcomes for the programme the candidate is following.

A1.7.2 All proposed research programmes will be considered on their academic merits and without reference to the concerns or interests of any associated supervising or funding body.


A1.8 Taught modules within research degrees

A1.8.1 Research degrees will not normally include a taught element which extends over more than one third of the standard period of enrolment. 

A1.8.2 Confirmation of the satisfactory completion of any compulsory taught element is a requirement for progression to the research phase of that programme.


A1.9 Training and development

A1.9.1 Training and development will be offered in line with the University’s commitment to the Researcher Development Concordat.

A1.9.2 Candidates must work in partnership with their supervisors to identify any training needs they may require and regularly complete and update a personalised skills audit. Training can comprise of internal training or external training, where deemed necessary.

A1.9.3 Training must include research integrity training and may include training in research methods, academic integrity, research ethics, academic writing and academic English for non-native speakers.

A1.9.4 The University provides a range of training courses through the Researcher Development Programme which can be access through a searchable database (currently SkillsForge).

A1.9.5 For candidates studying a distance learning research degree, alternative ways for candidates to acquire the necessary research skills will be provided, for example through the use of online training resources.


A1.10 Alternative Formats

A1.10.1 Alternative formats may include (but are not limited to):

  • Awards where the thesis presented for examination is in a non-standard or alternative format, for example the submission includes practice or performance elements, a website, composition or software.
  • PhD by Publication.

A1.10.2 Alternative formats may only be offered in Schools where published guidelines exist, that have been through validation and subsequently been approved by the University Research Committee and the Senate. Once approved, the guidelines will be available within the relevant School and published on our website.

A1.10.3 Published guidelines must detail the regulations for acceptance, presentation, submission and examination of work. Please consult your School Director of Graduate Education for School based guidance on alternative formats.

A1.10.4 Work will be examined according to the same criteria as a conventional thesis, including the volume and quality of original research: the thesis should make an original contribution to knowledge; it must locate the research in context; establish the contribution; and should include extensive critical discussion with conclusions, indicating directions for future work.

A1.10.5 The maximum word count for research degrees can be found in section A4.5.1 of these regulations. However, the balance between written and practical components in an alternative format thesis varies across subject specialisms. Please refer to School-based guidance for the word count conventions for your subject specialism.


A1.11 Collaborating establishments

A1.11.1 The University encourages co-operation with industrial, commercial, professional or research establishments for the purposes of research leading to research degree awards.   

A1.11.2 Formal collaboration normally involves the candidate’s use of facilities and other resources, including supervision, which are provided jointly by the University of Huddersfield and an external body.  For the purpose of the research degree regulations, these are referred to as Collaborating Establishments.  

A1.11.3 Co-operation may be formalised with one or more external bodies.

A1.11.4 Delivery of programmes involving a Collaborating Establishment, whether ad hoc or through an ongoing partnership, must go through the appropriate approval process and will be assessed and conferred in line with standard regulations.        

A1.11.5 Where a research degree project is part of a funded research project, the Senate, or the University Research Committee acting on its behalf, will establish to its satisfaction that the terms on which the research is funded do not detract from the fulfilment of the objectives and requirements of the candidate’s research degree.


A2. Admissions and enrolment

A2.1 Admission to a research degree programme

A2.1.1 In order to be eligible for admission to a research degree programme, an applicant must be:

  • Suitably qualified in terms of their ability and experience to undertake research in the proposed field.
  • Embarking on a viable research programme.
  • Able to demonstrate at least a minimum level of attainment in English language equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall with no element lower than 5.5.
  • Candidates may also be required to complete a formal English language assessment and training in advance of, or as an outcome of, progression monitoring.

A2.1.2 Applications from candidates holding qualifications other than those specified in the rules for award will be considered on their merits and in relation to the nature and scope of the programme of work proposed. 

A2.1.3 Such candidates must include in the application the names of two suitable persons who can be consulted regarding the candidate’s academic attainment and fitness for research.

A2.1.4 In accepting a candidate, the University will ensure that supervision is adequate and likely to be sustained, and that the research environment is suitable.

A2.1.5 For candidates undertaking a research degree by distance learning, the University must be satisfied that supervision, necessary resources and training can be delivered remotely and the candidate will have access to the necessary minimum computer system requirements.

A2.1.6 The Director of Registry may permit a candidate to enrol for another course of study concurrent with the research degree if, in their opinion, the dual enrolment will not detract from the research.      


