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PGR Student Handbook

Registration, Induction, Attendance, Absence and Annual Leave

The University regulates the amount of time that students have to complete their studies according to the type of qualification being sought and whether you are full or part-time. The University recognises, however, that in exceptional circumstances students may need to interrupt their studies and that in exceptional circumstances they may need to apply for extensions etc. All of this is governed by the University's framework of regulations on the registration of research students

The University expects that you will make good progress in your research and writing, and lays down a series of goals that need to be achieved in order for you to continue each year. The University also requires that all Colleges have mechanisms to monitor the progress of students on an annual basis, and to make decisions about their future registration as a result. 

Only registered students may have access to the facilities of the University, including supervision. Each student is given a Registration Status that reflects the qualification they are registered for, their ‘mode of attendance’ (full-time, part-time, continuation status) and other circumstances. 

All students (with the exception of those who have interrupted only) are expected to register at the beginning of each academic year, regardless of the stage they are at in their research, until they have completed their corrections and their final thesis has been submitted. There is a complete checklist at the Doctoral College Returning Students webpage for returning students. 

Registration is automatically terminated when the maximum period of study has been reached and no thesis has been submitted for examination. In such circumstances students will not be allowed to submit a thesis and will not be eligible for the award of a degree. 

For each research degree and mode of attendance, there is a maximum period of study which are listed under Chapter 5 of the Postgraduate Research Handbook in the Teaching Quality Assurance (TQA) Manual.

All new PGR students are required to attend the induction, even if you are progressing from Masters study at Exeter. Our Induction Sessions are designed to provide you with essential information to help you while studying for a research degree. It is also a great way to meet fellow students.

The College runs induction workshops for students to provide new doctoral students with essential information. Students will be informed of the dates of these events prior to arrival and details can be found on the Doctoral College website.  In addition the Business School and Discipline run Induction sessions in Septemberand January.  Part-time and distance-based students are expected to attend Induction.  Where this is not possible or, if you start mid-year, please contact PGR Support who will send you online induction materials.

Full-time students are expected to work full-time on their research for at least 44 weeks of the year, and part-time students for half (or pro-rata) that amount of time. You are expected to be present at the campus at which you are based unless you have the agreement of your supervisors and have specific permission from the PGR Support Team to undertake research and writing as an off-campus student. 

The PGR Support Team can require students to attend the University if this is felt to be necessary for research training or supervision purposes. Students who are researching as off-campus students will normally be asked to spend some time in the University, typically at the beginning and end of their research and writing, for training, meetings with their whole supervision team, upgrade, and/or the PGR Conference.

International students should note that attendance monitoring is a statutory requirement of the student visa system and unauthorised absence from 10 compulsory academic activities will be reported to the Home Office and will result in the termination of your student visa.  The University has a duty to inform the authorities if a student is away from campus without agreement. Your attendance will be monitored via MyPGR so it is essential that you keep your supervision records up to date.

All students' attention is drawn to the attendance section of the University's Regulations as contained in the Calendar.

Students normally resident near their campus who intend to be absent (for data collection for example) from the University for two or more weeks must inform their supervisor and the PGR Support Team. 

International students in the UK on a Tier 4/Student Visa who intend to be absent from the UK for a period of research must inform the University’s International Student Advisors, their supervisor and the PGR Support team.

It is important that you take time away from your studies in order to find a good work/life balance. Your research degree allows for periods of annual leave during your registration period. Taking annual leave does not alter the end date of your programme. If you are planning on taking more than two weeks away from your studies you must inform the University. 

You are expected to actively manage your studies, to take no more than four weeks of leave at a time, and to ensure that any periods of leave do not impact on your studies, or upon maintaining regular contact with your supervisory team. You must therefore discuss, in advance, any absence for periods of leave with your supervisory team. You must also ensure that you comply with any requirements of your funding body with regard to taking leave.  

You are allowed to take up to 8 weeks of annual leave a year, pro-rata for students studying on a part-time basis, inclusive of public holidays and University closure days. 

Please note that if you are intending to be absent from your studies, for any period of up to 4 weeks, for events such as getting married/honeymoon or to visit relatives we expect this to be covered by annual leave, rather than an interruption of studies. 

International students who are Tier 4/Student Visa holders should be aware that if a period of leave is followed or preceded by a period of interruption the International Student Support Office may be required to report your absence from your studies to the Home Office.