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Please note: The following list of current University wide policies take precedence over these regulations.
All candidates enrolled after Sep 2019 please see Academic Regulations. Candidates enrolled before this date may be transferred to these regulations if they provide their explicit consent.
Assessed taught modules, developing professional and research skills; to include the development and approval of a proposal for independent research in Stage 2
Maximum of 240 credits,
at L7 or L8.
Independent, supervised research
May include in addition a practice-based component
Minimum of 300 credits,
Normally, these stages are sequential, and a student progresses to stage 2 when stage 1 is completed. However, due to requirements of professional bodies and the needs of certain professions, it is possible that stages 1 and 2 are concurrent. Justification of this arrangement will be provided in the validation documentation. Even in this case, however, commencing stage 1 research requires that a research proposal be approved by the Research Degrees Sub-Committee. The Professional Doctorate award cannot be granted until both stage 1 and stage 2 are certified complete by the relevant Committees.
(a) A Professional Doctorate course comprises both a taught component, (Stage 1) and a research component, the major part of Stage 2. Both stages are managed by a Course Director, and overseen by an overall Award external examiner. However, decisions regarding admissions, progression and awards are handled by different committees for each Stage. A University Assessment/Award Board will oversee Stage 1 assessments of all Professional Doctorates in line with the University’s Academic Award Regulations for taught courses.
(b) The University’s Graduate School Committee is responsible for overseeing Stage 2 of the course, ensuring that the doctoral standard of the award is maintained. The Research Degrees Sub-Committee has authority, on behalf of Academic Board, for conferring the award of Professional Doctorate to students who have successfully completed the prescribed course of study.
QES will provide an officer for the meeting.
a) Will be judged on the basis of their professional experience or professional practice. Other relevant experience, training, publications, contracts, consultancies, residencies, exhibitions, performances, written reports or other evidence of accomplishment shall be taken into consideration as appropriate to the nature and scope of the Professional Doctorate;
b) have relevant professional experience at a level and for a minimum period agreed by the University at the time of course approval;
c) meet any other relevant academic or professional entry requirement agreed by the University at the time of course approval;
d) meet any relevant entry requirement specified by the appropriate professional or statutory body.
e) Level 6 or 7 qualifications will be taken into account, but are not normally required unless specified at validation or in accordance with professional body requirements; equivalent skill and knowledge levels instead being assessed by the experience and attainments described above.
a) the applicant has the requisite skills for education and research at this level, professional experience and, where appropriate, professional qualifications;
b) the applicant is eligible to study in the UK for those attending at the University;
c) the applicant has met the stated minimum English proficiency qualification for the Professional Doctorate course and has provided evidence of sufficient command of written and spoken English to complete satisfactorily any course of related studies, and to prepare and defend a thesis or equivalent work in English. The University’s normal requirement is an overall IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent with at least IELTS 6 obtained in each component. Each validated professional doctorate course will specify and justify a minimum requirement within the range of IELTS 6-7.5. Y + ATAS cert mentioned in new regs.
(i) a brief overview report of approximately 2000 words not including references and appendices. The overview report should be a synoptic introduction to and evaluation of the work so far, including a summary and evaluation of results and plans for completion of the course of study. References should be made to completed chapters or aspects of the thesis or portfolio, which should be included as appendices. Reference should be made to the appropriateness of continuing professional development by the candidate. It is highly likely that this 2000 word report, appropriately updated, will later form part of the introduction to the student’s thesis itself;
(ii) completed chapters and/or articles, artefacts or aspects of the thesis or portfolio.
i) The candidate’s submission of the thesis, portfolio or equivalent and the examiners’ independent preliminary assessment of it;
ii) The defence of the work by the candidate by oral examination or approved alternative assessment.
v) must have presented and defended the thesis by oral examination, or approved alternative examination, to the satisfaction of the examiners.