A2.2 Recognition of prior research

A2.2.1 Where a candidate has previously undertaken research as a candidate for a research degree, they may be allowed to transfer and complete the research at the University of Huddersfield. If there has been a break in study between leaving one institute and the application to the University of Huddersfield, there should not normally be a break in study of more than two years.

A2.2.2 Candidates will normally enrol at the same stage they were at in their previous institution.

A2.2.3 If a candidate is transferring from or has completed work at another institution, this must have the agreement of both institutions involved.

A2.2.4 In considering an application for the recognition of prior research for a candidate who has completed work at another institution, the Director of Graduate Education (or nominee) will normally require:

  • A letter of agreement from the previous institute for the transfer of any data or completed research and confirmation of release from the previous institution.
  • A statement of rationale from the candidate detailing why they wish to transfer from another institution.
  • A copy of the original approved research project.
  • The title of the research project and the names and contact details of supervisors at the previous institution.
  • A report from the applicant of how the research has progressed and a projected timeline for completion of the project (3,000-6,000 words).
  • The date of original enrolment and anticipated date of completion.
  • The most recent progress report from the previous institution, which should confirm that the applicant has been progressing in accordance with the standard timescales for completion.
  • In the case of international candidates, confirmation from the International Office that the candidate meets Home Office visa requirements.
  • A short written statement from the proposed new supervisor/s confirming their willingness to supervise the project in its current form and their estimate of the remaining time needed for successful completion.
  • The names of two referees, preferably the previous supervisors; or referees who are active researchers who know the candidate’s work.

A2.2.5 The admissions process will include an interview that will take the form of a progression monitoring examination. The admissions decision will be based on the candidate’s performance in the interview assessment and on the information in the application documentation. More information for applicants can be found on our website.


A2.3 Change of degree programme within the University

A2.3.1 Candidates seeking a change of research degree programme must apply to the Director of Graduate Education in their School for approval.        

A2.3.2 Changes are only available where a route is specified in the regulations for the programme the candidate is changing from.


A2.4 Mode of study

A2.4.1 Candidates may enrol on a full-time or part-time basis.

A2.4.2 Full-time candidates are expected to devote on average 35 hours per week to their research and must not be in full-time employment.

A2.4.3 Part-time candidates should spend on average 17.5 hours per week. 

A2.4.4 Where candidates change from full-time to part-time study, or vice versa, their enrolment period is calculated on a pro rata basis.


A2.5 Candidates enrolled on a campus based research degree

A2.5.1 Candidates are expected to be based at the University of Huddersfield for the completion of their research degree, except as provided for under the arrangements agreed with Collaborating Establishments.

A2.5.2 In exceptional circumstances, the University may accept applications from students who are proposing to work outside the UK, provided they meet the following conditions:

  • The candidate is UK-based or establishes close links with the University.
  • There is satisfactory evidence that the candidate will have access to the facilities; needed to carry out the research in the country where they will be based.

A2.5.3 Candidates not based at the University and not enrolled on a distance learning research degree are required to spend at least 10 working days a year at the University of Huddersfield. These 10 days are in addition to times when candidates may be on campus for enrolment or progression monitoring assessments.

A2.5.4 The University must be satisfied that the candidate and their supervisor at the University of Huddersfield will be able to maintain frequent contact.


A2.6 Research study by distance learning

A2.6.1 Candidates enrolled on a specified distance learning research degree can study on either a part-time or full-time basis and the majority of study will take place off-campus. Candidates may be required to attend some campus-based activities, for example enrolment, some training and development sessions and for examination and assessment. Individual research degree requirements will be published within the course listing online.


A3. Supervision

A3.1 Criteria for the appointment of research degree supervisors

A3.1.1 The supervisor role is central to the quality of education for research students. All supervisors appointed at the University of Huddersfield are expected to meet the following criteria.


A3.2 The team:

  • The supervisory team comprises up to three members, and will in almost all circumstances have at least two members.
  • All supervision should be provided by staff who have research expertise related to the student’s proposed research degree.
  • In appointing supervisors, Schools need to be aware of the overall workload of the individual, including teaching, research, administration and any other professional commitments.
  • At least one member of the supervisory team must have a completion at the level of research degree for which the candidate is registered.


