Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Postgraduate Research Programmes

Graduate School Student Handbook
MA by Research, MPhil, PhD
WELCOME MESSAGE                                        3
1.1 How to use this Handbook                           4
1.2 Postgraduate Research at UEA                       4
1.2.1 Structures and Committees                        4
1.2.2 Faculty of Arts and Humanities                   4
1.2.3 Postgraduate Research Administration             5
1.3 Support for your Research (Academic)               6
1.3.1 Your Supervisory Team                            6
1.3.2 Your School PGR Director                         7
2.1 The Academic Background                            8
2.2 Study Related Information                          8
     Re-registration                                  9
     The Postgraduate Academic year 2018-2019         9
     Annual Leave                                     10
     Absence (including reporting sickness)           10
     Supervisory Meetings                             10
     Annual Progress review                           10
2.3 Getting Started                                    12
     The First Weeks                                  12
     Research Ethics
     Research Ethical Approval Framework
     Finance                                          15
2.4 Probation                                          15
2.5 Continuing Your Research – After Probation         15
     Fieldwork                                        15
     Insurance                                        16
     Placement                                        16
     International Students                           17
     Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)       18
2.6 Submission and Viva                                19
2.7 Post Viva to Graduation                            20
      Maternity/Paternity Leave                       21
      Changes During Students’ Period of Study        21
      When Things Aren’t Perfect                      21
      Concessions                                     21
      Withdrawal                                      22
      University Policy on Plagiarism and Collusion   22
      Academic Appeals and Complaints Procedure       22

   Facilities: Social Areas and Study Centres         22
   Lockers                                            23
   Library, e-mail and IT Services                    23
   Student Services                                   24
   Careers                                            25
   UEA Students’ Union                                26
   Safety and Security                                26
   Common UEA abbreviations                           28
   Useful sources of information and websites         29
   Probationary Review                                30


I am very pleased to welcome you to the Graduate School in the Faculty of Arts and

Humanities not only as students, but also as fellow researchers. UEA has a recognized

tradition of producing creative and innovative research both within and across disciplines.

Much of that research reaches out into the wider world and I hope we can inspire you to

continue this tradition in your own work.

We have already made a commitment to your work by accepting you onto a Postgraduate

Research programme. We honour that commitment in two ways. First, we will provide you

with top-class supervision from experts in the field. Second, our graduate training programme

will equip you with the skills you need to produce a high quality piece of work. Our training

programme is designed to support your research as it progresses and to help you develop as

a researcher, thinker and member of the scholarly and social community.

The Graduate School is an energetic and lively community with more than 300 graduate

students. We hold many seminars, reading groups, symposia and conferences, as well as

the Faculty Interdisciplinary Seminar, Interdisciplinary Workshops and lecture series. I wish

you every success in your work and look forward to meeting you at these events.

Dr John Turnpenny

Associate Dean for Postgraduate Research.

September 2018

Disclaimer: The information contained in this handbook is correct at September 2018 and may be subject to change.

Please check on the PGR Service website for up to date


      This handbook provides essential and useful information about UEA and the Faculty of Arts
      and Humanities (HUM) for postgraduate research students in the Faculty. It is divided into
      sections following the timeline of a research degree programme. It is important that all
      postgraduate research students refer to the current version during their time at UEA, along
      with Research Degrees: The Code of Practice and the relevant degree regulations which can
      be found in the Calendar. Both documents can be downloaded from the UEA portal (the
      internal web pages of the university) and the Appendices of this Handbook has a list of these
      and other useful web pages. If changes to the procedures or regulations occur there will be
      notification either in writing/email, or by posting official notices on the Graduate School Student
      notice board (outside the HUM Graduate School training room – Max’s room - 01.06 ARTS 1).
      You are welcome to let us know what you find useful and suggestions for improvement.

      Like all modern universities, UEA is a complex organisation. In particular, it generates a huge
      amount of information – much of it available via the University’s student portal.


      1.2.1 Structures and Committees

      The University is a large and complex organisation. The Vice Chancellor is the figurehead of
      the University but is assisted by Pro Vice Chancellors (PVCs) and other senior academic and
      administrative staff. Most postgraduate research students will not meet any of these but
      should be aware there is a PVC who overseas this aspect of the University, Professor Fiona
      Lettice and she is assisted by Professor Nick Watmough the Academic Director for
      postgraduate research. These individuals hold their roles outside of the Faculties although
      they conduct research and are situated in a School of study.

      The University is divided into four Faculties (Arts and Humanities, Science, Social Sciences
      and Health). Each Faculty is administered by a Faculty Office. Each Faculty has several
      Schools of study within it and each School has a local support team. In addition, each Faculty
      has a Graduate School.

      Schools of Study

      The Faculty of Arts and Humanities is an interdisciplinary Faculty comprising four Schools of
      Study and an Interdisciplinary Institute. There is further information about each School and its
      activities on the student portal and School notice boards.

Art, Media and American Studies (AMA)                Literature, Drama and Creative Writing (LDC)
Head of School         Malcolm Mclaughlin            Head of School             Alison Donnell
Secretary              Rebecca Wildner               Secretary                  Tonia Lake
PGR Director           Rebecca Fraser                PGR Director               Matt Taunton (Autumn)
                       (Autumn)                                                 and Jean McNeil
History (HIS)                                        Politics, Philosophy and Language and
                                                     Communication Studies (PPL)
Head of School            Katy Cubitt                Head of School             Lee Marsden
Secretary                 Melanie Watling            Secretary                  Holly Dyer
PGR Director              Matthew D’Auria            PGR Director               Davide Rizza

      The Interdisciplinary Institute for the Humanities is currently headed by Rowena Burgess and
      provides an intellectual home for those activities in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities which
      cross disciplinary boundaries, including the Centre for Japanese Studies (CJS) and the East
      Anglian Film Archive (EAFA). The Music Centre provides a vibrant meeting place for

musicians, hosts practice and rehearsal spaces and is open to all.