1) Direct award. The examiners are satisfied that the thesis, portfolio or equivalent and its defence are of doctoral standard. The candidate should be awarded the appropriate Professional Doctorate degree without being required to make any changes to his or her submitted work.
2) Revisions required. The examiners are satisfied that the thesis, portfolio or equivalent and its defence are of doctoral standard, however the thesis requires revisions. These are normally to be completed within 6 months of the examination (although if numerous, the examiners can recommend up to 12 months). The following outcomes are available to the examiners:
3) Resubmission. The examiners are not confident of the doctoral standing of the thesis, portfolio or equivalent and/or its defence, but believe this standard may be reached with further work.
In such instances significant revisions of the thesis, portfolio or equivalent, and/or significant additional research activities are required, and the candidate should resubmit the work, normally within 12 months of the first examination. A further oral examination will then be held. Only one resubmission is permitted.
4) No Professional Doctorate award. The examiners are not confident of the doctoral standing of thesis and its defence, nor do they believe that this standing could be attained. The candidate should not be granted the Professional Doctorate degree and should not be permitted to be re-examined.
The examiners will refer the candidate to the appropriate University Professional Doctorates Assessment/Award Board (for taught awards) for the Board to review the candidate’s assessment marks and determine whether the candidate is eligible for an alternative award of Postgraduate Diploma or Masters degree, in accordance with arrangements stated in the approved course specification for the Professional Doctorate course and the University’s Academic Regulations.
The candidate may be required to successfully complete an alternative piece of research work in order to be eligible for the award of a Masters degree.
i) accept a majority recommendation (provided that the majority recommendation includes at least one external examiner);ii) accept the recommendation of the external examiner; oriii) require the appointment of an additional external examiner.
i) accept a majority recommendation (provided that the majority recommendation includes at least one external examiner)ii) accept the recommendation of the external examiner.
i) That there were medical or other circumstances affecting the candidate's performance, which he/she was unable for valid reasons to divulge before the final oral examination.ii) That there is evidence of procedural irregularity in the conduct of the examination (including administrative error) of such a nature as to cause doubt as to whether the result might have been different had the irregularity not occurred.iii) That there is evidence of unfair or improper assessment on the part of one or more of the examiners.
DISAGREEMENT WITH THE ACADEMIC JUDGEMENT OF THE EXAMINERS IN ASSESSING A CANDIDATE’S PERFORMANCE CANNOT IN ITSELF CONSTITUTE GROUNDS FOR A REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION BY THE CANDIDATE.
i) The candidate's full name, School and the title of the thesis.ii) Details of the examination decision, which has prompted the request for a review.iii) The names of the candidate's supervisors.iv) Full details of the grounds for the request with supporting evidence.v) If these grounds relate to illness or other extenuating factors, full and valid reasons as to why this information was not made known to the examiners prior to the examination.
i) The application for review with any supporting documentary evidence.ii) The examiners' final report.iii) The preliminary reports of the examiners.iv) The regulations concerning the award of Professional Doctorate degrees.v) Copies of any other written information considered relevant by the Registrar.A copy of the candidate's thesis shall be made available to members of the Panel before and during the meeting of the Review Panel.
i) The candidate (or his/her representative) shall be asked to put his/her case in the presence of the Review Panel and to call such witnesses as s/he wishes.ii) The Review Panel will interview or receive a written response from at least one examiner with respect to the request for review.iii) The Review Panel shall have the authority to require the internal and external members of the supervision team and any member of the University staff connected with the candidate's course of research to present an oral or written report on the case under review.iv) The Review Panel shall have the opportunity to ask questions of each witness called by the candidate. The candidate may agree to answer questions put by the Review Panel as s/he wishes.v) The candidate (or his/her representative) shall have an opportunity to respond to any statement or report made by the examiners, supervisors or members of the University staff.vi) The candidate (or his/her representative) shall have the opportunity to sum up their case if s/he so wishes.