A3.3 The Main Supervisor:

  • Must hold a qualification at least equivalent in level to the award being supervised.
  • Will be publishing high-quality, internationally recognised research outputs to ensure that the direction and monitoring of the candidate’s progress is informed by up-to-date subject knowledge and research developments.
  • Must be a permanent full or part-time employee of the University, or an employee of the University who is on a fixed term contract of duration in excess of the standard registration period for the research degree in question.
  • Will have completed the requisite new (or refresher) University of Huddersfield supervisor training.
  • Will undertake supervisor training before commencing any new supervision duties and will need to refresh this training every three years.
  • If the main supervisor retires or becomes an honorary member of staff during the period of a student’s Doctoral degree, they can continue to undertake a supervisory role as co-supervisor, but a new main supervisor must be appointed.

A3.3.2 The following may not act as main supervisor but may be appointed as a member of the supervisory team:

  • Non-permanent members of staff.
  • Visiting professors, visiting fellows.
  • Retired members of University staff.
  • A member of staff acting for the first time as a supervisor.


A3.4 The Co-supervisor/s:

  • Will normally have gained a Doctoral degree.
  • May be new to supervision.
  • Will have completed the requisite new (or refresher) UOH supervisor training.
  • Will undertake supervisor training before commencing any new supervision duties and will need to refresh this training every three years.
  • Do not need to have supervised a PhD to completion.


A3.5 Associate supervisors:

  • Are not members of University of Huddersfield staff, nor employed at a Collaborating Establishment.
  • May be proposed to contribute some specialised knowledge or to provide a link with an external organisation.


A3.6 Change of supervision arrangements

A3.6.1 Should a change in a PGR’s supervisors be required, an Application to Change Supervisory Arrangements should be completed and submitted to the Director of Graduate Education for their consideration. Further information about changes to supervision arrangements can be found in the PGR Handbook

A3.6.2 For international students, any change must be notified to the International Office.


A3.7 Requirements of the supervisors

A3.7.1 The supervisors shall have responsibility to supervise the candidate on a regular and frequent basis.

A3.7.2 The minimum requirement is that main supervisors will meet the candidates they are supervising at least once a month (once every two months for part-time students). In practice they may meet with candidates more frequently. This time should include at least an hour of one-to-one supervision with each candidate.

A3.7.3 Supervisors will remain in regular contact with candidates throughout any writing-up period, after an outcome of referral to re-write the submission or referral to complete amendments to re-submit for the award of MPhil. Candidates may have a reasonable expectation that their supervisors will be available to meet them and to review drafts of their work at least once every two months. Frequency of contact for other examination outcomes is subject to agreement between the candidate and the supervisor. It is the candidate’s responsibility to send the work to their supervisor in good time, so they have time to read the work and make comments ahead of any submission date.

A3.7.4 At least three months prior to submission, students registered for the awards of Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Enterprise, Professional Doctorates and Master of Philosophy, will have an ‘on track to submit’ meeting with their supervisory team. The purpose of the meeting is to ensure that the student is well prepared and on track to submit their thesis by the submission date and the appointment of examiners is under arrangement. The meeting will also make final preparations for the viva voce examination. For students registered for the award of Master of Arts by Research, Master of Science by Research, Master in Research and Master of Enterprise the meeting should take place at least one month prior to submission and exclude the requirement to make final preparations for the viva voce examination.

A3.7.5 The supervisory team as a whole must meet with the candidate at least four times a year (full-time) or twice a year (part-time).

A3.7.6 Supervision meetings must be recorded using the University online supervision system.

A3.7.7 Supervisors are expected to be available to attend viva examinations at progression monitoring and end assessment points for all candidates they are supervising.


A4. Examinations and assessments

A4.1 Candidate responsibilities

A4.1.1 It is the responsibility of the candidate to attend examinations and submit work for assessment by the submission date.

A4.1.2 The submission of work for assessment is at the sole discretion and responsibility of the candidate.

A4.1.3 Candidates must ensure that the format of work submitted for assessment is in accordance with the relevant University guidelines. 

A4.1.4 It is the candidate’s responsibility to make sure that all work that will contribute to the final assessment is backed up. Candidates are strongly advised to use the electronic storage system provided by the University to keep copies of all of their work.


A4.2 Options at the end of the programme

A4.2.1 No later than three months before the end of the programme, candidates may:

  • Apply for additional time to complete the research before going into the writing-up period; OR
  • Apply to enrol for the writing-up period, which allows candidates additional time to complete the writing of the thesis.

