Submission Review

Information on the requirements for conducting Submission Reviews


Submission Review

Purpose of the Submission Review

The purpose of the Submission Review is to provide a formal check for the supervisory team and student to discuss and agree a plan to support thesis submission within the student’s tuition fee-paying period, where possible, or as soon as possible thereafter. The Submission Review should comprise a review of the student’s thesis plan and existing thesis chapters, their engagement to-date with the DDP, and an evaluation as to whether the student will have completed their active/core research by the end of their tuition fee-paying period.

Submission Review is compulsory for all PGRs, irrespective of their degree programme. The Submission Review may involve the supervisory team, but departments or faculties may also wish to involve a reviewer from outside the supervisory team for a more independent evaluation (some departments already do this). The Submission Review Form should be completed for all students. The forms should be submitted to the departmental PGR Lead for review once the Submission Review has been completed.

Submission Review requirements and outcomes

Submission Review should include a detailed consideration of the student’s progress and plans, and should demonstrate the following:

  • That the student has a realistic plan detailing how they will complete their active/core research and submit their thesis by the end of their tuition fee-paying period, indicating any risks to meeting their deadline and how those risks will be mitigated.
  • That they have started to write up their research in an appropriate academic format.
  • That they have acquired the wider background knowledge of their research field required for a successful defence of their research.
  • That they have undertaken all the required training and made progress towards completing an Evidencing Development Summary.
  • That any issues of concern identified at an earlier stage of the research project, e.g. at Confirmation Review, have been appropriately addressed.

The outcomes of a Submission Review should be a clear plan to ensure that the student can submit by the end of their tuition fee-paying period, and, if that is not achievable, an understanding of what is required to support the student to submit as soon as possible thereafter. This may involve helping the student to understand how they can modify their plans if it is apparent that an on-time submission is unlikely.

Another outcome should be an indication of whether the student is likely to need to undertake active/core research beyond the end of their tuition fee-paying period, in which case they must request permission to do so no later than three months before the end of their tuition fee-paying period. Any such requests will require approval by the Head of Department, or their delegate, e.g. the PGR Lead or appropriate departmental committee, before being forwarded to the Faculty PGR Lead for oversight and monitoring (see ‘Requests to continue active/core research within the submission pending period’).

It is understood that the delineation between core research and thesis writing may be less clear in theory-based PhDs where students engage in desk-based research throughout. Departments are expected to apply this guidance in the way that makes the most sense for their discipline, and to base outcomes of the Submission Review process on the amount and nature of work that has been completed, and remains, against the supervisory team’s expectations and original plans.

It is important that the outcomes of Submission Reviews are properly documented on the Submission Review form, which should be completed by the reviewers, reviewed by the departmental PGR Lead and retained within academic departments.

Timing of the Submission Review

The Submission Review should take place no later than six months before the end of the student’s tuition fee-paying period (pro rata for part-time students). Departments can also have an additional earlier submission review checkpoint and should ensure that regular progress monitoring takes place throughout the degree.  

Tuition fee-paying period Timing of Submission Review
3 years 2.5 years (month 30)
3.5 years 3 years (month 36)
4 years 3.5 years (month 42)


Submission Review form