Commitment, leave and complaints

There is a wealth of information included in the Code of Practice which can be found on the Research and Innovation (RIS) website. However, we've covered information about some of the topics which come up in conversation most frequently. 

PhD studentYour Commitment

Every student is asked to make the same commitment when they become a PGR student to help you get the best from your time here and to make sure everything runs smoothly. This includes the following requirements:

  • You must ensure your contact details and address are up to date.
  • You must maintain appropriate standards of behaviour when dealing with others, including fellow students, members of staff and the general public.
  • You must make sure you have read and understood the University's Code of Practice and the University's regulations.
  • You must work with your supervisor to identify and select strategies that will help with the needs and aims of your research and undertake a Training Needs Analysis (TNA).
  • You should work with your supervisor to establish an effective supervisory relationship, tackling the research with a positive commitment and taking full advantage of the resources and facilities offered by the University.

Working Hours and Holiday (annual leave)

Your annual leave is different to a Leave of Absence (see below). As a PGR student you can expect to be able to take a reasonable amount of time off but this must be agreed with your supervisor beforehand and must not exceed eight weeks over the period of the year.

Your working hours will also be agreed with your supervisor. To find out more please use the following link: Working Hours and Holiday


In addition to your annual leave entitlement, you may also nbeed to request a Leave of Absence (LOA). Students sometimes find themselves facing difficulties that affect their ability to undertake their research, for example if they are ill or undergoing serious personal problems. A leave of absence enables a student to take an authorised break from their studies in order to overcome the difficulty, without losing valuable time from their registration period, which will be suspended for the duration. 

A LOA can be applied for on the following grounds:

  • Medical
  • Personal
  • Academic
  • Financial (requests for LOA on financial grounds are not normally approved but may be considered if your financial situation changes due to unforeseen or exceptional circumstances)

Students must apply for permission from their department and faculty to take a leave of absence, using the Leave of Absence (PGR) form available.

Student Pregnancy and Maternity Leave

Students who are pregnant, or whose partners are pregnant, can apply for a period of leave of absence. As a result of the Equality Act 2010, the University has developed a Student Pregnancy and Maternity Policy, which includes advice pages aimed at both students and staff.

Complaints and Appeals

Where difficulties arise it is important to seek to address these as early as possible. Many difficulties can be resolved at an early stage by talking informally with the individual(s) most concerned with the issue at a local level. Briefly, students should initially raise any complaints with their supervisor. If they cannot be resolved, they must report the complaint to the Postgraduate Tutor or the Head of Department initially, and, if appropriate, the Faculty.

Further information and advice can be found here: Complaints and Appeals