To progress, or not to progress, that is the question..

Updated 22nd February 2013

This week I ran a workshop for research degree students at UWE entitled “The Progression exam”. This is a formal milestone in the research degree journey that pretty much every doctoral candidate at any university will have to overcome. Some call it a “transfer” exam, others a “progression viva” but whatever the nomenclature they all have an aim similar to the following: –

a formal test of progress in the early stages to ensure a suitable basis for continuation on the programme has been established

Whenever I run a workshop on this topic or the related “Writing up” or “The Final Viva” workshops I always try to do two things:-

1) Provide knowledge about the process

2) Reduce anxiety by reassuring doctoral candidates

Recently at UWE we established a Graduate School at UWE with a new (and hopefully improved) web presence that puts all the information about research degrees in one place. We have created sections that relate to the major milestones including the progression exam.

Disclaimer: One should read my post in conjunction with the latest rules governing PG Research study.

Those rules are set out in section K of the UWE Academic Regulations here.

The slides that I used in the workshop are below:

Recent changes

In summary there have been three key changes that were brought into force in September 2011

  1. When a progression report has been submitted, a viva will automatically follow
  2. There will now be two independent examiners for a progression exam
  3. The Research Degrees Award Board (RDAB) is the body to which appeals go relating to progression

Update: It seems that the workshop is useful for research students!

General Researcher Skills Supervisors

Paul Spencer View All →

I'm a former researcher into the microbiology of the mouth who now runs a skills development programme for other researchers.

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