FAQs

What happens when my funding for fees and stipend finish?

If you are UKRI funded your tuition fees will be covered for the whole programme i.e. Until your completion date; you will not be charged these personally.

For all other students when your funding ends you will be personally charged tuition fees until you submit your thesis for first examination. It would therefore be advisable to plan to submit your thesis at the end of your funded period. If you are unable to submit at that point, but have completed your research and are just writing up your thesis, you could apply to transfer to continuation status. This gives you a small fee free period in which to finish and submit your thesis, as continuation fees are currently £0 for the first 4 months then £200 for each subsequent 4 month period.

What fees am I charged when I'm writing up (aka continuation status)?

If you apply for and are granted a transfer to continuation status, the fee is much lower (as students on continuation status are expected to make minimal use of University resources). Currently this is £0 for the first 4 months then £200 for each subsequent 4 month period (with refunds given on a monthly pro rata basis if you submit in this time). You can only have a max of 12 months on continuation status. So, if you transferred to continuation status at the end of your 2nd year, your maximum period of study would be reduced from 4 years to 3 years (assuming you're a full time PhD student).

 

What is meant by completion date or maximum period of study?

This is ultimately the end point. If you do not submit your thesis for examination by this date you will be deregistered. This means you are no longer a Postgraduate Research student at Exeter.

Help! I am not going to be able to submit my thesis by my completion date!

In exceptional circumstances you may find you cannot meet your completion date. You should always strive to avoid this at all costs. However, if you do need more time, then we will consider requests for an extension (there is a form for this). You should not assume that this will be granted. Extensions are exceptional, so you must make sure that you realistically plan for the work you have remaining and request enough time. You also need to discuss this with your supervisor and ensure that the extension includes sufficient time for your supervisor (bearing in mind any competing deadlines or heavy workloads your supervisor may have) to make comments on your final draft and then for you to do any further amendments before final submission. We do not want to find ourselves in a position where an extension is granted but you again find that you can't make your new completion date. 

My target submission date is wrong.

Target submission dates are by default set at the end of your 3rd year (full time; part time 6th year) for MPhil and PhD students and the end of your 2nd year (full time; part time 3rd year) for MbyRes students. You will not be penalised if you do not hit your target submission date. Currently we cannot amend or hide these dates on MyPGR. In all cases you should discuss your own personal target submission date and record this on your learning agreement. Please remember that if you are funded (and payments are made to you via the University), your funding will, by default stop when you submit your thesis for examination. So, if your funding runs for 3.5 or 4 years, you may want to aim to submit your thesis at the end of your funding period. But remember you should build in sufficient time for drafting and revising your thesis following feedback from your supervisory team - it is vital that you and your supervisors are realistic about this timescale, and as you approach this final period this may have to be revised if it coincides with peak workloads for your supervisor, e.g. Start of the academic year.

My completion date is wrong.

Your completion date should reflect the maximum period of study as per the TQA manual, taking into account any periods of interruption (which effectively ‘stop the clock’) and any extensions. If you do not think this is the case, please email cles-pgr-support@exeter.ac.uk If you have not had any interruptions and no extensions and are on the MPhil programme please note that the completion date for an MPhil will be the end of your 3rd year, but your completion date will be extended to the end of your 4th year when you have successfully upgrade from MPhil to PhD.

I am a part time student, but why don't I have twice as long to complete my programme? 

This is a historic regulation and we are seeking to change this, however it is likely to take some years. Our current advice is that if you know you are going to need longer than your current completion date to submit your thesis you need to apply for an extension. We would not anticipate any problems in granting extensions of up to 12 months for part time students e.g. To take a part time PhD students period of study from7 years to 8 years, or an MPhil from 3 years to 4 years or an MbyRes from 3 years to 4 years. 

 

What is the minimum period of study?

There is no minimum period of study! If, following discussion and agreement with your supervisor, you want to submit after e.g. 2.5 years, you can do this. But you must discuss this in detail with your supervisor. The usual assumption is that a PhD student will complete in 3 to 4 years and it may be difficult for your supervisor to provide feedback more quickly than originally intended.

I have other commitments in my personal life and I can't study full time any more, what can I do?

You can consider a change to part time status. First of all check the rules of your funding body to see if they will allow this. Research Councils may have rules on when you can change to part time, or restrictions on the number of changes between full and part time. Part time at the University is regarded as 50%. If you want to study at a greater % this might be possible but you must discuss this with the PGR support team. We would not consider part time of less than 50%. Due to the current anomaly in our regulations (4 years fulltime but only 7 years part time) you may find that your new completion date is not as expected, e.g. If you transfer to part time at the end of your 3rd year of fulltime study your completion date won't actually change. Please see the FAQ on part time student’s period of study above.

My friend got at extension of her funding, how can I get an extension?

Every studentship scheme is different so beware assuming that what your friend is getting is something you will get too! For the vast majority of students your funding period will not change from that quoted in your studentship offer letter. Occasionally supervisors may be able to identify additional funds to extend your studentship but you should never assume this might happen or hold out a hope that this might happen. You must plan to submit your thesis, including sufficient times for revisions to your draft, at the end of your funded period.

Why have I been charged full-time fees when I am writing up?

First check your status on MyPGR. If you are still shown as full time that is why you've been charged full time fees. Changing to continuation status (aka writing up) is not automatic. You have to apply to change through MyPGR and this must be approved by both your supervisor and the College DoPGR. The fees office will then amend your fees.

My funding has run out so I need to change to continuation status

This is not a valid reason to change to continuation status. Continuation status will only be granted if the College is satisfied that you have completed your research and will not undertake any significant additional research.

I need more time to do my research, so I am going to take an interruption to catch up

This is not a valid reason to take an interruption. An interruption is a period of time when you stop doing your research, usually taken for personal, medical or financial reasons. You will not receive supervision during this period. If you cannot finish your research in the maximum period of study you will need to apply for an extension.