Transfer of registration from MA by Research to MPhil/PhD

If you are registered on an MA by Research programme and wish to transfer to the MPhil/PhD during the course of your studies you will need to discuss this with your supervisor(s) and then inform the PGR Support Team that you wish to apply to transfer your registration.

 

The transfer process will take the form of a mini viva on the basis of the work submitted to the panel.  The purpose of the transfer process is to assess your progress and ability to complete your MPhil programme in a reasonable time frame. The panel will establish whether you have produced work of sufficient quantity and quality to suggest that you can achieve the standard required for an MPhil. In particular they will consider if you a) understand the research question(s) b) have an appropriate understanding of the relevant scholarly literature c) have demonstrated capability to conduct the research and d) has a realistic research plan and schedule. 

The transfer process is intended to be a ‘formative’ process for you. That is, the transfer panel should aim to use the process to help you develop and improve your dissertation and professional skills, rather than simply to sit in judgment. The viva voce is in particular an opportunity for you to experience speaking about and defending your work in front of an academic panel, in preparation for your possible final viva voce. 

Requests to transfer from MA by Research to MPhil are normally considered at your request and on the recommendation of your first supervisor. Normally all requests to transfer should be made after 6 months of full-time study or 12 months of part-time study. 

Students are allowed two possible attempts at upgrade, the period between the first and second attempt should normally be no more than 3 months. A second attempt at the upgrade must have taken place by the end of the second term of the second year of study.

All students requesting an upgrade from MA by Research to MPhil shall be assessed viva voce by at least two members of the University’s academic (Education and Research) staff, one of whom will normally be the Discipline Director of Postgraduate Research. One member of the upgrade panel will be designated as lead, and they will be responsible for organising the upgrade meeting. The panel must be independent of the supervisory team but your lead supervisor should attend the meeting as an observer. To allow you to make any comments you wish to the upgrade panel without your supervisor being present, you shall always be invited to talk with the panel after your supervisor is asked to leave. 

The panel will have read in advance of the viva the written work submitted by you and the progress report submitted by your supervisor. 

Sitting on an upgrade panel does not normally preclude academic staff from subsequently going on to act as your internal examiner.

  1. A revised research proposal which shows how the MA by Research project will be extended to become an MPhil project.
  2. 10,000 words, or subject specific equivalent if appropriate, of the current research project, in good draft. (E.g. for Archaeology the submitted material normally includes the discussion and presentation of primary data  as a demonstration of data gathering methods and progress, and the analytical frameworks and methods: tables, graphs, plans, distribution maps, databases, photographs, GIS, interview transcripts, video clips and artefact drawings  might be appropriate).
  3. Timetable for completion of the dissertation within three years from the date of initial registration (five years part time). 

You will email these documents to the PGR Support Team, at least two weeks before the upgrade interview. These will then be forwarded on to the panel by the PGR Support Team. The PGR Support Team will also request a report on your work from your lead supervisor and they will send this on to your panel in advance of your transfer viva. 

The lead panel member will contact you within one week of receipt of your upgrade documents, to agree a date for the review meeting. The panel meeting will normally take place within one month of the panel receiving the documents.

Following the transfer interview, the panel will complete a transfer report form stating their recommendations and submit this to the PGR Support Team. The three possible outcomes at the first attempt are that the candidate be:

A)     Allowed to transfer their registration to MPhil

B)      Be allowed to transfer their registration to MPhil subject to the completion of the identified corrections and/or amendments by the following date                 *(to be within two months)

C)      That a second attempt at upgrade be allowed. (to be within three months) 

If the outcome is second attempt (C) the form must indicate the conditions to be assessed by the re-sit upgrade process and if a second viva voce is required. An upgrade viva would not normally required for a second attempt at upgrade, however it is at the discretion of the panel should they wish to hold one. A second upgrade viva must be held however if the panel are inclined to recommend that you must remain at MA by Research level.  

The upgrade report is then submitted to the PGR Support Team. 

You will be informed via email, by thePGR Support Team, of the outcome of your transfer interview.  Your supervisor will be copied in on this correspondence. 

If you are recommended to pass unconditionally you will be notified via email of your official transfer to MPhil and your lead supervisor will be copied in on this correspondence. Your official student record will also be updated.

Where a re-sit is required, you will be informed by email by the PGR Support Team and a copy will be sent to your lead supervisor. 

The three possible outcomes at a second attempt are that the candidate be:

A)                 Allowed to transfer their registration to MPhil

B)                  Be allowed to transfer their registration to MPhil subject to the completion of the identified corrections and/or amendments by the following date        *(to be within two months)

C)                  Required to remain registered as an MA by Research student 

You will be informed via email, by the PGR Support Team, of the outcome of your transfer interview.  Your supervisor will be copied in on this correspondence. 