The University has a number of committees which meet to discuss postgraduate research
matters, the principal ones are:

PGR Executive

The Pro Vice Chancellor for Postgraduate Research chairs the PGR Executive which meets
5/6 times a year and reports to Senate. Membership includes the Academic Director for
Postgraduate Research, the Associate Deans from each Faculty and the Head of PGR

Faculty Graduate School Executive (HUM GSE)

The Associate Dean for the Faculty Chairs the Faculty Graduate School Executive (HUM
GSE) which reports to the PGR Executive and meets 5-6 times a year to discuss matters
concerning postgraduate research students. Membership includes PGR Directors, Training
Coordinators and HUM pgr student representation.

Graduate School Student Form (GSSF)

The Faculty welcomes the input of students into its decision-making processes. Each School
has a pgr representative on the GSSF who is the voice for pgr students from their School.
The representatives are appointed in the Autumn semester. In addition to the Graduate
School Students Forum, students are represented on School Boards and the School
Staff/Student Liaison Committee. School notice boards give details of current student
representatives and related items. If you would like to find out more about being involved
you can contact the Head of School Secretary or the Union of UEA Students.

1.2.3    Postgraduate Research Administration

Administration for HUM research students is provided from the Postgraduate Research
Students Service office based in the Elizabeth Fry Building (room 2.30). The staff who provide
particular administration for HUM are:
Mrs Tracey Oak, Research Degrees Manager (HUM/SCI/SSF/FMH)                1800
Ms Clare Thornett (October 2018)/Alison Henry (from November 2018)
PGR Officer (HUM)                                                          3040
Ms Clare Thornett, Administrator                                          3771
Ms Ann Nicholls, Clerical Assistant                                        2546

The office email is

The HUM PGR team will assist you with all administrative aspects of your degree. Whether
you want to notify us of a change of address, check degree regulations, apply for a concession,
obtain a form or submit your thesis, for these and more, the office is the place to go first. Staff
in the office each have particular areas of responsibility but if the person who you want to see
is not available, please do not hesitate to speak to another person in the office.

Ann Nicholls handles all general enquiries relating to admissions and student registration
including research training. She works full-time.

Clare Thornett deals with queries relating to students’ studies. She works full-time.

Concession requests, studentships and guidance on complex matters such as Stage One
academic appeals and complaints will be handled by Clare Thornett during October 2018,
then by Alison Henry from November 2018

Tracey Oak has a strategic role and oversees the PGR administrative teams for all four

The PGR Service also includes administrative support for Research Council funded students
eg Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts South-East England (CHASE) and SeNSS.

Revd Lyn Marsh, CHASE DTP Manager

Ms Melanie Steele, SeNSS DTP Manager


1.3.1 Your Supervisory Team

Research students are allocated a primary and secondary supervisor, a supervisory team.
Sometimes supervisors will assume equal responsibility, but the primary supervisor is
responsible for administrative arrangements.

On your arrival at UEA, you should arrange to meet your supervisory team as soon as
possible, and certainly within four weeks of registration. One of the main purposes of this
meeting is to allow any initial training needs to be identified and discussed. Another is to set
out the main expectations of the supervisory relationship.

Supervisory arrangements and training needs should be discussed and recorded on the Initial
Meeting Form (see PPD section below). The Initial Meeting form is included in your Welcome
Folder. Forms must be returned to the PGR Service within four weeks of your start date.

You should work closely with your supervisors throughout the period of research. The role of
your supervisory team is collectively to provide academic and pastoral guidance throughout
your period of registration. Initially, students will receive considerable guidance from their
supervisors in locating a clearly defined research topic and close supervision in developing
the chosen field of study. To ensure that a well-planned start is made to a research degree
programme, first year students should arrange to meet regularly with their primary supervisor.
You should be aware, however, that the supervisor’s role is to provide academic advice and
not detailed instruction. The thesis must represent in all respects (e.g. data collection and
analysis, theoretical discussion and conclusions) the original work of the student rather than
simply reflect the ideas of the supervisor. The role of the supervisor is to give encouragement,
read outlines and draft chapters and give advice on the general standard and direction of your

The regulations require you to meet formally, face-to-face, three times a year with your full
supervisory team (twice a year for part-time students) PLUS at least 8 times per year with your
primary supervisor for minuted meetings. In the early stages it is likely that you will meet or
communicate with your supervisor more frequently. Later on, contact may be less frequent but
the frequency can vary dependent on specific tasks.

In order to demonstrate that you meet these regulations, you are required to keep notes of all
meetings, a copy of which should be forwarded to your primary supervisor and also to the
PGR Service who will retain a copy on your student file. If you are away on fieldwork, updates
to your supervisors or notes on meetings should also be copied to the PGR Service in the
same way as you would send meeting notes. Supervisors are obliged and students are
encouraged to keep a written record of all meetings and the major targets set and
accomplished over the period of research. It may be useful to complete the form at the end
of this handbook. Please return completed and signed records of all meetings to the PGR
office, Room 2.30 Elizabeth Fry Building or to

When saving and sending minutes it is recommended that you use a filename format which
transfers without problem by email - such as ‘your name’ underscore ‘minutes’ underscore
‘date’ (e.g. JohnSmith_minutes_2.7.14).

