School Research Ethics Guidance

Please use the links below to check the guidance available for each School on research ethics, for completing RDC1 and RDC2 forms:

Glasgow School for Business and Society

School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment

School of Health and Life Sciences


RDC1 Stage: Registration with the Research Degrees Committee (RDC)

Registration of the Research Programme of Study Form and Guidelines

PhD students starting on or after 1 October 2013 are required to register their research proposal within one month of matriculation, whether studying full time or part time. Professional Doctoral candidates should also submit their proposal within one month following confirmation of progression to stage 2 of their programme. Registering your proposal involves the preparation of a one page summary of your area of study indicating: the topic area, outline of the research design and methods; the intended contribution to knowledge and a copy of your Personal Development Plan (PDP/R). A checklist now forms part of the RDC 1 form. Forms should be completed in conjunction with your supervisors and submitted to the School Research Administrator.

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 (5 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.

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.

RDC14: Unsatisfactory Academic Performance and Progress of Research Students