Once you have transferred from MA by Research to MPhil you may go on to apply for subsequent transfer to PhD, following the standard MPhil to PhD transfer procedures. 

In exceptional cases a student may be permitted to request to transfer directly from MA by Research to PhD.  In these cases, the timing of the transfer request is the same as for a MA by Research to MPhil request, and the submission requirements are the same as for an MPhil to PhD transfer request. The process for such a request is:

Timing of transfers

Requests to transfer from MA by Research to PhD are normally considered at your request and on the recommendation of your first supervisor. Normally all requests to transfer should be made during the first term of the second year (the 4th term) of study, irrespective of whether you are studying on a full-time or part-time basis. 

Students are allowed two possible attempts at upgrade, the period between the first and second attempt should normally be no more than 3 months. A second attempt at the upgrade must have taken place by the end of the second term of the second year of study.  

Membership of the Transfer Panel

All students requesting an upgrade from MA by Research to PhD shall be assessed viva voce by at least two members of the University’s academic (Education and Research) staff, one of whom will normally be the Discipline Director of Postgraduate Research. One member of the upgrade panel will be designated as lead, and they will be responsible for organising the upgrade meeting. The panel must be independent of the supervisory team but your lead supervisor should attend the meeting as an observer. To allow you to make any comments you wish to the upgrade panel without your supervisor being present, you shall always be invited to talk with the panel after your supervisor is asked to leave. 

The panel will have read in advance of the viva the written work submitted by you and the progress report submitted by your lead supervisor.

Sitting on an upgrade panel does not normally preclude academic staff from subsequently going on to act as your internal examiner.

Submission requirements

In total, 15-20,000 words should be submitted. This should comprise:

9. A draft abstract of the thesis (up to 300 words).  This should describe your research in terms that can be understood by a non-specialist.

10. An extended proposal (5,000 words or above). This should cover the following areas:

 a) Research questions. What are the main issues that your thesis will address? What are the hypotheses that you wish to test? (Note: at this stage you will not necessarily know the answers to all your research questions. Part of the purpose of this exercise is to identify issues thrown up by your research that will need to be addressed in the completed thesis.)

 b) Research context. Which scholars have written on these issues before? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the existing literature? Does it contain errors, omissions, or both? What opportunities are there for your thesis to correct these?

 c) Methodology. What resources/evidence are you using in your research? (For example: archival material, web-based material, databases, interviews). How will these materials help you to address your research questions? Are there any novel aspects to your methods, and is there any particular guidance that you require? Are there any ethical issues arising from your research that still need to be addressed?

11. Chapter-by-chapter outline of the thesis. This may be in continuous prose, bullet-points, or a combination of the two.

12. Timetable for completion of the thesis (including any corrections to be made post-viva) within four years from the date of initial registration (seven years part time).

13. One substantive chapter of Ph.D. standard material (10,000 words or above). 

You will email these documents to the PGR Support Team, at least two weeks before the upgrade interview. These will then be forwarded on to the panel by the PGR Support team. The PGR Support teaml will also request a report on your work from your lead supervisor and they will send this on to your panel in advance of your transfer viva.  The lead panel member will contact you within one week of receipt of the student’s upgrade documents, to agree a date for the review meeting. The panel meeting will normally take place within one month of the panel receiving the documents.

Outcome of upgrade interview

Following the transfer interview, the panel will complete a transfer report form stating their recommendations and submit this to the PGR Support team. The three possible outcomes at the first attempt are that the candidate be:

A) Allowed to transfer their registration to PHD

B) Be allowed to transfer their registration to PhD subject to the completion of the identified corrections and/or amendments by the following date                   *(to be within two months)

C) That a second attempt at upgrade be allowed (to be within three months) 

If the outcome is second attempt (C) the form must indicate the conditions to be assessed by the re-sit upgrade process and if a second viva voce is required. An upgrade viva would not normally required for a second attempt at upgrade, however it is at the discretion of the panel should they wish to hold one. A second upgrade viva must be held however if the panel are inclined to recommend that you must remain at MA by Research level.  

The upgrade report is then submitted to the PGR Support Team. 

You will be informed via email, by the PGR Support, of the outcome of your transfer interview.  Your supervisor will be copied in on this correspondence. 

If you are recommended to pass unconditionally you will be notified via email of your official transfer to PhD and your lead supervisor will be copied in on this correspondence. Your official student record will also be updated. 

Where a re-sit is required, you will be informed by email by the PGR Support Office and a copy will be sent to your lead supervisor. 

The three possible outcomes at a second attempt are that the candidate be:

A)                 Allowed to transfer their registration to PhD

B)                  Be allowed to transfer their registration to PhD subject to the completion of the identified corrections and/or amendments by the following date        *(to be within two months)

C)                  Required to remain registered as an MA by Research student 

You will be informed via email, by the PGR Support Team, of the outcome of your transfer interview.  Your supervisor will be copied in on this correspondence.