Student Progression

The following timeline describes a student progression cycle for a full time PhD (in months). Normally a full time student will have:

By 3 months 

Completed the Training Needs Analysis in myResearch, in conjunction with their supervisor

By 6 months 

Submitted a First Project Review Form via myResearch

By 12-15 months 

Submitted the Formal Review form and Formal Review Report via myResearch

At 24 months 

Participated in an Annual Review along with your supervisory team and an independent assessor. Your supervisor will arrange this.

By 36 months 

Will have been transferred into the fee free completion period if 3 years of full time registration has been completed. Will have participated in an Annual Review.

At 36+ months 

At the end of the fee free completion period, submit an examinable thesis to the Doctoral College in order that this can be dispatched to the examiners in preparation for the viva voce examination. Students who have not submitted their thesis at this time will then be charged continuation fees. Students who encounter delays in submitting their thesis will continue to participate in Annual Reviews until thesis submission.

Within 48 months 

Have participated in a successful viva voce examination and received a recommendation for the award

For each progression milestone throughout the research, there is a corresponding administrative task for students to complete on the myResearch system. This is because each progression milestone of the research degree requires review from an academic and administrative perspective. When submitted in myResearch, the Doctoral College will audit the forms before onward submission to the Faculty for independent review and academic feedback. When the Faculty notify the Doctoral College of their decision this is communicated to the student and the supervision team. 


Monthly Progress Reports

Students are required to maintain detailed, full record of their academic progress via the regular submission of ‘Progress Reports’. It is a requirement that full-time students submit such reports monthly and part-time students at least every other month. This process must be completed via myResearch. Supervisors will require these records as part of their monitoring of the student’s progress. The Doctoral College, the Home Office and any funding body can require to see such records.

Students must continue to submit progress reports at all times until the submission of their thesis and when in the post-viva corrections stage. The Doctoral College monitors the submission of regular progress reports. Any full-time student who has not submitted a progress report for 3 consecutive months and any part-time student who has not submitted a progress report for 5 consecutive months will be deemed non-compliant and persistent non-compliance of progress report submission may lead to the termination of registration.

An in-depth guide to completing progress reports can be found here.

Completing Monthly Progress Reports:

  • Student completes questions 1-5, clicks 'Save and Notify' and selects their supervisors only from the email recipients list, adds any additional comments they may wish to include in the email and then click 'Send'.
  • First supervisor completes questions 6, 7 and 8 and then clicks 'Save and Notify' and selects the student only from the email recipients list, adds any additional comments they may wish to include in the email and then click 'Send'. They should then click on the ‘return’ button and click 'Submit' to lock in the contents.
  • Student then needs to finalise the report by selecting the “authorise” button at the bottom of the form. The student will then be fully compliant with reporting regulations.

If you have any queries about the Progress Report process or problems with the software please don’t hesitate to contact the Monthly Progress Reports team at the Doctoral College on

First Project Review

All registered research degree students are required to submit a First Project Review to the Doctoral College for the faculty to consider.

The deadlines for submitting this form are:

  • Full-time students: within 6 months of registration
  • Part-time students: within 12 months of registration

It is essential that all research students consult with their supervisory team while completing the form.

Please note: you will need to ensure your application is submitted within the time period specified above, otherwise your registration may be terminated.

To complete the first project review process, forms and supporting guidance documentation can be found in myResearch under the milestone link GSOCM_FPR in your "progression tab".

Formal progression within the Doctoral Researcher Programme

All students registered on the Doctoral Researcher Programme need to apply for Formal review progression to PhD registration. Generally this coincides with the stage of research where there has been time to conduct an in-depth literature review of the subject area and where initial work for the body of research has been undertaken and use has been made of the chosen research methodology or approach.

The specific timing and format of the formal review process depends on your starting date and mode of study (full-time or part-time). You will be required to provide a report on your progress to date and a detailed outline of your proposed research goals and methods. This will be assessed by a member of academic staff who is not part of your supervisory team and who will give their judgment on the likelihood of you successfully completing the PhD programme.

To complete the formal review process, forms and supporting guidance documentation can be found in myResearch under the milestone link GSOCM_FR in your "progression tab".

Additional research student forms

Depending on your individual circumstances you may need to complete additional forms. The following can be accessed through myResearch:

  • Annual review form
  • Change in supervision team
  • Change of mode of study
  • Extension of period of registration
  • Interruption of registration
  • Interruption of enrolment (during probation period)
  • Letter/ATAS request form 
  • Thesis submission
  • Withdrawal of registration

If you have any queries concerning your progression milestones, please contact the Doctoral College at

Turnitin Thesis Submission: Guidelines for Students 

Information for current research students
Researcher Development Programme


Events target area image

At DMU there is always something to do or see, check out our events for yourself.

News target area image

DMU is a dynamic university, read about what we have been up to in our latest news section.

Mission and vision target area image
Mission and vision

Read about our mission and vision and how these create a supportive and exciting learning environment.