A4.2.2 Candidates enrolled on the programmes detailed below may apply for additional time at the end of the active research period and/or a writing-up period:

  • Master’s by Research (MA / MSc (Res) / MEnt).
  • Master in Research (MRes).
  • Professional Doctorate.
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) / Doctor of Enterprise (EntD).

A4.2.3 Candidates submitting for the award of PhD by Publication may not apply for additional time or for a writing-up period.


A4.3 Application for additional time before writing-up

A4.3.1 Candidates may apply for additional time at the end of the active research period. The purpose of the application process is to make sure that the candidate is on track to complete their research and to determine how much additional time the candidate will need.

A4.3.2 The supporting documentation must include a plan for completing the research, as well as a summary of the work completed.

A4.3.3 Candidates are required to submit any application that they wish to make no later than three months prior to the end of the active research period for the award on which they are registered. 

A4.3.4 It should be noted that, following the approval of additional time, a candidate will become liable to pay full fees (calculated pro-rata according to the length of additional time agreed).

A4.3.5 Candidates should continue with regular supervision during this period and will have full access to University facilities.

A4.3.6 Following receipt of the full application, the supervisor will review the submission and submit the application to the Director of Graduate Education.

A4.3.7 At the end of the additional time, candidates may either:

  • Apply for more time, up to the maximum allowed; or
  • Apply to enrol for writing-up to complete the writing of their degree; or
  • Submit their work for examination.

A4.3.8 The maximum additional time for University of Huddersfield research degree awards is as follows:

Master’s by Research (MA / MSc (Res) / MEnt)

4 months FT & PT

Master in Research (MRes)

4 months FT & PT


4 months FT & PT

Professional Doctorate

12 months FT & PT

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) / Doctor of Enterprise (EntD)

12 months FT & PT


A4.4 Application to enrol for the writing-up period

A4.4.1 The purpose of the application process is to determine the eligibility of a candidate to enrol for the writing-up period.

A4.4.2 Candidates can only apply to enrol for the writing-up period if they are at the end of their final year of study.

A4.4.3 Candidates are required to submit any application that they wish to make no later than three months prior to the end of the active research period for the award on which they are registered.

A4.4.4 An application to enrol for the writing-up period must be supported by:

  • A brief written report outlining progress to date, including progress made with writing-up.
  • Explicit confirmation that all primary research/laboratory work has been completed.
  • A detailed plan for submission within the maximum period permitted.

A4.4.5 Following receipt of the full application, the supervisory team will review it and submit it to the Director of Graduate Education for approval.

A4.4.6 The Director of Graduate Education will confirm whether or not the candidate has demonstrated satisfactory progress to be enrolled for the writing-up period. The Director of Graduate Education may recommend:

  • That the candidate be allowed to enrol for the writing-up period.
  • That the candidate not be allowed to enrol for writing-up, but may have the option to apply for additional time.

A4.4.7 During the writing-up period, candidates can expect minimal supervision, usually meeting once every two months.

A4.4.8 Students will not be allowed access to laboratories / specialist equipment during the writing-up period.

A4.4.9 The fee is set at a lower rate for this period to reflect the reduced access to facilities and academic support.

A4.4.10 At the end of the writing-up period, no further time will be allowed and candidates must submit their work.

A4.4.11 The maximum writing-up for University of Huddersfield research degree awards is as follows:

Master’s by Research (MA / MSc (Res) / MEnt)

4 months FT & PT

Master in Research (MRes)

4 months FT & PT


4 months FT & PT

Professional Doctorate

12 months FT & PT

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) / Doctor of Enterprise (EntD)

12 months FT & PT


A4.5 Thesis length

A4.5.1 These word counts prescribe the maximum allowable length for theses, not necessarily the preferred length. In many instances, supervisors may wish to recommend a shorter length. Supervisors should be able to advise on the usual length of theses in their subject area or topic.


Intended Award

Word count




MA / MSc by Research*






Professional Doctorate Thesis


MRes (exit route)








PhD by Publication

Publications plus commentary of 15,000 (NB: this is a minimum length)

* If the work includes practical components and is an alternative format thesis

Please refer to School-based guidance for word count conventions

A4.5.2 Confirmation of what is included and excluded from the word count of the thesis can be found in the PGR Handbook

A4.5.3 Where a research degree candidate exceeds the maximum word count without prior permission (applicable to Professional Doctorates, the EntD and PhD only), examiners may require the thesis to be revised to the appropriate length as a resubmission prior to examination taking place. Following resubmission of the edited thesis in these circumstances, the work will be examined as a referred submission (i.e. a second submission) and the outcomes available will be those allowed following a referral.


