Progression and review

The first milestone in your research student journey is your confirmation of registration. The aim of this is to ensure your project is suitable for the level of the degree award, you are able to deliver the project and all the facilities and support you will need are available to you.

Your confirmation of registration meeting will take place by month 10. The meetings take place during set weeks in the academic year.

For your confirmation of registration, you will need to prepare a document detailing your proposed research. This process is managed through SAM. Please refer to the SAM User Guide for further information.

Your document will be shared with the confirmation of registration panel before your meeting so they can review this and prepare questions for you. The panel will be made up of a chair and panel member - usually senior academics with expertise in your subject area and significant experience of supporting research students.

The meeting is very important; it will be the first formal opportunity to talk about your research, including your aims, methods and timeframes. While the panel will ask you questions, it is a supportive environment and they will give you recommendations to support your progress.

You will be required to submit a progression report, signed by your supervisors, before your annual progression meeting. This should normally be submitted via SAM at least two weeks before your progression meeting. Progression report deadlines are normally:

  • For October starters, progression meetings usually take place in September/October 
  • For February starters, progression meetings usually take place in January/February 
  • For June starters progression meetings usually take place in May/June

Your annual progression meetings are a very important milestone in your research degree journey. Their purpose is to make sure you have all the support you need to complete your degree successfully.

Every year you will meet with your panel - a chair and panel member who are usually senior academics with expertise in your subject area. A Graduate School team member will also take notes and offer advice on regulations. Your supervisor will be encouraged to attend the meeting with you. However, if they are unable to attend for any reason, the meeting will still go ahead.

Annual progression meetings usually happen in the month before your enrolment anniversary. For example, if you start your studies with us in February, you can expect to have your annual progression meeting in January the following year.

At The Graduate School, we organise your annual progression meetings and set the dates for you a year in advance. We will email you and your supervisory team to arrange the date. Together with your supervisory team, you will be asked to submit a report before the meeting. This should include your supervisory team’s comments on your progress. This process is managed through SAM. Please refer to the SAM User Guide for further information.

The responsibility for making sure that your annual progression meeting goes ahead, and that your completed report is submitted on time, rests with you.

At the meeting, you will talk through your research and progress to date, where you are now and what you are doing to meet your submission date.

For more information, call us on +44 (0)113 812 5375 or email

If you need to make changes to your student records during your degree, these should be submitted to the university’s Research Degrees Sub-Committee (RDSC). The sub- committee is also responsible for the approval of your examination team.

As our academic schools have no regulatory control over research studies, the RDSC is the only committee able to make decisions around your studies. It is chaired by Professor Gary Jones, Director of Research in the School of Health, and is made up of academics from across the university.

Change requests are made through SAM. Please refer to the SAM User Guide link for further information.

The RDSC will also approve the team selected for your examination process. They will discuss the overall experience of team members to ensure they have the appropriate subject expertise. To ensure a robust and fair examination, team members must be independent from you as supervisors.

Only when the RDSC approves the team can arrangements be made for the examination. Please note, the committee’s decision is final.