Postgraduate Research Students

This page provides information and advice for current and former postgraduate research students.

Research Students

Current Students

Council Tax Exemption

Council Tax is charged by local authorities to help pay for certain public services and is based on the value of the property that you rent/own. 

You do not have to pay Council Tax where you are a full time student on a University course which:

  • lasts at least one academic year; and
  • requires attendance for at least 24 weeks per year; and
  • involves at least 21 hours of study, classes or work experience per week during term time

Where your course meets the above criteria, you can request a Council Tax exemption letter from SSiD.

For more information, please visit the page below.

For guidance on extending your Council Tax exemption letter after you have submitted your thesis, see Post-Submission.

UCard Extension

Where your study end date has been extended and you require an updated UCard, please visit IT Services.

Visit IT Services

You will remain eligible for a UCard until you have completed your research degree.

For guidance on extending your UCard after you have submitted your thesis, see Post-Submission.

For more information about Ucards,please visit the page below:

Support Services

Postgraduate Research Support

Please contact Research Services for advice and guidance on the following matters:

  • Award of degrees
  • Time limits and upgrades
  • Supervision and academic progress
  • Thesis preparation, submission and examination
  • Change of status (e.g. leave of absence, time limit extensions, withdrawal)

Contact Research Services

International Student Support

Where you are a current international student, please visit the pages below for information about immigration and Tier 4 visas.

Additional Support Services

Where you are struggling with personal, financial or academic issues, our Student Online Support webpage can signpost you to the most relevant information and services.


UCard / Council Tax

Where your UCard or Council Tax exemption letter have expired and one of the following situations applies, you can visit IT Services to request an updated one:

  • You have submitted your thesis and are awaiting your viva.
  • You have had your viva and received corrections.
  • You have resubmitted your thesis following corrections and are awaiting a second viva.

IT Services

Where you have resubmitted your thesis following corrections and are not awaiting a second viva, you are entitled to a UCard and Council Tax exemption for a period of two months from the expected date of resubmission.

Once you have completed your research degree you will no longer be eligible for Council Tax exemption or a UCard.

Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES)

Where you are a current PhD student wishing to extend your Tier 4 visa, you can apply for the Doctorate Extension Scheme which allows you to stay in the UK for a further 12 months upon completion of your PhD.

Please visit the page below for more information.

Where you have already been awarded your PhD you must apply via a different route if you wish to work in the UK.

You can find further information on the following pages.


Where your degree is awarded at a time when no graduation ceremonies are scheduled to take place, your degree will be conferred in absentia. This means you can receive your degree certificate without having to wait until the next graduation ceremony.

For more information, including a list of scheduled in absentia dates please visit the page below.

Please contact the graduation team if you have any further queries about this.

Although you are conferred in absentia, you are eligible to attend a graduation ceremony held in January or July. The graduation team will email you to confirm whether you wish to attend.

For more information about graduation ceremonies please visit the page below.

You will not be awarded your qualification until all monies (e.g. tuition fees) due to the University have been paid.



Where you are a former postgraduate research student, SSiD can provide you with the following documents.

Where you require more detailed information regarding your research, please contact your academic department.

Doctoral Development Programme/Research Training Programme

The University does not produce academic transcripts for research degrees, except for the taught component of EdD studies.

Where you require proof of your Doctoral Development Programme (formerly Research Training Programme), please email Research Services who can provide you with a Statement of Academic Progress.

Library Access

You will not be able to access or borrow books from the library after the expiry date on your UCard.

Once your degree has been awarded, you can apply for an alumni library card which allows you to:

  • borrow books
  • access e-journals
  • access the University libraries

Please visit the page below for more information and how to apply.

Further information about donations, reunions, events and the exclusive benefits for alumni can be found on the page below.

See Also

Please visit the pages below for contact details and tailored information for before, during, and after your studies.