Research away from the University

Pursue part or all of your postgraduate research at a specified place away from the University.

The University's General Regulations governing Higher Degrees (regulations 15-18) allow you to pursue all or part of your programme of research for an MPhil or PhD award at a specified place away from the University.

Within the scope of these regulations the University has developed a number of arrangements to appropriately administer and monitor this activity. The choice of arrangement depends on the proposed programme of research and whether you are classified as a UK or non-UK student.

International and European Union students

For International students not resident in the UK the University operates a Remote Location scheme, through which you can study for a University of Sheffield MPhil or PhD by undertaking research at an overseas institution.

Candidates are required to attend the University in order to meet a number of statutory requirements. These will include all viva voce examinations. However, they spend the majority of their programme of research at the remote location site, and should not spend more than eight consecutive weeks in the UK at any time during the course of their degree.

Academic approval for a candidate to study under the Remote Location scheme must be gained from the appropriate faculty during the application process.

Remote Location scheme

1. Qualifications

To qualify for consideration for admission to the Remote Location scheme candidates must satisfy all of the following criteria:

  • Be an International student 
  • Meet the normal entry requirements for MPhil or PhD students at the University of Sheffield 
  • Accept adequate supervisory arrangements for the research scheme acceptable to the relevant faculty of the University 
  • Prove access to the necessary library, computing and other research facilities required to successfully undertake the programme of research within the required period
2. Application process

Students should submit an application using the usual online application form, entering into the notes field of the Research Location section that they wish to study as a Remote Location student. The application will be forwarded to the appropriate academic department.

If the department is able to provide a supervisor for the proposed research, and a candidate's entry qualifications are acceptable, the candidate will be invited to discuss and agree the proposed programme of research.

The applicant and academic department will develop a proposal outlining the arrangements for supervision and access to facilities, which will then be submitted for University approval.

The University will not issue a formal offer of a place until the necessary approval has been gained. Formal offers will be made via the Admissions Service and not by any other authority within the University.

3. Restrictions

Remote Location students must not spend more than eight consecutive weeks in the UK at any time during the course of their degree. Students that exceed the eight-week limit will have their registration transferred to a standard PhD student, and may be subject to additional fees.

Approval to study as a remote location candidate can only be sought during the application process and will not be given to candidates who are already registered as full-time or part-time students of the University.

4. Registration and Examination

A Remote Location student's progress will be formally reviewed after approximately 12 months (24 months for part-time candidates), to ensure that both student progress and the arrangements relating to supervision have been satisfactory. As part of the review process, the student may be required to undergo an oral assessment.

As part of the final examination of the PhD degree, students will be required to undertake a viva voce (oral) examination.

The costs associated with attendance at these assessments or examinations, which will normally be held in Sheffield, will be borne by the student.

The period of registration will be determined by the University during the application process. The normal period of registration will be three years if studying towards a PhD qualification (six years part-time), or two years if studying towards the qualification of MPhil (four years part-time).

This normal period of study will be confirmed in the University's offer letter. This period is the duration for which students are liable to pay full tuition fees. Failure to meet these costs will result in the University withholding the award of the degree.

5. Student Progress

Whilst undertaking the programme of research at the remote location, the student will be subject to the University's Charter, Statutes, Ordinances, and Regulations.

The student's academic progress and the effectiveness of the supervisory arrangements will be monitored and evaluated at regular intervals. The supervisor will be required to submit formal progress reports to the departmental research committee (or equivalent body) at least every six months, and also an annual report on the student's progress and the supervisory arrangements to the relevant faculty. These reports will be prepared by the supervisor.

The frequency with which students will meet with their primary supervisor will be agreed in the application process. This must include at least one face-to-face meeting per year, with additional student-supervisor contact maintained at least on a monthly basis.

During the programme of research the University reserves the right to call a student to Sheffield, or alternatively, in some cases it may be necessary for the supervisor to visit the student at a location away from Sheffield. Should either prove necessary, the cost of the visit will be borne by the student.

Students should maintain a file of all correspondence, including copies of all emails, between the student and supervisor. This file must be made available to the University upon request.

6. Costs

Students registering on a Remote Location programme in 2022-23 will be charged £20,030 (full-time) or £10,015 (part-time) for each year of research.

Academic departments can increase the standard annual tuition fee by £500, £1000 or £1500 if they feel it is necessary given the nature of the student's research. In addition to the tuition fee, students will be expected to pay the costs associated with their academic progress (for example travelling to Sheffield for supervisory meetings) outlined above. Before registering, students will be required to demonstrate that they can meet the financial demands of Remote Location study.

7. Further information

Applications should be submitted using the University's online application form.

Other research away from the University

UK students who wish to pursue part of their programme of research away from the University, and International students who do not qualify for the Remote Location scheme, must gain faculty approval. Faculty approval is given on a case-by-case basis, and is based on a written submission by the appropriate academic department. Students should submit an application using the usual online application form, indicating that they wish to study away from the University.

The progress of candidates undertaking research away from the University will be the same as candidates based in Sheffield, and the requirement for full-time students to fulfil the regulations relating to the Doctoral Development Programme will remain.