Candidate Responsibilities

Higher research degree candidates have a number of responsibilities. Candidates should accept that the degree requires them to work towards intellectual independence within a supportive supervisory environment. They should expect to take the lead in most matters pertaining to the project, adhering to the principle that theirs is the main responsibility for the conduct and progress of the research. Additionally, candidates must be prepared to 'drive' the project and to raise matters of concern promptly, without waiting for others to do so for them.

Candidates should also ensure that they are familiar with the regulations and procedures governing their degree programme.

The responsibilities of the candidate include the following:

Ethics To become familiar with, and abide by, the University's regulations and procedures governing ethical behaviour in research
Abiding by the regulations To become familiar with, and abide by, the University's regulations governing the degree and associated procedures as contained in this and other documents such as the Calendar and Faculty/School information
Agreements with outside bodies Not to reach agreements with outside bodies which may bind the University in anyway or involve ethical or intellectual property issues without the written agreement of the Research & Enterprise Office
Full Research Plan & Progress Reports To agree with the supervisors a full research plan for the completion of the thesis; to develop with the supervisors, at the beginning of each six monthly period, a research plan for each period; to report against that plan on progress achieved by the end of each six-monthly period
High standard of work To carry out his/her programme of study to a high standard according to agreed research plans and within the prescribed period of study
Maintain contact Maintain frequent and regular contact with the supervisors
Time commitment and management Commit adequate time and effort to the project, and manage work efficiently so as not to place unreasonable demands on supervisors.*
Raising matters To raise matters discussed during informal meetings with supervisors at scheduled meetings in order to confirm a common understanding and to enable recording of agreed action
Advising of problems To bring any problem which may be interfering with study or research, including personal or medical problems, to the attention of the Chief Supervisor or the Faculty/School contact person
Keeping records To keep records appropriate to the standards and conventions of the discipline and to regularly submit these records for examination by the Chief Supervisor so that the candidate can be assisted to maintain high standards of recording
Submit work To submit written thesis work for comment and discussion in accordance with agreed protocols
Submit reports To submit any required reports on progress and/or complete regular progress reports
Presenting findings To present work or findings from time to time as agreed with the Chief Supervisor
Confidential consultation To consult in confidence the Chair of Department/Head of School, or Associate Dean (Postgraduate) if a change of supervisor is desirable for any reason
Thesis submission To decide when to submit the thesis for examination, having taken account of the Chief Supervisor's opinion, and to submit the thesis for examination according to the requirements set out in University regulations and within the prescribed period of study.

*The University defines full-time research study as a minimum of 30 hours per week on average over a period of 12 months that can be committed to study in reasonable 'blocks' of time.  Part-time research study is defined as a minimum of 15 hours per week on average over a period of 12 months that can be committed to study in reasonable 'blocks' of time.

It is essential that candidates accept that, just as it is a requirement of the supervisors to provide advice and criticism, it is necessary for them to listen when such advice and criticisms are offered.  Ideally, this will take the form of constructive dialogue, but there will, inevitably, be times when this is a source of some tension. In cases where such dialogue is proving difficult or impossible, this must be addressed as soon as possible.