The upgrade procedure should be started no later than 18 months after initial registration, 36 months for part-time students.

In brief, this should include a brief summary of the background literature relevant to the student’s project together with a succinct description of the issues they are addressing in the thesis, a rationale for the empirical studies they are proposing to undertake or have already undertaken, and a clear indication of how these will constitute 'a distinct contribution to knowledge of the subject'. It must also include a short report on at least one empirical study the student has conducted so far. It should end with about 1,000 words describing the future research plans, including a detailed thesis plan (specifying dates when you expect to complete different phases of the data-collection and writing). In many cases the student will have written, and the supervisors seen, draft literature reviews and/or write ups of empirical work longer than can be accommodated within the 6,000 words of the upgrade report; the upgrade report may therefore consist partly of edited highlights - extracts of such longer documents with suitable linking material.