Your higher research degree will be assessed by the production of a thesis, which will be submitted to a panel of judges.

You will be encouraged to continue writing up throughout your research so that you can finish on time and avoid the mammoth task of having to write up everything you have done over the years of your candidature in one go. There are many places that offer advice and skills training for thesis writing, so if you feel daunted by the prospect, you could contact SUPRA, the Learning Centre or the library for tips, hints and workshops.

Your supervisor and postgraduate co-ordinator will also be interested in your progress throughout your candidature. Although there is no formal exam, essay or test you need to do in this time, you will need to show your supervisor and co-ordinator that you are working satisfactorily and attending seminars or conferences when necessary. Completing annual progress report forms and attending annual interviews allow this to be discussed along with any concerns that you may have about your degree.

Academic dishonesty and plagiarism

The University has strict policies and guidelines on plagiarism, copying, recycling and other forms of academic dishonesty. The Code of Conduct for Responsible Research Practice and Guidelines on Dealing with Allegations of Research Misconduct includes plagiarism (and misappropriation) under the definition of research misconduct, and explains the actions that will be taken if an allegation of misconduct is made. More information about these policies is available at the Policy Register.

It is your responsibility to ensure you have an understanding of the University’s policies in relation to academic dishonesty and plagiarism. If you have any questions regarding these policies you should approach your faculty.

Ethics approval

Projects that involve animal subjects need to be approved by the appropriate ethics committee. It is a supervisor’s responsibility to advise a candidate of the need to apply for ethical approval for research. Further information is available at

If your project involves animal subjects, there is a two-day workshop on animal ethics which you will be expected to attend at the beginning of your research degree. Your supervisor will advise you as to when it will be available.

Please note that scholarship payments cannot be made to students who have failed to obtain ethical clearance where their research requires ethical approval.

More information

For more information please refer to the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Administration Centre website.