i) That no grounds for a review of the examiners' decision have been established in which case the application shall be rejected.ii) That grounds for review have been established, in which case the examiners shall be instructed by the University’s Graduate School Committee to reconsider their decision in accordance with approved regulations and procedures.
i) The candidate (or his/her representative) shall be asked to put his/her case in the presence of the Review Panel and to call such witnesses as he/she wishes.ii) The Review Panel will interview or receive a written response from at least one examiner with respect to the request for review.iii) The Review Panel shall have the authority to require the internal and external members of the supervision team and any member of the University staff connected with the candidate's course of research to present an oral or written report on the case under review.iv) The Review Panel shall have the opportunity to ask questions of each witness called by the candidate. The candidate may agree to answer questions put by the Review Panel if he/she wishes.v) The candidate (or his/her representative) shall have an opportunity to respond to any statement or report made by the examiners, supervisors or members of the University staff.vi) The candidate (or his/her representative) shall have the opportunity to sum up their case if he/she so wishes.
i) to confirm the decision of the examiners.ii) to advise the University’s Graduate School Committee that the candidate be re-examined by different examiners on the thesis as originally submitted.
i) A Dean (without responsibility for the School in which the course of research was undertaken).ii) The Chair of the University’s Graduate School Committee (or nominee).iii) An appropriate external person.iv) The Dean of the School in which the course of research is being conducted. If the Dean is involved in the supervision or examination of the candidate, he/she should nominate a member of the School who has not been previously connected with the supervision or the examination of the candidate.v) Two members of the University’s Graduate School Committee with experience of supervising candidates to the successful completion of a research degree and examining research degrees candidates and who have had no previous involvement in the review, or with the supervision or the examination of the candidate.vi) The Registrar, if not previously involved in an appeal at an earlier stage.
The Registrar shall nominate a member of staff to act as Secretary to the Panel.
If, due to a disability, you need us to make adjustments in order that you can attend an interview or hearing, please let us know in advance and we will aim to meet your individual requirements. This could mean us relocating the hearing to a more accessible venue and/or making arrangements for a communicator or advocate to be present at the hearing.
Staffordshire University’s commitment to equality and diversity means that this policy has been screened in relation to the use of gender-neutral language, jargon-free plain English, recognition of the needs of disabled people, promotion of the positive duty in relation to race and disability and avoidance of stereotypes. This document is available in alternative formats on request. If you think we can improve the fairness of this policy, please contact the individual who has responsibility for its update.
The following requirements shall be adhered to in the format of the submitted thesis, portfolio or equivalent for examination:
i) The thesis, portfolio or equivalent shall normally be in A4 format; the University’s Graduate School Committee may give permission for the work to be submitted in another format where it is satisfied that the contents of the work can be better expressed in that format;ii) copies of the thesis, portfolio or equivalent shall be presented in a permanent and legible form either in typescript or print; where copies are produced by photocopying processes, these shall be of a permanent nature; where word processor and printing devices are used, the printer shall be capable of producing text of a satisfactory quality; the size of character used in the main text, including displayed matter and notes, shall not be less than 2.0 mm for capitals and 1.5 mm for x-height (that is, the height of lower-case x);iii) The thesis, portfolio or equivalent may be printed on both sides of the paper, which shall be white and within the range 70 g/m2 to 100 g/m2;iv) The margin at the left-hand binding edge of the page shall not be less than 40 mm; other margins shall not be less than 15 mm;v) Double or one-and-a-half line spacing shall be used in the typescript except for indented quotations or footnotes where single spacing may be used;vi) Pages shall be numbered consecutively through the main text including photographs and/or diagrams included as whole pages;vii) The title page shall give the following information:
a) the full title of the thesis, portfolio or equivalent;b) the full name of the author;c) that the degree is awarded by the University;d) the award for which the degree is submitted in partial fulfilment of its requirements;e) the Validated Partner Institution, if any; andf) the month and year of submission.