Considering applications for part-time research degree study

Part-time study is available for some research degree programmes. Academic requirements for part-time study are identical to those for full-time study.

Applicants should seek advice from the relevant Faculty/School in advance of making an application. 

1. Eligibility for part-time study

Where the research degree programme is offered on a part-time basis applicants for part-time study will be considered in the following circumstances only:

(i) the applicant has responsibilities or work commitments (including actively seeking work) that preclude them from studying on a full-time basis

(ii) the applicant has a long-term medical condition or disability that prevents them from studying on a full-time basis


(iii) in all cases the Faculty/School concerned must be satisfied that:

(a) the applicant will have access to the necessary facilities for their research

Consideration should be given to the facilities required for the research. Research may be undertaken both at their place of work and in the University (e.g. where the applicant is a member of staff of a teaching, scientific, clinical or industrial establishment). Where the research relies on facilities at the University consideration should be given to the applicant’s ability to access University resources. For example, if they are in full-time employment will they have adequate opportunity to access University facilities during normal working hours? If they require access to facilities outside of the University (e.g. at their place of work) has formal agreement been received from their employer and is access to facilities likely to continue to be available to the applicant throughout their standard period of study? A clear understanding of the facilities required for the research and access to those facilities should be established prior to the offer of a place.


(b) their attendance will be on a part-time basis

Schools should be satisfied that attendance (including supervision) will be on a part-time basis (see 4 and 5 below). 

2. Commitment to research activity

Part-time candidates are expected to work on their research project for periods of time equivalent to 20 hours per week. It is inevitable that their workload will be variable during the course of the year and this should be agreed with their supervisor(s). When approaching a specific deadline such as the submission of a transfer report or thesis additional hours of work will be necessary. 

This expectation should be drawn to the attention of the applicant at an early stage.

3. Supervision meetings

Part-time PGRs are entitled to receive a minimum of six supervision meetings per annum. Whilst the pattern and timing of meetings will vary according to the precise stage of the candidature and between subject areas it is expected that meetings will be held regularly throughout the standard period of study with gaps between meetings of no more than 12 weeks for part-time PGRs.

It is expected that meetings will normally be face-to-face. When PGRs are abroad or at other institutions in the UK formal supervisory contact may take place by other means (e.g. telephone, video conferencing, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) (e.g. Skype), email). The standard period of study of a part-time PhD is five years with up to an additional two years' overtime period (if required).

4. International PGRs

Please be aware that for international students current visa regulations would not normally allow study on a part-time basis. If you have any queries the University’s International Student Office can be contacted on or on 33930.