A4.6 Language of submission

A4.6.1 All assessment and submission must be in English. Registry must approve any deviation from this in advance of the submission.


A4.7 The submission

A4.7.1 Candidates are required to submit work for examination in accordance with the criteria specified in the PGR Handbook – Preparing and submitting your thesis.

A4.7.2 The candidate must confirm, through the submission of a declaration form, that the work has not already been submitted for a comparable academic award.  However, the candidate is not precluded from incorporating a submission covering wider fieldwork that has already been submitted for a degree or comparable award, if it is indicated on the declaration form and in the thesis.

A4.7.3 Candidates are required to make a statement at the start of their submission declaring any publications that have arisen from the thesis, whether they have been published or are pending consideration for publication.

A4.7.4 Where a candidate’s research programme is part of a collaborative group project or is based on work done jointly with others, the work submitted must indicate clearly the candidate’s individual contribution and the extent of the collaboration.

A4.7.5 The copyright of the work is vested in the candidate, except for the abstract, for which copyright rests with the University.

A4.7.6 At the University’s discretion, following the award of the degree, the thesis will be lodged in the University repository or, where necessary, in the library of both the University and any Collaborating Establishment.    

A4.7.7 Where a candidate or the Collaborating Establishment wishes the thesis and any accompanying documents and/or material to remain confidential for a period of time after the degree has been awarded, this must normally be requested when the candidate submits the work for examination.

A4.7.8 Where the Senate, or the University Research Committee acting on its behalf, has agreed that the confidential nature of the candidate’s work precludes it from being made freely available in the library, it shall be held on restricted access for an approved period, and only be available to those who were directly involved in the project until then.


A4.8 Arrangements for the examination of the final thesis          

A4.8.1 The arrangements for the candidate’s examination, including the proposed examiners, must be approved by the School’s Director of Graduate Education and the University Research Committee (or nominee) before the examination takes place. 

A4.8.2 Candidates must take no part in the arrangement of their examination and have no contact with the examiners in connection with their research between the appointment of the examiners and the viva examination.

A4.8.3 In the period between the first examination and any resubmission, the examiners must maintain independence from the work before it is resubmitted. For this reason, examiners must not take on a supervisory role during this period.

A4.8.4 Where a candidate requests clarification of required amendments, they should consult the supervisor. Where clarification is desired from the examiners, a request must be submitted to Registry, who may contact the examiners on behalf of the candidate.

A4.8.5 One member of the candidate’s supervisory team may attend the viva examination, but this is not a requirement. Any attending supervisor/s must withdraw prior to the deliberations of the examiners on the outcome of the examination.

A4.8.6 Viva examinations are normally held at the University or by video link.  However, in special cases approval may be given for the examination to take place elsewhere in the UK or abroad.      

A4.8.7 In cases where a viva examination is required, but for reasons of sickness, disability or comparable valid cause the University Research Committee is satisfied that a candidate would be under serious disadvantage if required to undergo a viva examination, an alternative form of examination may be approved. Such approval shall not be given where the candidate’s knowledge of the language in which the work is presented is inadequate.

A4.8.8 In any instance where the University Research Committee is made aware of a failure to comply with all the procedures of the examination process, it may declare the examination null and void and appoint new examiners.


A4.9 The examination team

A4.9.1 The examination team will be appointed in line with the published Criteria for the Selection and Appointment of Research Degree Examiners, established by the University Research Committee.


A4.10 The Examination

A4.10.1 Candidates will be examined in accordance with the regulations in force at the time when they submit their final thesis or amended submission for examination (except in cases where this would disadvantage the candidate).

A4.10.2 Each examiner shall read and examine the work submitted and present an independent preliminary report on it before any viva examination is held. 

A4.10.3 In completing the preliminary report, each examiner must consider whether the work provisionally satisfies the requirements of the degree and make an academic assessment of the quality of the work.

A4.10.4 Following any viva examination, the examiners shall, where they are in agreement, present a joint report and recommendation relating to the award of the degree.

A4.10.5 For awards where a viva examination is not required, the internal examiner will liaise with the external examiner(s) to produce a joint final report (following the submission of the initial independent reports).

