Periods of registration

The minimum, normal and maximum registration periods for research degrees are defined as follows:

Minimum period of registration is the shortest allowable time between initial registration and submission of the thesis for the specified research degree programme, as defined in the University Regulations. Permission is required for a student to submit their thesis before the end of their minimum period of registration.
Normal period of registration and tuition fee payment is the typical or optimum time between initial registration and submission of the thesis for the specified research degree programme. Tuition fees are payable for the duration of the normal period of registration. The University's expectation is that ALL research students should submit their thesis within the normal period of registration.
Maximum period of registration is the time limit for submission of the thesis for the specified research degree programme, as defined in the University's Regulations. Students who do not submit their thesis before their time limit will be withdrawn, unless they are granted an extension to their time limit (extensions are only granted in very exceptional circumstances).

The normal registration period for tuition fee paying purposes and the time limit for submission of the thesis are specified on each student’s offer letter. At present, the majority of current students have normal and maximum registration periods that are different duration (e.g. 3 years and 4 years respectively), potentially resulting in a period of unfunded study for those students who are sponsored, although a small proportion of students are already funded for the same duration as their time limit. However, increasingly the normal and maximum periods of registration will be the same duration, i.e. students will be expected to undertake research and training and write and submit their thesis within their funded period. This funded period could range from 3 to 4 years, depending on the funder and the nature of the project and training required. Projects should be designed to ensure that they can be completed within the funded period and regularly monitored to ensure timely submission.

Periods of registration and time limits for research degree programmes

Please note: these time limits include the writing of the thesis to the point of submission and apply to standard programmes. There are an increasing number of non-standard PhDs, where the periods of registration may be longer than the standard. This may be due to additional training and/or placements, or other funder requirements. Students are advised to consult their offer letter which will specify their exact normal and maximum registration periods.

DEGREE CANDIDATURE MINIMUM NORMAL MAXIMUM (TIME LIMIT)
Standard PhD Full-time 2 years 3 years* 4 years*
PhD with Integrated Studies Full-time 4 years 4 years 5 years
PhD Part-time 4 years 6 years 8 years
PhD Full-time University Staff 2 years 3 years 4 years
PhD Part-time University Staff 2 years 2 years 8 years
MPhil Full-time 1 year 2 years 3 years
MPhil Part-time 2 years 4 years 6 years
MPhil University Staff 1 year 1 years 6 years
EdD Part-time 4 years 6 years 8 years
LLM Full-time 1 year 1 years 4 years
LLM Part-time 2 years 2 years 6 years
DSpecMed Full-time 5 years 5 years 5 years
MD Full-time 2 years 2 years 3 years
MD Part-time 4 years 4 years 6 years
MD Full-time University Staff 2 years 2 years 3 years
MD Part-time University Staff 2 years 2 years 6 years
EngD Full-time 3 years 4 years 5 years
DEdCPsy Full-time 3 years 3 years 3 years
DClinPsy Full-time 3 years 3 years 4 years

*the normal and maximum registration periods for a full-time PhD vary according to factors such as funder and training requirements and students should refer to their offer letter for their precise duration.