The University of Southampton
Mathematical SciencesPostgraduate study

Supervision & Progress

In order to help you progress towards the achievement of a PhD as smoothly as possible, we take the monitoring of postgraduate research students very seriously.

We monitor your progression regularly through a combination of reports and meetings between you and your supervisory team and your research group's portgraduate coordinator.  Recommendations are made to the Director of the Graduate School, who makes the final decision on progression. 

As part of progression requirements, in addition to making sufficient progress in their research, students will be expected to satisfactorily complete sufficient numbers of generic and subject-related courses during their study. Details of this will be communicated during the induction process.

The following gives a guide to the procedures and guidelines by which we monitor progression of postgraduate research students. It assumes a three-year course of study. This may be altered, depending on the progression of the individual student. 

Year 1

Students are initially registered on an MPhil degree. Progress is monitored formally several times by the Graduate School in the first year of study, with students submitting a written report after nine months on their research work. This is discussed in  meeting between the student, the supervisory team and the research group postgraduate coordinator. The latter makes a recommendation to the Director of the Graduate School on whether the student should proceed to the second year.

Year 2

In addition to their research work, the student continues to undertake generic and subject-related training. During the second year, a student should submit a transfer thesis. This is a more substantial document, providing a literature review of the research field, and outline of the research results achieved by the student so far, together with specific research objectives to be attempted during the remaining period of study. Based on this report, a related viva and satisfactory completion of taught/skills courses, the registration of the student may be transferred from MPhil to PhD.

Year 3

Students successfully transferred onto PhD will focus on their research work with the aim of submitting their final thesis towards the end of their third year of study. The thesis is read and assessed by a panel of of examiners, one external to the university, one internal. The student will present and defend their work before this panel in a viva examination. The examining panel have a range of options open to them, ranging from the award of a PhD, with or without corrections, to rejection.

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