A4.10.6 In all cases where a candidate is referred to complete further work or amendments, the examiners must indicate to the candidate in writing any deficiencies of the work and/or what amendments and corrections are required. 

A4.10.7 Where the Senate, or the University Research Committee acting on its behalf, decides, on the recommendation of the examiners, that the degree should not be awarded and no re-examination should be permitted, the examiners must prepare an agreed statement of the deficiencies of the work and the reason for their decision, which will be provided to the candidate.

A4.10.8 Where a candidate fails their examination and is not awarded the degree for which they were initially registered, they are not be permitted to re-enrol for the same degree to undertake the same topic of research.


A4.11 Disagreement between research degree examiners

A4.11.1 Where the examiners are unable to agree on a recommendation, separate reports and recommendations shall be submitted. In this case, the Dean of the Graduate School on behalf of the University Research Committee may:

  • Accept a majority recommendation; or
  • Accept the recommendation of the external examiner; or
  • Require the appointment of an additional external examiner, whose appointment must be proposed in the normal way.

A4.11.2 Following consideration by an additional external examiner, if deemed necessary, a further viva examination may be required.


A5. Emergency regulations for approved programmes of supervised research

A5.1 Introduction and principles

A5.1.1 The University of Huddersfield, through the oversight of Senate, is committed to upholding the highest academic standards in all circumstances. However, during a period of major disruption like a pandemic or industrial action, it is recognised that it may be necessary to vary the normal protocols on an exceptional basis.

A5.1.2 In all cases, the objective is to ensure students are not disadvantaged by circumstances beyond their control or that of the University, whilst ensuring quality assurance and consistency in progression and awards decisions.

A5.1.3 Examiners are expected to operate in adherence to these underlying principles:

  • Wherever possible normal assessment regulations, deadlines and timescales should be followed.
  • Adjustments to assessment protocols will be carefully considered; they will enable the University to uphold rigorous academic standards whilst taking into account any serious, unforeseen or unavoidable circumstances having a wide impact across a cohort, course, School or at University level.
  • Wherever possible, students should be able to graduate, or progress from one stage of their degree programme to the next.
  • Where there is no doubt about a student’s level of attainment (sufficient evidence exists for sound academic judgment to be made about the student’s overall level of attainment), the normal regulations should be applied, and results determined accordingly. Where adjustments are considered essential, the regulations will be applied consistently and fairly to all students affected.
  • The emergency regulations will only be introduced where it is likely that not to do so would cause protracted delay and severe disadvantage.

A5.1.4 These regulations will only come into force following consultation with students through their elected representatives. The decision to implement will be recommended by Graduate Board then approved by URC and Senate (by virtual meeting or by Chair’s action as necessary) and will be lifted under the same authority. Schools will be informed as soon as the emergency regulations are invoked. 

A5.1.5 For non-standard cases Schools are requested to consult with Registry in advance of the Course Assessment Board, this applies to Professional Doctorates only.


A5.2 Implementation

A5.2.1 The University requires project approval and annual progression for research students. If this is affected by an emergency scenario, students will normally be permitted to continue on the programme and to register for the next academic year.

A5.2.2 Schools will exceptionally be permitted to approve progression extensions in excess of the usual four weeks (for full-time candidates) and eight weeks (for part-time candidates). 

A5.2.3 Decisions around end extensions and interruptions which are usually approved by Registry but may exceptionally be delegated to Schools.

A5.2.4 Flexibility around exam arrangements will be exercised in the event of an emergency. Every effort will be made to avoid postponement of oral examinations; online progression monitoring or final vivas will be offered wherever possible.

A5.2.5 When a viva examination is to be conducted via video streaming an independent chair will not normally be appointed. 

A5.2.6 It may be necessary to appoint new examiners to ensure a timely response and to prevent unreasonable delay to research progress.  Research students will be consulted on all proposed changes to dates, times and examiners.


A5.3 Complaints and appeals

A5.3.1 The University’s accelerated procedure in the event of a major disruption will be followed.

A5.3.2 For all other complaints unrelated to the disruption, the standard regulations and procedures will apply.


A5.4 Post-emergency recovery actions

A5.4.1 Where a research student has been permitted to continue without project approval or progression monitoring, the School Director of Graduate Education will ensure that these steps are completed as quickly as possible. This may include the appointment of examiners or the re-scheduling of a viva.