Changes to candidature or personal details
Guidance for PGR students who wish to make changes to their original candidature or personal details.
Changing circumstances may mean that it is no longer appropriate for a student to remain registered according to their original candidature. The most common of these changes are as follows:
- Change of mode of attendance, i.e. from full-time to part-time (and vice versa)
- Changes to a student's scope of research, degree programme or department
Students must request permission from their department and faculty to change their candidature using the Change of Candidature (PGR) form. Students are asked to note that once an application is submitted to the faculty it will normally take approximately two weeks for faculty consideration and processing, but may take longer depending on the circumstances.
Students will be notified by Research, Partnerships and Innovation whether or not their change of candidature has been approved.
Before applying to change any aspect of their candidature, the student should consult their supervisor for advice. Sponsored students are responsible for checking that their sponsor will permit the change of candidature and should not assume that this will be the case. Some sponsors do not permit any changes to the student's original candidature to be made.
UKRI-funded students are advised to check the information for scholarship holders for further guidance.
Students may apply to change their mode of attendance from full-time to part-time study and vice versa, but should be aware of the following restrictions:
- The University does not offer an option to study part-time to international students who are studying in the UK on a Student or Tier 4 visa.
- UKRI-funded students may be subject to restrictions in changing mode of attendance within the last six months of their funded period and will need prior consent from their Research Council. Please contact Research, Partnerships and Innovation for further details.
- Students may not change their mode of attendance if they are in an extension period, or have submitted their thesis and are undertaking post-viva corrections.
- Students are not normally permitted to change their mode of attendance to Remote Location once they have commenced their research degree. Remote Location candidature must be applied for from the start of the student's degree.
- Students who wish to change their mode of attendance to University Staff candidate must provide a copy of their University employment contract. Changes from student to staff candidate cannot be backdated more than 12 months.
- Members of University staff who are undertaking a higher degree by research are normally registered on a part-time basis, as they are also employed by the University and therefore not expected to undertake their research on a full-time basis.
Students may apply to make certain changes to their research topic, degree programme or department, but should be aware of the following guidance:
- Where a student is moving from one department/faculty to another, both the current and the new departments/faculties must confirm that they approve the arrangement.
- Students may only transfer to another programme of study at the same, or lower, FHEQ level.
- Students changing programme will transfer into the new programme of study at the same point in their registration. The student's normal period of registration and time limit will therefore remain unchanged, unless the new programme of study is of a different duration.
- Students are only permitted to commence their new programme of study once they have been formally notified by Research, Partnerships and Innovation that their change of candidature has been approved by the faculty and their student record has been updated.
Funded students who transfer from a doctoral-level qualification, e.g. PhD/EngD, to an MPhil, either voluntarily or because of a failed Confirmation Review, should be aware that this may have implications for their scholarship/stipend. UKRI and University-funded students should refer to the scholarships webpages for further details. Students sponsored by other funders should refer to their sponsor for guidance.
Please note that the UKVI has introduced academic progression requirements for students studying on a Student or Tier 4 student visa. In order for the University to comply with the UKVI's sponsorship duties, academic departments should only approve changes of programme for students on a Student or Tier 4 student visa if one or more of the following criteria can be met:
For students with a Tier 4 visa applied for before 5 October 2020:
- The new programme of study is related to the previous programme of study for which the student was granted permission, i.e. it is part of the same subject discipline and/or it represents a deeper subject specialism; or
- The previous and new programmes combine to support the student’s genuine career aspiration.
For students with a Student visa applied for on or after 5 October 2020:
- The new programme of study is related to the current programme of study for which the student currently has permission, i.e. it is part of the same subject discipline and/or it represents a deeper subject specialism; or
- The new programme supports the student’s genuine career aspiration.
If the relevant criteria above cannot be met the student may be required to remain on their current programme of study or re-apply for a new visa from overseas. Furthermore, the conditions of a student’s Student or Tier 4 visa may prevent them from studying a new programme until they have applied for, and obtained, a new Student or Tier 4 visa.
Anyone with a Student or Tier 4 visa concerned about their change of programme should contact an International Student Adviser in International Student Support, Advice and Compliance. The University is required to notify UKVI of any changes to the degree programme being studied by a student studying in the UK on a Student or Tier 4 student visa.
In the event of an audit by UKVI, academic departments may be required to provide evidence of the consideration given to the suitability of the student’s change of programme in the context of the criteria above, e.g. through email correspondence with the student and/or notes of meetings or discussions.
Non-EU/EEA students who request a change to their research topic or their degree programme may require ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance.
If ATAS is required, it must be obtained before the change of candidature can be approved and students are not permitted to commence their new programme or research topic until proof of new ATAS clearance has been obtained and submitted with the change of candidature application. For this reason, students are advised to check if ATAS clearance is required and apply for an ATAS certificate as soon as possible.
New ATAS clearance is needed if the research topic has changed from what is stated on their original ATAS certificate. Students who require ATAS clearance in order to change their research topic will need to ask their supervisor for a summary that confirms details about their research, which can be used to make an online application.
Please note that most visa categories are subject to the requirement to have ATAS clearance for affected courses and to apply for new clearance if the degree programme or research topic changes. This will affect the majority of students who are subject to immigration regulations and not just those with a Student or Tier 4 visa.
Students should contact International Student Support, Advice and Compliance for further information and guidance on the implications of applying to change their research topic. Students can check whether they will require an ATAS certificate by providing course and nationality details on the GOV.UK site.
Non-EU/EEA students who are nationals of countries listed as exempt from ATAS in Appendix ATAS of the Immigration Rules are still considered to be subject to the ATAS requirement if they submitted the application for their current visa before 05 October 2020.
All students are responsible for keeping the University informed of any change to their personal details, especially addresses and email addresses.
Students must also check their University email accounts regularly to ensure that they do not miss important notifications from the University. Personal details can be checked and changed via MUSE.
Notification of a change in name can be made to the Student Services Information Desk (SSiD) upon presentation of original documentation proving the name change.