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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Annual Progression Reviews

Supervisors are responsible for monitoring student progress and reporting annually to the Graduate School Office and the College Postgraduate Office. This progress is monitored via the Annual Progression Review.

Important: please visit the PGR FAQs webpage for any Covid-19 contingencies related to annual reviews.

While a review has to be held and progress has to be confirmed in each year of study, the first year review differs slightly in that the student has to undertake a End of First Year Review Board to confirm registration for the PhD (the first year is probationary). Specific information on the End of First Year Review Board is available here.

While there isn't requirement for a formal review board with external assessor(s) in any subsequent year of study, the review should consist of a dedicated meeting between the student and the supervision team, and progress to the next year of study must be confirmed. The student and supervisor(s) must also complete the annual review form.

From 2016 the annual review system for PhD students is an online form within your student record (accessible via MyEd). Detailed information on this system is here.

More detailed information on the annual review process is available in the Code of Practice for Supervisors and Research Students, section  3.2.

Annual Review Outcomes / Recommendations

The outcomes of annual reviews are outlined in the Postgraduate Assessment Regulations for Research Degrees and the Code of Practice for Supervisors and Research Students, and listed below for convenience. The outcome is the recommendation that the supervisors make after each annual review (not just the first year review), this recommendation is confirmed by the Postgraduate Advisor or Graduate School Deputy Director and passed to the College Postgraduate Office. The College are formally responsible for making the progression decision.

Extract from the Postgraduate Assessment Regulations for Research Degrees:

Regulation 14 | Annual progression review recommendation

(a) confirmation of registration, for example for PhD, MPhil;

(b) a repeat progression review must be undertaken within three months before confirmation of progression;

(c) for part-time students only for the first progression review: deferment of the confirmation decision to the second annual review;

(d) registration for a different research degree such as MPhil or MSc by Research;

(e) registration for a postgraduate taught degree (for example MSc) or diploma can be recommended if the student has undertaken the coursework for that qualification;

(f) exclusion from study.

If the outcome of the annual review is 14(b) then the three month period starts from the date of issue of the progression decision to the student. The outcomes of a repeat are the same as for the initial review, with the exception of 14(b) - only one repeat review may be undertaken.

If there are doubts about a student's ability to complete a PhD successfully then the supervisor must consider option (d). If there are serious doubts as to the student's research capability, then the supervisor must consider options (e) or (f).

Any queries regarding the Annual Review recommendations/outcomes should be directed to the Postgraduate Advisor, Graduate School Director/Deputy Director (research), or the PG Research team ( in the Graduate School Office.

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