COVID-19 advice to PGR students and supervisors

Please use the links below to download documents providing advice to postgraduate research students and supervisors regarding viva examinations:

1) Advice on viva examinations

2) Advice to PGR students and supervisors on RDC2 viva examinations

RDC1 Stage: Registration of the Research Programme of Study

Registration of the Research Programme of Study Form and Guidelines

The RDC1 milestone ensures that all research students have the arrangements for their proposed research programme of study registered promptly within one month of their start date.  Particularly, the RDC1 stage confirms that there is an appropriate research project, supervisory team, consideration of ethical issues, a risk assessment and a personal development plan in place.

All research students, whether full-time or part-time, must submit their RDC1 within one month of their start date. Late submissions should be accompanied by a letter explaining the reason for the delay in submission.  

The student and supervisory team are expected to complete the following documents and submit them to the School Programme Coordinator for consideration and approval by the School Research Progression and Awards Board (RPAB).  

RDC2 Stage: Confirmation/Progression to Doctoral Level

Application for Progression to Doctoral Level 

The Progression/Confirmation process should normally be completed within 9 months for full time students and 14 months for part time students.  All research students whether registered initially for MPhil with possibility of transfer to PhD or PhD direct, must undertake a Progress/Confirmation Review to show that they have made satisfactory progress and to clearly demonstrate their ability to pursue study to doctoral level. 

Students should submit: the completed RDC2 form along with the progression report and PDP/R. As with the registration process, RDC2 forms should be completed in conjunction with your supervisors and submitted to the School Research Administrator.

The written progression report of 6,000-8,000 words should include: a 500 word abstract; table of contents; introduction; literature review, research aim and research objectives; proposed methodology and methods including ethical considerations; data collection and preliminary results (if applicable); and conclusions and outline of future work (provide timetable in Appendix).

Candidates are also required to give an oral presentation and to undergo a viva exam conducted by two moderators (academic staff at GCU acting as internal assessors, 1 of whom will be part of the supervisory team).

RDC3s: Application for Suspension of Studies

Suspension of study time: if the student and Director of Studies are in agreement, suspending registration involves submitting the RDC3s form to the RDC via the School Head of Research. The period of suspension, if approved, will be deducted from the time allowed for completion of the thesis. Suspensions are for a fixed period of time (normally no longer than 1 year). Fees are not applied during periods of suspension, but you may not, if you are a funded student, be paid any studentship during this period.

RDC3e: Application for Extension of Studies

Extension of study time: this is required where students are unable to submit their thesis before the maximum time limit (4 years full time and 6 years part time for PhD/Prof D; 3 years full time and 4 years part time for MPhil). Application for extension is made through your Director of Studies to the School Research Committee for the RDC.

RDC3c: Application for COVID-19 Extension of Registration

This form should be used by research students who wish to apply for an extension of time and, if a funded student, for an extension of funding on the grounds that their studies have been significantly disrupted by COVID-19. All research students, at any stage in their programme, who are continuing as registered students in study during the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to apply for an extension of time. The extension of time is the time required to adjust to the disruptions and recover the research plan.  

The student-supervisory team should work together to jointly submit this form. We recommend the team read carefully the following documents before drafting their application and submitting it online.

  1. RDC3c - Application for COVID-19 Extension of Registration (online form) - Jisc Online Surveys will be taken offline for maintenance from 17:00, Friday 29 October – 09:00, Monday 1 November, you will not be able to access the form during this time.
  2. COVID-19 Related Extension Policy and Process for Research Students
  3. Guidelines for completing the RDC3c form:  Application for COVID-19 Related Extension of Registration
  4. Case study scenarios for COVID-19 related extensions
RDC4: Application for Change in Supervisory Team

The RDC4 form is completed for approval of any formal changes in the supervisor team eg. if a member of academic staff leaves the university and a new supervisor is added to the team.

RDC5: Application for Viva Examination

Application for Examination Form

This form is completed by the Director of Studies, and includes details of proposed examiners and chair for the viva exam, for approval by RDC. Students have no involvement in in the appointment of examiners or exam arrangements, other than setting a suitable date.

RDC6: Application to Change Registration Status (e.g. from FT to

Change in Registration Form

If you need to change your status during the academic year (eg. if you have taken up employment and need to go part-time), and your Director of Studies agrees then both of you complete the form and return it to the Graduate School office for approval by RDC.  

RDC7: Withdrawal from Programme of Study

Withdrawal from Programme Form

The RDC7 form is completed by the Director of Studies; the School Associate Dean of Research (ADR) and Postgraduate Research Tutor (PGRT). Guidance notes are provided on page 3 of the form below:

RDC8: Submission of Doctoral Thesis

Thesis Submission Form

When a student has agreed with their Director of Studies that their thesis is ready to submit for examination, the candidate declaration form (RDC8) is completed by the student, Director of Studies and School Postgraduate Research Tutor and should returned to the Graduate School office for approval by HDC.

  • Download the 'Guidelines for thesis preparation' document from this page
RDC14: Unsatisfactory Academic Performance and Progress of Research Students