Faculty of Sciences

Information for Postgraduate Taught Students

This section contains information for registered Postgraduate Students on Taught Programmes.

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Programme Convenor

You should make contact with your Programme Convenor as soon as possible after your arrival. The Programme Convenor is the person responsible to the Faculty, for your academic progress and for most administrative matters relating to your registration. The Programme Convenor is also the person you should first consult about any problems relating to work or general circumstances. If you need to develop further skills for your programme of study, the Convenor will advise you about how to acquire them, and will make the arrangements for additional tuition if necessary. Convenors have the authority to require you to attend additional classes, lectures and tutorials if this is necessary for your academic progress.

In general it is your responsibility to tell the Programme Convenor if you have any administrative or intellectual problems. The Convenor is required by the Faculty to give prompt attention and replies to your requests, to comment on your written work within a reasonable time, and to put you in touch with other people working in your area if that is helpful.

If you are dissatisfied with your progress, or if you think you are not receiving the attention, help and support you have a right to, you should approach your programme convenor in the first instance. If you feel that you can not discuss your difficulties with the convenor then you should talk to the School Director of Learning and Teaching. You may also discuss any difficulties directly with the Head of School or the Chair appropriate Faculty Committee.


Much communication in the University is by email and it is vital that you check your email regularly. You will be allocated an email account as part of the enrolment process. Information about the email facility is available from Information Services - IT Services and includes guidance on how to forward emails automatically and how to set up an automated reply when you are unable to read email.

Mail will be sent to you either at your local address or to your School so make sure you know where your pigeonhole is. You must ensure that the University has your current local address and your home address. You can check this and make amendments via your personal pages on the Student Data System.

Student Guide

Research Involving Human Participation

Some research projects will need to have ethical approval. It is very important that approval is granted before work involving any of the following begins:

  • clinical populations, vulnerable children or adults (e.g. adults or children with mental health problems or learning disabilities, prisoners, or young offenders)
  • the collection of particularly sensitive personal, biographical, medical, psychological information
  • or procedures that may upset or offend participants (e.g. presentation of unpleasant stimuli; arousal of emotion)
  • use of the internet to conduct the study

This list is not exclusive, and it should be remembered that the purpose of a Research Ethics Group in reviewing the proposed study is to protect the dignity, rights, safety and well-being of all actual or potential research participants.

Students intending to work alone with children or vulnerable adults will require a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check and an application to the Ethics Group is essential.

Students should discuss with their supervisors at an early stage whether they will need to make an application to the Ethics Group. The Guidelines for Conducting Research with Human Participants will help you to decide whether you need to have your project approved. The Checklist for Research Projects Involving Human Participation is required for all projects involving human participation, even if ethical approval is not to be sought. The Checklist should be submitted to the Ethics Group representative in your School.

Ethical Review - follow link to Code of Ethical Practice for Research

Presentation and examination of your dissertation

You should aim to complete and submit your dissertation by the end of your registration.

Only in exceptional circumstances will an extension in the time allowed for submission be considered. In such cases your supervisor will advise you on the procedure, which includes completion of an application form available from your School.

Your dissertation must be submitted to your School Administration Manager in person or through the post (registered or recorded delivery). You should make sure that you get an official receipt. It is your responsibility to see that your dissertation is received by your School. A dissertation given to a Programme Convenor or Supervisor has not been submitted for examination.

Your thesis must be submitted to your departmental office either in person or through the post (registered or recorded delivery). You should make sure that you are given an official receipt. A thesis handed to a supervisor has not been submitted for examination. It is your responsibility to make sure your thesis is received by your School's office.

The Academic Regulations provide details of the length of thesis, binding and number of copies required.

Your thesis will normally be examined by one internal examiner (who cannot be your supervisor) and one external examiner, usually a senior academic from another university, institute or occasionally from industry. In the case of PhD students, an integral part of the examination is a viva voce examination, to be held on a day convenient to the two examiners and yourself. In the case of MSc and MPhil students, a viva voce is held at the discretion of the examiners. Your supervisor may, at the discretion of the examiners, be invited to attend the viva as a silent observer.

If you are successful in the viva voce, some minor changes and corrections may be recommended by the examiners which do not require formal resubmission, only approval by the internal examiner. Alternatively the examiners may recommend more substantial changes which would require perhaps more research, analysis or better presentation and formal re-examination. The examiners may also recommend that you should be allowed to resubmit for a lesser degree, either with or without revision or that no degree be awarded. You should consult the Academic Regulations for details of the possible recommendations.

Absence from the University

If your research involves you in the need to spend an extended period of time (>3 weeks) away from the University, during your period of registration, you must get permission in advance. For such fieldwork or research, your supervisor must submit a recommendation to the Director of Graduate Studies via the School Administrator for a period of fieldwork of one term or more, normally at least one term in advance, indicating:

  • the proposed duration of the fieldwork or research
  • arrangements for supervision
  • if it is envisaged that the research or fieldwork will involve an extension of a student's normal period of registration

Intermission from Registration

If, for good cause, you decide you must interrupt your studies for a period of time while you are registered you should make a request through your School Office. You should give your reasons for needing to intermit and state the period required.

It is not possible to intermit once your period as a registered student has ended.

Withdrawal from the University

If, for some reason, you withdraw from your studies at the University please notify your School Office in writing immediately and inform your supervisor. It is also necessary for you to write to the University Accommodation Office to advise them of the date you intend to return your keys if you are living in University accommodation.

Plagiarism, Duplication of Material and Falsification of Data

Plagiarism is the act of presenting the ideas or discoveries of another as one's own. To copy sentences, phrases or even striking expressions without acknowledgment in a manner which may deceive the reader as to the source is plagiarism; to paraphrase in a manner which deceived the reader is likewise plagiarism.

A student must not reproduce in any work submitted for assessment (for example, examination answers, essays, project reports, dissertations or theses) any material derived from work authored by another without clearly acknowledging the source.

Duplication of material means the inclusion in coursework (including extended essays, projects and dissertations) of a significant amount of material which is identical or substantially similar to material which has already been submitted for the same or any other course at this University or elsewhere, without acknowledging that such work has been so submitted.

The University does not accept plagiarism or duplication of material and imposes severe penalties if it occurs in coursework, dissertations, projects, examinations and theses. If you need guidance on the correct use and presentation of quotations and source material, you should consult your tutor or supervisor.

Your research should result in the production of high quality data. Falsification of data in a thesis, report or publication will lead to severe penalties.

Further University Guidance on plagiarism, academic integrity and good practice is available at: http://www.kent.ac.uk/uelt/ai/ [5]

Updated: J.L.Walpole@kent.ac.uk

Updated: July 21, 2016


Faculty of Sciences, Marlowe Building, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NR

Enquiries: T +44 (0)1227 827833, E stms-enquiry@kent.ac.uk

Last Updated: 21/07/2016