Research Staff, Examiners and Students

If you require any help or advice please call in and see us in the Graduate Research Office which is located on the ground floor of the Lodge, or email

Regulations for Research Degree Programmes

Research Degree Regulations for the University’s awards of Doctor of Philosophy, Professional Doctorates, Master of Philosophy, and Masters by Research.

Handbooks / Code of Practice for Students, Supervisors and Examiners of Research Degree Programmes

Code of Practice for Research Students The Code of Practice provides a range of general guidance to assist you during your time as a research student at the University of South Wales. It outlines good practice and indicates the procedures involved (and your specific involvement in these procedures) at the various stages for students pursuing a research degree at the University.

Code of Practice for Research Supervisors The Code of Practice provides a range of general guidance based on experience of operating the University’s Research Programmes Regulations. The booklet outlines the role and responsibilities of a Director of Studies and/or Supervisor, giving advice on good practice and indicating key milestones from initial enrolment through to the viva and all the bits in between.

Code of Practice for Examiners of Research Programmes The aim of this guide is to define the role as an examiner for a research award at the University of South Wales. It incorporates the relevant sections of the University’s current Research Programmes Regulations to guide you through the process.


Video Resources

The Good Supervision Video

The Good Doctorate Video – How To Complete It On Time

The Good Upgrade Video … A Wake-Up Call

The Good Viva Video


Registration Forms for Faculty Research Programmes Committee (FRPC)

Each Faculty Research Programmes Committee (FRPC) will receive and approve all applications for research degrees, approve ethical issues and approve any changes to your registration:
R1 – Notification of Registration to Faculty Research Programmes Committee

PhD by publication candidates only: please list publications on R1a form, to accompany the R1 for registration R1a – The publications this will provide details on the publications that are to be submitted for the degree – such as names of authors, full titles, ISSN numbers, year of publication and candidates contribution made.

The RSups Form RSups is a brief CV of proposed supervisor(s) this must accompany the registration documents to the Faculty Research Programmes Committee.

Change in Registration Details

During the period of your research degree your circumstances or the direction of the project may change. Please complete the R5 form and submit to your Graduate Research Office Administrator for consideration at your FRPC – this form can be used for: change in mode of study, change of supervisor, requesting an interruption of studies, extension of studies and withdrawal from the programme. R5 – Application for changes in registration details

Transfer from MPhil to PhD

R6 – Application for transfer of registration from MPhil to PhD A candidate registered initially for MPhil/PhD should transfer after 9-15 months of full-time study or the part-time equivalent. A transfer report on progress should normally be 3,000-6,000 words in length and an oral assessment (viva voce) will be conducted by an independent specialist.

Transfer report writing guidelines
The report should include a brief review and discussion of work already undertaken and a statement of further work, including details of the original contribution to knowledge which is likely to emerge from you research. Remember that a doctorate degree is, 'awarded to a candidate who having critically investigated and evaluated an approved topic resulting in an independent and original contribution to knowledge and having demonstrated an understanding of appropriate research methods appropriate to the chosen field, has presented and defended a thesis by oral examination, to the satisfaction of the examiners’.

The Faculty Research Programmes Committee will consider the recommendations made by the Independent Specialist and the outcome of the transfer viva.

Appointment of Examiners of Research Degree Programmes

Approval of Examination Arrangements – Examination arrangements must be approved by the University’s Research Programmes Sub Committee. In order for there to be sufficient time to resolve any queries raised by the RPSC and for, following approval, the arrangements for the examination itself to be made, it is necessary for the application for approval of examination arrangements to be submitted to the Secretary of RPSC at least two months before the expected date of completion of the thesis; this should be done about one month prior to completion for Research Diploma candidates.

The Director of Studies is responsible for submitting the application for approval of examiners. Although it is the responsibility of the Director of Studies and supervision team to propose the examiners, it is expected that the candidate will have been consulted and views noted.
R7 – Appointment of Research Degree Examiners

Examiner & Chair Information

Each examiner shall read and examine the thesis and submit, on the appropriate form (R8), an independent preliminary report to the Secretary of the Research Programmes Sub Committee before any oral examination is held (at least one week before). In completing the preliminary report, each examiner shall consider whether the thesis provisionally satisfies the requirements of the award and where possible make an appropriate provisional recommendation subject to the outcome of any oral examination. R8 – Preliminary report and recommendation

Examiners are required to complete a joint report (R9) at the time of the oral examination, the recommendations should be forwarded to the Secretary of the Research Programmes Sub Committee. In the event examiners are unable to reach a joint recommendation, a separate form should be completed by each examiner. R9 – Joint Recommendation of Examiners

External Examiners feedback form

External Examiner Expenses Form

An Independent Chair will be appointed to conduct the examination. A Chair will be independent of the student’s programme of study and have a clear understanding of the University’s regulations and procedures. The Chair will not make any contributions to the academic examination or evaluation of the thesis.
Viva Chair Checklist to be completed on the day and returned to the Research Office following the viva.

Viva Chair Guidelines

Code of Practice for Examiners of Research Programmes

Where to Find Us
The University is split between 3 campuses: Pontypridd (Treforest and Glyntaff) Cardiff and Newport (Caerleon and City Campus)

Forms relating to the final submission of work

In accordance with the Research Degree and Diploma Regulations [14.7] candidates of MPhil, PhD and Professional Doctorate awards are required to provide the University with two hardbound copies of the final submission for deposit in the National Library of Wales and the University Library, plus one electronic copy submitted on CD-ROM for deposit in the University’s Research Repository. The electronic copy of the thesis must be identical to the final version of the printed copies and submitted as one file on a CD-ROM. Please ensure the following documents accompany your hardbound thesis:

If you need help with binding either softbound (for the examination) or hardbound (following the examination) then USW Print and Design can provide professional help and advice Professional Thesis Binding with USW Print and Design.

R13 Application to promote/advertise a Research studentship at USW

Please complete all sections of the form and return with a Faculty budget code, at least 3 weeks in advance of advertising to the Graduate Research Office.