This process will be moved into e:vision during the course of the coming year and it is
anticipated you will be able to upload these minutes onto your electronic record. Further details
regarding this will be communicated to your university email address once this is confirmed.

The Role of the Supervisor and Supervisory Team

The role of the supervisory team is to support the student’s research, and to monitor the
progress achieved in that regard. At the minimum, this will include:

•assessing the student’s initial training needs;
•offering guidance on the nature of the research and the methods by which it can be
undertaken, the overall coherence of the student’s planned programme of research, the
integrity of each aspect of the student’s thesis, and the standards expected on the research
degree programme;
•providing timely comment and written feedback regarding the quality and pertinence of work
submitted by the student on the basis of a close scrutiny thereof;
•meeting regularly with the student to discuss the development of the thesis;
•monitoring the student’s progress against an agreed timetable of outcomes and expected
•ensuring that the student is made aware in timely fashion of any concerns regarding his/her
progress, and of the possible means by which improvements in performance may be brought

The Supervisory Relationship

A Guide to Good Supervisory Practice for research students and their supervisors can be
found in Section 7 of the Research Degrees Policy Documents. HUM also run a PPD session
on ‘Managing Your PhD: the supervisor relationship’ to help better understand how such a
relationship may be built. Your relationship with your supervisors is a two-way process where
you both have rights and responsibilities as set out in ‘Section 7’. In whichever way
supervision is organised, it must adhere to the minimum and provide effective guidance and
support. The Code of Practice clearly sets out what you can expect from your supervisor, and
what your supervisor can expect from you. It also tells you what to do if things go wrong.

At the most informal level, research progress and the quality of supervision should be
monitored on an ongoing basis through the mutual management of the supervisory
relationship. The tenor of this relationship should be such that both the student and members
of the supervisory panel feel able to discuss any incipient concerns openly. Emergent
problems can often be easily pre-empted by honest reflection and comment. Both the student
and the supervisors should welcome and respond to constructive criticism.

Where a student has concerns over the level of supervision, but feels unable to discuss this
directly with the person(s) concerned, he/she may wish to discuss matters with the PGR
Director of the relevant School. The PGR Director will take appropriate action to help bring
about a satisfactory resolution. In addition, the student is free to comment regarding their
concerns when completing the annual progress report form. Staff in the Student Support
Service and the Counselling Service are also always available to discuss any difficulties or
problems you may have.

1.3.2 School PGR Director

Each of the Schools has a member of academic staff who oversees postgraduate research
student admissions and student’s progress, they are called PGR Directors. PGR Directors
appoint and consider any requests for changes in supervision and can be consulted on matters
affecting student’s progress.

1.3.3 Faculty Associate Dean for PGR

John Turnpenny (whose office is Arts 3.3/23) is the Associate Dean for PGR matters. He
meets regularly with School PGR Directors and is the inter-face for the Faculty with the
University’s Director of Research Programmes and Chairs the HUM Graduate School
Executive. Students should feel able to consult him if an academic matter cannot be resolved
by their supervisory team or their School’s PGR Director.


Degree regulations and other important University documents
Students should appraise themselves of the Degree regulations pertaining to the degree that
they are registered for and the Code of Practice and University Policy documents which can
be found on the PGR Service web pages. These documents are reviewed each year and
therefore students will need to re-read them regularly, noting any changes and seeking
clarification from the HUM Faculty team if necessary.

Students are also encouraged at an early stage to read the relevant instructions to
examiners which can also be found on the PGR Service web pages.



All full and part-time students are required to read any communication directed to them within
48 hours of it being made available, i.e. of it being posted on a University/School notice board,
to their UEA email account, their pigeon hole or being delivered to their contact address.

Email has become the standard method of individual and collective communication with
students and UEA inboxes MUST be checked on a regular basis. We are not able to direct
UEA communications directly to private email addresses but you can set up emails to be
forwarded from your UEA account to another one. NEVER give out your UEA username or
password to anyone or to any email request for it. You will never be asked for your UEA
username or password by email by anyone within UEA and by responding to these requests,
the University has been blacklisted from hotmail and other accounts which means both staff
and students cannot email anyone with one of these accounts.

Post addressed to you with the School’s address, i.e. Ms Anyone, LDC PGR, UEA,
Norwich, will be delivered to the School and distributed to the pigeon hole corresponding to
the first letter of your family name (the pigeon holes are situated in your School). Please check
your pigeon hole regularly, at least every other day or so. Do not use this address for important
external mail unless it is registered or recorded delivery, as it is less secure than the UEA Post

Registered, recorded or parcel post addressed to you via UEA will be sorted and kept in the
Local Support Office for collection. You will be advised via a note in your pigeonhole or an

If you live on campus any post addressed to you at your residence will be delivered to the
main UEA Post Room for you to collect where you will be asked to show your student
registration card. The main UEA Post Room is situated under the archway near the main Arts
Block loading bay. Please make every effort to check for mail regularly.

You must notify the HUM PGR team in the Postgraduate Research Students office of
any change of address


All full and part-time students are required to re-register each year during August when they
log on to e:vision.

