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Research Students FAQs

Last updated: Friday 17 July 2020

Research Students

Frequently asked questions from Postgraduate Research Students (PGR), whether studying towards an MPhil, PhD or Professional Doctorate. If you have any further queries email 

Please take a look at the support on offer for all students

PGR pastoral care continues from your Faculty's Research Support Tutors. Their names and contact details are available on Canvas.

The Doctoral College provide a series of resources through the Postgraduate Researcher Development Programme topic on CANVAS.

If you are a student with symptoms, you should:

  • not attend the University for supervision meetings, lab or studio work, workshops, annual progress review, your viva voce , or any other reason
  • please let the University know by logging your call  through e:Vision.  A key benefit to using the Helpdesk call is it's very easy to track, update and have a record of your query and our responses, we will respond to your call as soon as possible.

If you are an international student on a Tier IV visa and you are self-isolating or have the symptoms above, you must not attend the University for your supervisory meeting. Please contact your Faculty Student Services and they will contact our UKVI support team to let them know.

The NHS has a dedicated page containing the most up to date guidance on symptoms, avoidance and steps to take if you suspect you might have coronavirus.

Staff are advised to contact their line manager to report sickness absence as early as possible.

Managers should ensure they are accurately recording any reports of absence as appropriate. Guidance for managers is available from HR and in the staff FAQs sections of this page.

If you are an international student and you wish to return home and are able to do so, the University will endeavour to put in place support and resources to ensure that that your studies will not be adversely affected.

Anyone considering this please let the University know by logging your call through e:Vision or if this is not possible email

A key benefit to using the Helpdesk call is it's very easy to track, update and have a record of your query and our responses, we will respond to your call as soon as possible. 


You are encouraged to contact your Director of Studies (DoS) to make appropriate arrangements.

The full Postgraduate Researchers’ Development programme has been transferred to delivery through BigBlueButton in the Postgraduate Researchers’ Development Course in Canvas.

As per government advice the labs and studios are now closed until further notice. Please contact your supervisory team as a matter of urgency if this affects you.

We will be conducting online meetings or we will have telephone conversations, including for Tier 4 students.

Students should discuss this with your Director of Studies (DoS). If your primary data collection involves the NHS you need to follow NHS HRA advice: 

Where your current situation requires you to step back from your research because you are unable to progress with your research at all, a Leave of Absence will be granted, upon application. The period of this Leave of Absence will not count against the maximum Leave of Absence time permissible, which is 24 months.

Where your current situation is seriously disrupting your research, but you are able to continue to an extent, please consider asking your Director of Studies to apply for an Extension on your behalf. Extensions for COVID-19 related reasons will be granted for up to six months, without incurring additional fees.

Where your research is somewhat disrupted but you are mostly able to continue as planned, please seek guidance from your Director of Studies to see if it is possible to mitigate or work around disruptions. We remain committed to providing full and on-going supervision across the current period, and have overseen the running of numerous Viva Voces and awarded PhDs and Professional Doctorates in recent weeks.


The Home Office have now confirmed that attending remotely will temporarily be acceptable under Tier 4. As the university has postponed all face to face teaching, you will need to demonstrate your attendance. 

Postgraduate Research students will still need to meet with their supervisory teams at least once a month, but this can now be through telephone, video-call, or email. Your supervisor will still log these meetings.

We will conduct these online or postpone in exceptional circumstances.

These can continue as arranged, but will occur online. Full guidance on this can be found on the Postgraduate Researcher Development Programme Canvas topic.


The University is committed to supporting its students and we will work with you to review all options available to you to enable you to financially continue your studies.

Continuity of financial arrangements for PGRs on scholarships may be available in some cases for those seeking an extension.  Please speak to your Director of Studies

The University has decided to stop national and international travel until further notice. 

In line with government guidance on avoiding face-to-face contact, research involving human participants should either be delayed until further notice or conducted online where possible.

If you foresee the need for a major change to your research methods and/or design, you will need to seek a new ethics review via your faculty ethics committee.

If your research involves a health or social care setting, you must follow the NHS Health Research Authority Guidance – please see Please check updates on this site regularly.


Yes, you can submit your final thesis to STAR in electronic form and we do not require you to provide a printed, hard copy.

Research Students (continued)

The two week extension has automatically been added and is already reflected in the deadline date shown on Canvas. You will see this extended deadline with the official university submission portal which will be marked up with a gold star. Again, you do not need to apply for this extension.