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​Research Degree Formal Reviews


A set of formal reviews must be conducted during the period of registration.


For each review the student must submit a written report detailing their research work since the previous review. The student will then meet with the supervisory team, chaired by the independent panel member.


The outcome of every review must be reported to the relevant School Research Degrees Management Group on the appropriate ‘RD’ form. It is the responsibility of the Director of Studies to ensure these forms are completed.


RD4 Determination of Thesis Topic and Programme of Study


After joining the university, the first progression point is the Determination of Topic Title and Programme of Study. This will take place at any suitable point in the first six months of study (nine months if part-time).


The student submits a research proposal of no more than five pages (excluding references) that draws on reading and work completed to date.


The supervisory team and independent panel member will meet with the student to agree the proposal, a programme of study and a provisional title for the study.


 RD4 Determination of Thesis Topic Form


RD5 Determination of Target Degree


All students are initially registered for a generic research degree (with the exception of the PhD by Published Works). This major progression point will determine the degree for which the student will be registered.


The timing of this stage depends on the target degree being sought and whether the student is full- time or part-time. The following time periods are provided as a guide:

​Target Degree

​Full time (months)

​Part time (months)
​MRes ​3 6​
​MPhil ​9 15​
​PhD ​12 18​
​DBA ​24 ​24
​GTA ​18 ​18

The student needs to demonstrate that: their research is potentially worthy of the target degree; the research completed to date is satisfactory; and that the proposed plan of work is likely to lead to successful completion within the registration period. 


The supervisory team and independent panel member will meet with the student and will make a recommendation for the target degree.


RD5 Determination of Target Degree Form


RD6 Progress Review (6 monthly)


The student is also expected to submit a progress review document every six months from registration until the thesis has been submitted for examination. Students should show if they are making satisfactory progress towards their research degree.


The supervisory team and the independent panel member will meet with the student to discuss the document and to record the outcome.


RD6 Progress Review Form




Full details of reviews and supervision responsibilities can be found in the common framework. This framework is utilized across the University for admission, supervision and examination for the following research degrees:

  • Master by Research (MRes);
  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil);
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD);
  • Doctor of Philosophy by Published Works (PhD);
  • Professional Doctorates.

Framework Document

 Merchsiton campus exterior in the sun.  Spring 2015

For further information, contact Alan Cannon at a.cannon@napier.ac.uk or ext. 2437