The Postgraduate Academic Year 2018-2019

The University closure dates (inclusive) for 2018-19 are:

      Monday 24 December 2018 to Wednesday 2 January 2019 (Christmas and New Year)
      Thursday 18 April 2019 to Tuesday 23 April 2018 (Easter Break)
      Monday 6 May 2019
      Monday 27 May 2019
      Monday 26 August 2019

Period of study

The Regulations for postgraduate degrees ‘by research’ divide the total period of registration
into two periods:

      the period of study
      the registration only period

The period of study is the period of advanced study and research in the University under the
supervision of members of academic staff, within which it is expected that all research will be
completed. The degree and mode of study determine the length of the period of study. An
annual tuition fee is payable for each year of the period of study. In exceptional cases, the
period of study may be reduced or extended by up to 6 months, on the recommendation of a
candidate’s supervisor.

The registration only period is the time which remains between the end of the period of study
and the deadline by which the thesis is due for submission. If the thesis is not submitted by
the end date of the registration only period and an extension to the registration only period is
approved, students will be liable to pay a continuation fee. (For details of the current
continuation fees please contact the HUM PGR team.)

The length in months for ‘periods of study’ and ‘registration only’ periods for research degrees
are summarised below:

Full-time students

 Degree                 Period of Study         Registration only      Total period
 PhD                    36 months               12 months              48 months
 MPhil                  24 months               12 months              36 months
 MA                     12 months               12 months              24 months

Part-time students

 Degree                  Period of Study        Registration only       Total period
 PhD                     72 months              12 months               84 months
 MPhil                   48 months              12 months               60 months
 MA                      24 months              12 months               36 months

Annual Leave

Full-time students are entitled to a total of eight weeks annual leave in a 12 month period,
including Bank Holidays and the University closure dates. Students should note that all annual
leave should be discussed with, and approved by, their supervisory team beforehand.

From 1 October 2018 new functionality is being made available through eVision to allow full-
time postgraduate researchers to apply online for annual leave (26 days), special leave (up
to 5 days) and record sickness absences. The system automatically sends leave requests to
your primary supervisor and responses are received by email. A record of absences is kept
on your ‘Personal and course details’ page, accessible from the eVision student home page.
The PGR leave year runs from 01 October to 30 September for all, irrespective of start date,
so those who start at other times will have a pro-rata entitlement. Use of the system, which is
only for full-time PhD, MPhil and Masters by Research students, is not mandatory but is
expected to be especially useful if you are on a Tier 4 student visa. More details can be found
online at:

Absence (including reporting sickness)

If students become ill and cannot attend the university, it is essential that the School and the
HUM PGR team know. Full-time students can self-certify using the eVision task explained
above for the first seven days. Longer periods of sickness require a doctors’ certificate. The
University Medical Centre (or your own General Practitioner) will send certificates directly to
the HUM PGR team, but only if requested to do so by you. A certificate not only covers you
for absence but may be necessary if you have to seek a concession. Certificates should be
sent or brought to the HUM PGR team.

If personal or other non-medical factors affect a student’s ability to study, supervisors and the
HUM PGR team should be informed as soon as possible. If the outcome is that a period of
interruption (see below) would be helpful, an interruption form should be completed (copies
may be downloaded from the PGR Service website).

With the support of their supervisors, it is possible for students to apply to spend a period of
time abroad on fieldwork. An application form is available from the HUM PGR team.

Supervisory Meetings

Students complete a monthly eVision task to record details of their supervisory meeting(s)
held in the previous month. More details can be found on the PGR Service

The task is compulsory for those on Tier 4 student visas and those funded by AHRC CHASE
and recommended for all others.

Annual Progress Review (APR)

Schools are required to monitor student progress regularly throughout the programme and
each year the supervisory team is required to report student progress. Students and their
supervisors will be asked to fill out an annual review form assessing their progress, as well as
commenting on supervision and the facilities in the School and University. The forms are
distributed electronically through e:vision to students and primary supervisors, who should
meet face-to-face with their supervisory team to discuss progress and complete the form.
When completing the on-line forms, students are also expected to submit a timetable for
completion of their thesis and details of the training they have undertaken.

The timing of APRs are affected by periods of interruptions but usually students beginning in
October will be asked to complete their APR between April to June each year. The first APR
for full-time students occurs alongside the Probation review.

Completed forms are then considered by the School’s PGR Director and the report returned
to the HUM PGR team which is then forwarded to the Faculty for consideration by the Faculty
Graduate School Executive before a final report is made to the University’s Director of
Research Programmes. It is important that annual report forms are completed on time, as
their contents could assist with any concession request made by students. Non-completion
of forms will result in studentship payments being stopped.

The Personal Professional Development Programme (PPD)

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities (HUM) Personal and Professional Development (PPD)
programme aims to support postgraduate research students in developing those skills which
underpin the production of high quality research, from the writing of the thesis to working within
a wider academic environment, and from working as a professional academic to disseminating
work to a wider public culture.

All new students will start on the HUM Training Pathway, which is a framework to help plan
and review your development. This is formed from our PPD modules and other activities that
you may undertake. Details of the Pathway can be found at:

An interactive timetable of postgraduate research activities and PPD modules can be found
at: Booking for
modules is normally made through eVision.

CHASE and continuing full-time students are expected to engage in 10 days of training per
year, pro rata for part-time students.

Language courses

UEA evening and daytime courses for students in a range of languages. Details of the
schemes and levels of language tuition can be found here:

Early registration is recommended as some courses may begin in late September. The
evening courses are also open to the general public, and you can apply independently before
you register at UEA in the autumn. For further details, please contact University Language
Programme (ULP) Enquiries via e-mail at or telephone: 01603

Students who require assistance with language course fees, should contact Dr Matthew
Sillence, Lecturer in Graduate Education and Training, for more information via e-mail at or telephone 01603 591929.

