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Research degrees and higher doctorates: Definition of Terms 2023-24

The following definition of terms apply to references made within the Regulations for Research Degrees and Higher Doctorates.

TERMDEFINITION
ThesisA dissertation (or alternative format as defined in the Code of Practice for Research Degree Candidature and Supervision) and written by the research student. 
Viva voceAn oral examination with a team of examiners (or assessors) constituted as defined in the Code of Practice for Research Degree Candidature and Supervision
Doctoral CollegeThe Doctoral College is the body mandated by Senate to lead and direct the development of the Doctoral Researcher environment at the University of Southampton.  It specifies requirements for doctoral training and development within the University. Terms of reference and membership of Doctoral College Committee are published in the Quality Handbook
Faculty Education and Student Experience SubcommitteeThe Faculty Education and Student Experience Subcommittee has responsibility for ensuring the equivalence of the learning opportunities, research environments and the student experience across the Faculty. The Faculty Education and Student Experience Subcommittee is responsible for making doctoral degree award recommendations to Senate.  Terms of reference and membership are published in the Quality Handbook.
Faculty Graduate School SubcommitteeThe Faculty Graduate School Subcommittee has responsibility for overseeing the quality, monitoring and enhancement of research student matters from pre-application enquiries and application through candidature and to award.  The Faculty Graduate School Subcommittee has responsibility for the quality of research student supervision within the Faculty.  Terms of reference and membership are published in the Quality Handbook.
Faculty Graduate School directorate

The individuals with responsibility for overseeing the support and training of research students. The Faculty Graduate School directorate has oversight of research student training within the Faculty, ensuring that this is carried out to acceptable levels at a local level. 

The directorate includes the Faculty Director of the Graduate School (and Deputy, where appointed), and Doctoral Programme Directors (including those leading Centres for Doctoral Training and Doctoral Training Programmes).

Faculty Director of the Graduate SchoolThe individual with responsibility for leading the Faculty Graduate School directorate.  The Faculty Director of the Graduate School (FDoGS) is the Chair of the Faculty Graduate School Subcommittee and a member of the Faculty Education and Student Experience Subcommittee.  The Faculty Director of the Graduate School reports to the Associate Dean (Education) of their Faculty and to the Director of the Doctoral College. 
Doctoral College (Faculty) TeamThe Doctoral College (Faculty) Team has responsibility for the administration of all research student matters from pre-application enquiries and application through to candidature and award. 
Academic MentorAn individual appointed to provide informal guidance during the preparation of the thesis or published works of a member of staff in candidature for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.  The Academic Mentor will normally be an academic member of staff employed by the University of Southampton. 
Independent AssessorAn academic member of staff employed by the University of Southampton who is appointed as an assessor for a Progression Review. In order to allow an objective assessment of the work of the research student, the independent assessor should have had no involvement with the project. In addition, the independent assessor should not have provided any significant pastoral support to the research student prior to the review process - as such those undertaking the role of independent mentor should not act as the independent assessor for a research student.
Independent MentorA person outside of the supervisory team who provides support to a research student. This may include pastoral support, guidance on training and development or careers advice. The Independent Mentor will normally be an academic member of staff employed by the University of Southampton, and may be appointed by the Faculty Graduate School directorate or may be sought out by the student or supervisor. 
Independent ChairAn academic member of staff employed by the University of Southampton who has had no involvement with either the research student or the project and who can be appointed for any progression review or for the final viva voce (oral) examination. An Independent Chair has no role in the academic assessment of the research student, but ensures that the examination is conducted according to the University’s regulations, that the research student is treated fairly and appropriately, and that the outcome of the examination is fair and appropriate given the research student’s performance. 

 

Revision History

  • No revisions for 2005/06 
  • Minor revisions for 2006/07 
  • No revisions for 2007/08 
  • No revisions for 2008/09 
  • No revisions for 2009/10 
  • Revisions approved by UPC in July 2011 
  • Reviewed in July 2012; no changes made 
  • Amendments approved by UPC in May 2013 and by Senate in June 2013 
  • Reviewed and revised in 2013/14 and amendments approved by AQSC 19 February 2014 and Senate 18 June 2014 
  • Reviewed in July 2015; no changes made 
  • Amendments approved by AQSC in May 2016 and by Senate in July 2016 
  • Amendments approved by AQSC in May 2017 and by Senate in June 2017 
  • Amendments approved by AQSC in May 2018 and by Senate in June 2018 
  • Amendments approved by AQSC in May 2019 and by Senate in June 2019 
  • Amendments approved by AQSC in July 2020 and by Senate in July 2020 
  • Amendments approved by AQSC in May 2021 and by Senate in June 2021 
  • Amendments approved by AQSC in May 2022 and by Senate in June 2022 
  • Amendments approved by AQSC in May 2023 and by Senate in June 2023
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