Code of Practice for Quality Assurance
for Research Programmes of Study

Approved by BRE on 9 June 2005 and including all revisions up to July 2016

Annex C: Approval of Research Candidates and Projects

The University will ensure that only appropriately qualified and prepared students will be admitted to research programmes. The admissions process provides assurance that balanced and independent admissions decisions are made and that admissions procedures are clear, consistently applied and demonstrate equality of opportunity.

1. Prospective students are required to indicate a proposed area of research (Sciences) or submit a 500-word research proposal (Social Sciences/Humanities), all applications received in the Admissions Office will be forwarded to the appropriate School Director of Graduate Studies.

2. The School Director of Graduate Studies is responsible for reviewing all applications in conjunction with one or more members of the School (to include the potential supervisors) with experience in a suitable subject area. All candidates must be interviewed in person, via SKYPE or by telephone before an offer of admission is made.

3. The School must be satisfied that the candidate meets the criteria for admission:

  • The candidate holds a good UK second class honours degree or better (or equivalent qualification/experience).
  • The candidate meets the University’s criteria for competence in English.
  • The candidate’s references are of appropriate quality.
  • The research proposal/proposed area of research is of an appropriate standard and falls within the scope of the programme for which the candidate has applied.

4. The School Director of Graduate Studies must also be satisfied there exists sufficient facilities to provide all students on research programmes with a suitable research environment.

5. Proposals to waive University entry requirements must be made in writing and be reviewed by the appropriate School Director of Graduate Studies prior to submission to the appropriate Associate Dean (Graduate Studies) for consideration by the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee; all applications to waive entry requirements must be considered by the Chair of the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee.

6. The School Director of Graduate Studies must allocate supervisors with the appropriate research experience while at the same time ensuring that no one supervisor is overloaded with supervisory responsibilities.

7. Recommendations on approval for all applications must be made by the appropriate School Director of Graduate Studies.

8. Formal offers of admission are made by the Information, Recruitment and Admissions Office. Directors of Graduate Studies should make clear recommendations on matters such as the need for preliminary or additional courses so that these can be specified in the offer and brought to the attention of the student and his/her sponsors where relevant.

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Last Updated: 14/07/2016