Teaching Experience

Schools of study are sometimes able to offer postgraduate research students some
undergraduate teaching during their period of study. This experience is important when
applying for academic posts and students should initially consult their supervisor. Students
are expected to undertake an introductory course, such as the PPD Preparing to Teach course
or CSED Developing Teaching Skills programme, before commencing a teaching role in the
University, or be prepared to do so during their teaching role. These courses are very popular
and you should apply early for a place through the PPD module catalogue or, for Developing
Teaching Skills, through the website:

When undertaking teaching within a School, it is recommended that you are assigned a mentor
by your Teaching Director who will serve as a point of contact for guidance, or concerns.
Students in receipt of studentships from the University, Schools or Research Councils should
note they are only able to undertake 6 hours teaching per week and no more than 180 hours
per year.



Training Needs Analysis (TNA) form

The process of how to complete and submit the TNA form will be explained at induction,
however, students should note that a training needs analysis meeting should be held within
8 weeks of initial registration and should involve the student and at least two members of
their supervisory team. The results of this analysis, along with the relevant Training Pathway
documentation, should be used to prepare an initial Personal Development Plan which will
be reviewed throughout the students’ registration period, including at every Annual Progress
Review meeting.

Research Seminars

Most Schools of study arrange a series of research seminars during semester time and
postgraduate research students are expected to attend them. Details of where and when they
take place can be obtained from School PGR Directors or supervisors.

Thesis Research Topic

It is the joint responsibility of the student and their supervisors to agree the research topic. It
is important to ensure that the agreed topic can be undertaken by a well-qualified, diligent
student within the period of study and that it is not too restrictive or too extensive.

It is expected that within six weeks of registration the student and supervisory team should
normally agree:

   -   a provisional working title;
   -   the working objectives of the project; and
   -   a timetable of activity over the period of study, highlighting deadlines for successive
       stages of research and other progress milestones

How the research project is agreed will differ from case to case. What is important is that both
students and supervisors are clear about their working relationship and how it will operate in
relation to the specific research topic. It is also important to establish that appropriate
resources are available.

Research Ethics

The University recognizes that the conduct of research must be guided by ethical principles
which aim to protect the rights and welfare of participants, while also ensuring as free a
circulation as possible of research knowledge. It is also recognised, however, that
relationships between participants in a research project can legitimately take a variety of
different forms, and that specifications of ethical conduct will always partially depend on the
particular contexts and circumstances of individual inquiries. All HUM students are required
to attend a PPD training session on research ethics. The University has a Research Ethics
Policy, which is on the Research and Innovation Service (RIN) website:

Any research which involves the participation of living human subjects (or the use their data)
must be reviewed within the University’s Research Ethics Committee Framework. Data that
have been gathered by third parties and which are confidential or restricted also raise ethical
issues. For research students who are registered within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities
ethical issues are considered by the General Research Ethics Committee (G-REC), which is
a subcommittee of the University’s Research Ethics Committee (U-REC). In designing and
conducting research, students in consultation with their supervisors must identify and address
all ethical considerations relevant to their projects. It is also sometimes the case that research
designs are modified during the period of research, so it is important that students regularly
discuss the ethical implications of their research with their supervisors. It is expected that the
thesis methodology chapter will include a section outlining how ethical issues were anticipated
and addressed.

Thinking about the ethical implications of all aspects of research should be integral to thinking
through its design and conduct. Students should discuss each stage of the process with their
supervisors. These are a few key questions to consider as the project is shaped:

      Which persons form the subject of the research and how might it be possible to gain
       the required evidence? Why might the subjects of the research want or not want to
       take part in it? What is the status of the subject of the research and how might that
       status affect their willingness to take part?
      How might the evidence be gathered? Are there any restrictions on accessing the data
       for the project? Who owns that data?
      Will you be working with internet or social media sources for your data? How do you
       plan to obtain informed consent from the subjects of your research? What protocols
       or restrictions govern your access to data? What ‘expectations of privacy’ can your
       subjects reasonably hold relating to their contributions?
      What legal or site requirements govern access and use of the data?
      What do you want to do with them or learn from them or know about them? Are there
       any aspects of this that might be difficult for them (e.g. embarrassing, hurtful) or
       beneficial (e.g. insightful, pleasurable)?
      What legal restrictions impinge on the data-gathering activity? Are the subjects of the
       study in law classed as ‘vulnerable’ (the young, the disabled, the mentally challenged?)
       What information or data will be held, and could any of these lead to identification of
      What safeguards – for the data gatherer(s) and the participants should be in place
       before research begins? – do you need to build in, for instance, statements concerning
       the purpose of the research and its proposed outcomes? Should there be agreements
       to participate, for example? How can these be best designed so that they do not in
       themselves affect the relations with the participants?
      What will be done with the evidence and knowledge that is obtained? Could any uses
       of it generate benefit, or hurt, to the people who will participate in the research?

