Progress for research students will be formally reviewed at around nine months after first registration (for the majority of students starting in September/October, this assessment will take place in June of the following year). The major objectives of the nine month/first year assessment are to confirm that students:
- have a thorough background knowledge of their project;
- can appraise key issues critically;
- can describe work already underway and illustrate its significance; and
- have a plan of future work with appropriate milestones.
The first year assessment (also known as the 'nine-month assessment') is one of the agreed progression criteria for maintaining standards in the Postgraduate Research School and beyond. It is essential for all first year students to undertake this assessment before they progress into the second year of their degree programme.
For students who are off-campus on fieldwork, or otherwise temporarily unavailable, the examination may be arranged for a date as close as possible to nine months (either before or afterwards), and in all cases well before the entry date into second year. If this option is required, all parties (student, supervisor, assessor, adviser) should make the necessary arrangements and keep the Postgraduate Research School Adviser (Monitoring & Assessment) and relevant School Postgraduate Research Co-ordinator informed.
If research students have not made adequate progress, it may be recommended to transfer the student to a lower degree (Master of Philosophy (MPhil) or Master of Science by Research (MSc) or even to discontinue studies.