Increasingly many public bodies are introducing separate ethical and governance review
processes before they approve access to data or research. At the very least, these
organisations will expect to see evidence that the ethics of the research have been carefully
considered by you and the University. It is therefore important to consider and investigate the
ethical issues during the design of the study, and certainly before any data collection

Research Ethical Approval Framework

All research proposals should undergo initial screening by students and their supervisors to
determine if a project requires ethical approval, and students will be required to report that due
consideration has been given to research ethics as part of the annual review process. If
ethical approval is required, the proposal must be forwarded to G-REC. Under the guidance
of the supervisor, the student must complete the G-REC coversheet, and the UEA Research
Ethics Checklist, and submit both to G-REC aims to reach decisions as
quickly as possible – normally within 10 working days – but sometimes problems or questions
arise which require checking or reconsideration of proposals. Applicants are advised to
thoroughly consider and discuss these matters with the supervisor in advance of applying to
G-REC. It is essential that clear and sufficient information is given so that the Committee can
fully understand the parameters of the project, the ethical issues it raises, and how it is
proposed to manage these.

Each School within the Faculty has a representative on G-REC, and it may be useful to consult
him or her for guidance. See

Ethical approval must be obtained before beginning fieldwork, participant recruitment,
issuing questionnaires, pilot studies, or data collection. Students must allow sufficient
time for clearance to be obtained. Failure to allow sufficient time may mean that plans have to
be rescheduled.

Other information regarding subject-specific Research Ethics Committees can be found on
School websites. A copy of the University’s Research Ethics Policy can be found at

If you have any other questions or need help with anything to do with Ethics then please e-
mail and a member of the RIN ethics team will get back to you.


Paying your University bills: Taking responsibility for your finances is an important part of
your time at UEA.            Your account can be viewed and payments made on When you receive an invoice from UEA you must pay it within 28
days unless you have contacted the Finance office in the Registry (or emailed and had extension or instalment arrangements approved. If these
arrangements have not been approved (or, if approved, not adhered to), late payment fees
may be charged so please contact debtors to avoid these fees being added to your bill. For
more         information       on       financial    arrangements,         please       visit

Financial Advice: If you experience financial difficulties, contact the Financial Advice Team, part of the Student Support Service in the Student Support Centre. The team
offers information and advice on various aspects of student funding, short term emergency
loans, advice on managing your money, and hardship funds.

Funding Assistance

During the course of their studies students may be directed to attend conferences, organise
events/conferences or visit archives or other places/events. These extra-curricular activities
may result in additional financial expenditure for students. Students should discuss attending
conferences and archive visits, etc with their supervisors initially, not least because
supervisors may know if funds are available in their School of study. There are a number of
places to seek funding. The UEA Students’ Union has a postgraduate conference/research
fund students can apply to. In addition, HUM research students can apply for funding from
the Faculty Grant Scheme to complete some activities from the Faculty. Applications are
considered every other month, in advance and application forms and guidelines can be found
on the Graduate School website.


From 1 October 2015 the status of postgraduate research candidates on the following
programmes is probationary: PhD, MPhil, Master’s by Research. This probationary status will
continue until the candidate has undertaken and passed a formal assessment during their first
year which will occur at the Annual Progress Review meeting. The probationary meeting will
consist of the student, the supervisory team and either one or two internal assessors (one
Internal Assessor will be the Panel Chair and the appointment of an additional Internal
Assessor is optional). The meeting must take place at some time during months 6-9 of the
student’s period of study (normally April to June for a full-time student starting on 1st October)
and must be held in accordance with University award regulations. Times should be
calculated pro-rata for part-time students.

Candidates will be asked to submit a Research Report and a Training Record 2 weeks before
the panel meeting takes place. In the meeting, the student will be expected to give a summary
of the report (with a suggested maximum of 20 minutes) and respond to questions from the
panel about its content.

The panel should consider whether the student has adequate support for their research project
and should also propose further training where this may be required. The University-wide set
of outcomes for PhD candidates are as given below:

   (1) The candidate passes probation, is confirmed as a doctoral candidate and will continue
       with the same course of study (PhD);
   (2) The candidate can opt to transfer to MPhil or Master’s by Research study with the
       approval of Head of School or nominee;
   (3) The candidate will be asked to attend a further meeting in line with the regulations,
       after which they will either pass probation (1), opt to transfer to MPhil or Master’s by
       Research study (2), or be required to withdraw.

Outcomes for other research degrees and fuller and further details on the probationary review
can be found in the Appendix to this Handbook.



Students may find themselves needing to be away from the University for more than a few
weeks in order to visit archives for instance. If you are going to be away for longer than one
week you must inform your supervisor and the HUM PGR team and two weeks before you
leave you should obtain permission by completing the fieldwork form and completing a
fieldwork risk assessment available from the HUM PGR team or website. As a student of the
University, the UEA has a responsibility to ensure that every precaution is taken for your safety
and that any possible dangers are taken into account and limited. The University will base
their decisions on the advice offered by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office via their travel
advice pages:


UEA Travel insurance automatically covers any Employee, governor or emeritus professor
and their accompanying Partner and Children or any student travelling on behalf of and with
the consent of the University, for a maximum duration of twelve months. It is suitable for all
overseas work and field trips approved by the University and work placements that are
compulsory as part of a student’s course. Study Abroad trips are not covered by UEA Travel

UEA Travel Insurance is provided free of charge with the cost met centrally. The University
will no longer fund privately sourced travel insurance.

Each overseas (non-UK) trip must be declared (for each person) via the Travel insurance
webform as soon as your tickets are purchased or at least two weeks in advance of your trip.
You must separately notify to UEA Insurance, details of any accompanying partners and/or
children. Insurers consider exit and re-entry back to the UK as one trip. For example, students
undertaking fieldwork trips involving a flight back to the UK on one or more occasions during
the fieldwork period, is considered multiple trips. A webform will therefore need completing
for each separate trip.

Trips can include days added by the individual for personal reasons (the added personal
days must be incidental up to a maximum of 14 consecutive days). If you decide to arrange
any recreational/personal trips whilst overseas that exceed 14 consecutive days an
alternative policy will need sourcing. A separate Travel insurance policy can be purchased
whilst outside of the UK via the following provider and website: (recommendation is intended only to provide guidance and
is not affiliated with the UEA).

Trips within the UK do not need declaring and are automatically covered when involving:

a) air travel within the Country of Domicile or

 b) any travel within the country of domicile provided such travel involves an overnight stay
away from home or normal place of Business

Your Policy Documentation can be downloaded by following the link located at the end of the
Travel insurance webform. Your Policy Documentation will need to be accessible at all times.
You will also have the opportunity to register with Lifeline Plus where you can access safety
and guidance reports of the country you are visiting. Alternatively, you can download the AIG
Business Travel Assistance app which provides live safety alerts to your phone regarding your


A placement may be an integral, assessed part of a research student’s course, or an optional
activity which occurs during the student’s period of registration and which contributes to goals
beyond the research project. A placement may be organised either by the University, a
Doctoral Training Partnership of which the University is a member, or the individual research
student; in all cases it needs to be approved before the placement takes place. It is important
if a student is thinking about undertaking a placement that they talk to their supervisory team
and members of the PGR Service (whether Faculty team or DTP Managers) at an early stage
of their thinking as they will be able to signpost them to the process and appropriate guidance.

More details about placements including the University guidelines can be found on the
Postgraduate Research Service web pages:

International Students

The International Student Advisory Team (ISAT) are one of the many student services that
can be found in the Student Support Service on campus. They provide specialist support
and advice to all UEA International Students. ISAT acts as an important point of contact for
information on subjects such as: employment regulations; immigration and visas; financial
advice; childcare provision and personal matters. Further information can be found at or email

Information for students holding a Tier 4 visa visa issued by UK Visas and Immigration

Any student who is a national of a non-EEA country must hold a visa that permits study within
the UK. It is a legal requirement that the University ensures that every student has permission
to study in the UK throughout the whole period of their study.

All students who are studying in the United Kingdom with a Tier 4 visa issued by UK Visas
and Immigration (UKVI) will be aware that this places specific requirements on both students
and their sponsors for monitoring attendance and compliance with the conditions of such
visas. As a result please note that you will be requested to see the UEA Student Visa
Compliance office on a regular basis together with your passport and visa. It is important that
you attend when requested so that we can fulfil our obligations to UKVI. Failure to attend could
put your visa at risk.

Visa Requirements

As any student granted a Tier 4 visa to enter and study in the United Kingdom is sponsored
by the University of East Anglia, UEA is legally obliged to make reports to the UKVI in the
following situations:

   If you do anything that suggests that you are breaking the conditions of your permission
    to stay in the UK;
   If you do not arrive on the expected start date of your studies (or within a short period
    after your expected start date without the prior consent of the University);
   If you receive a visa refusal;
   If you withdraw from the University before the expected end date of your studies;
   If you decide to transfer to another institution or change visa immigration routes,
   If you interrupt your studies for any reason. Please note that if you do interrupt your
    studies, you will not be in the United Kingdom for the purpose for which your visa was
    obtained, so you should make arrangements to leave the country. Prior to returning to
    the UK you will need to request a new CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies)
    from the University. Please ensure you request the CAS in good time to ensure your
    new visa is issued prior to the date of your return to the United Kingdom;
   If your course changes significantly, i.e. change of degree programme or changes to
    your course end date;
   If your period of study reduces we have to inform UKVI of your new course end date, and
    your entitlement to remain in the UK is likely to be shortened;
   If you do not fully engage with your studies. This includes attending to a satisfactory
    standard and submitting assessment items;
   If you are required to undertake fieldwork away from the University, or undertake a work
    placement, we must inform UKVI of these details.

In all cases, if you have any doubt about your immigration status, please ensure that you
obtain appropriate advice. This will normally be from the International Students Advisory
Team in the UEA Student Support Centre.

To support the University’s obligations
 You are required to present your visa and passport to the University and to allow a
   member of staff to make a copy of relevant information (this will initially be done as part
   of the initial Registration process);
 If your passport or visa changes during your study, you should immediately present this
   to the UEA Student Visa Compliance to take a copy of relevant information and update
   your record;
 During your period of study the University will, on a regular basis, request you to attend a
   specified location to check that you are still in attendance and to check that your
   passport and visa remain valid. It is mandatory to attend these events when requested.
   You will receive an email to your UEA account and any personal email account that you
   have provided advising the dates and times. You may also receive SMS reminders;
 If your visa expires before your course end date, you must apply for a visa extension
   before it expires. Support with this process is available from the UEA Student Support
   Centre and we recommend strongly that you make use of this support. Please note,
   failure to extend your visa can result in you being suspended from your course and
   having to return to your home country;
 You are required to advise the University immediately if your immigration status
   changes. This could include (but is not limited to) having your application for a visa
   refused, being unsuccessful in an appeal against refusal of a visa or having your visa
 You are required to inform us of any changes to your contact details (address, phone
 You are required to attend all sessions, including (but not limited to) lectures, seminars,
   tutorials, advisor meetings and exams. If you are unable to attend a session, you must
   inform the University immediately and provide evidence of any reasons for non-
   attendance (i.e. a doctor’s certificate);
 You must comply with the terms of your visa and any other UK Visas and Immigration
   requirements, including the number of hours you are permitted to work as stated in your

Please note that failure to comply with your obligations may put your visa at risk and
therefore your entitlement to remain in the UK. If you have any queries regarding this
information please contact the UEA Student Visa Compliance at

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) requires all international students
subject to existing UK immigration permissions, who are applying to study at postgraduate
level in certain science and technology subjects, to apply for ATAS clearance before they
can study in the UK. If ATAS is required for your research then this will be a condition of your
offer for study.

Most international students will be applying to study under a Tier 4 (General) student visa
and a CAS will not be assigned until your ATAS clearance has been issued.

If you are in the UK under a non-student visa, and that immigration permission allows you to
study in the UK, and ATAS clearance is required for your course this will be a condition of
your offer for study. Initial registration will only be permitted if the required ATAS clearance is
appropriately evidenced.

If you change your research subject it might require that you apply for new ATAS clearance.
If you are changing to a subject that requires ATAS clearance, your change of programme
cannot be approved and you are not permitted to start your new programme until you have
submitted evidence of ATAS clearance for your new programme. If you have already
obtained ATAS clearance for your previous research subject you must apply for further

ATAS clearance for your new research subject.

Bank Accounts
To open a bank account international students will need to request a letter of introduction
confirming your personal details from the PGR Service.

Learning Enhancement
The Student Support Service offers a range of academic and non-academic English
language support to students including the English Language Support Programme (ELSP),
Language Support Buddy project and Conversation Club. Further details can be found at:

Registration-only Period

The University regulations require supervision to continue in the registration only period. It is
felt to be vitally important for students to remain in personal contact with their supervisor during
the “registration only” period for advice and comments on the final draft of the thesis before
submission. At the annual review meeting before a student enters the period of registration-
only period, supervisors and their students should reach an agreement as to how contact will
be maintained during the next year and agree a timetable to completion including when work
will be submitted.


The degrees of MA by Research, MPhil and PhD are awarded on the basis of the thesis and
an oral examination of the thesis conducted by at least two examiners, one of whom shall be
external to the University. For staff candidates both examiners will be external to the

The choice of examiners can be discussed informally between the student and supervisor, but
the final approval is made by the School’s PGR Director and the Associate Dean. Students
should note that their supervisors cannot be one of the examiners. The procedures for the
nomination and appointment of examiners are contained in the Code of Practice for the
External Examiner System for Awards (Research) at UEA.

The title of the thesis and recommendation of examiners must be submitted at least three
months BEFORE the expected date of submission to the HUM PGR team. Once the thesis is
submitted the timing of the oral examination will depend on the availability of the examiners
but should normally take place within three months. Exceptions and extensions to this require
approval by the Director of Research Degree Programmes.

Submission of the thesis means submission of the finished thesis to the PGR office (HUM
PGR) and not, for instance, submission of a final draft to a supervisor for approval. If a thesis
is not submitted in time, or if in exceptional circumstances students have been granted an
extension to the submission date, the student will become liable to pay Continuation Fees.

Further details on the presentation of the thesis can be found in the booklet Research Degrees:
The Code of Practice and Research Degrees Policy Documents: Regulations for Theses but
students might like to note the following word limits apply.

 PhD                     100,000                  All these word limits include
 MPhil                   65,000                   footnotes and bibliography but
 MA                      40,000                   exclude appendices

Whilst initial submissions may be soft bound, for instance comb-bound, the two final
submissions should be a hard bound and one electronic copy of the thesis.

The front cover shall bear the title of the thesis, the author’s name, the name of the degree for
which the thesis is submitted and the year of submission.

The Oral/Viva Examination

The oral examination (or viva) will usually take place within two to three months of submission
and be conducted by two examiners (including at least one external to the University). The
examination will be chaired in most cases by the external examiner and it will be held in a
seminar room or office. You will be notified of all these arrangements in advance. The
examination tends to last for one to two hours, but there is no set length. The purpose of the
examination is to give you an opportunity to discuss and defend your thesis. Your examiners
will have both general and specific questions, all of which are intended to enable them to reach
a judgement about your work. In preparing for your examination, you should talk to your
supervisor(s) about what to expect and perhaps to have a ‘trial run’. You may also find it
useful to attend the Personal and Professional Development (PPD) session on preparing for
your viva.


Communication of Assessment Outcomes

Examiners for a research degree are required to submit a written report and recommendations
to the Board of the School concerned. The formal decision on the outcome is taken by the

If the examiners’ recommendation is either that the candidate be asked to make corrections to
a thesis or be given the option of submitting a revised thesis, the examiners are requested to
submit a single agreed report suggesting how the thesis needs to be revised.

The PGR Service will inform the candidate in writing of the examiners recommendations, once
the examiners’ report has been received. The letter will indicate the deadline of submitting any
corrections that are required or when a revised thesis is to be submitted. If students have any
queries after their viva, they are encouraged to contact the HUM PGR Officer for advice and
their supervisors.

A pass list is issued only once a hard bound copy and an electronic copy of the thesis are
submitted and confirmation the examiners are satisfied any corrections have been completed
to their satisfaction.


All students who are eligible for Winter, Spring or Summer Graduation periods will
automatically have their awards conferred.

Students are required to register to receive their certificate and confirm whether or not they
wish to attend the Graduation ceremony in July.

Graduation periods are as follows:

Winter Graduation – Eligible awards will be conferred in December and certificates will be
sent by post to those students who have completed the online registration. In addition they
will also be given the opportunity to attend the Graduation ceremony in July.

Spring Graduation - Eligible awards will be conferred in April and certificates will be sent by

You can also read