School of History

About Your PhD

At QMUL, you have the flexibility to complete your PhD either full-time (35 study hours per week) or part-time (17.5 study hours per week).

Time since enrolment







Enrol as a research student

between 6 and 9 months

between 18 and 24 months

Year 1 progression assessment

between 2 and 3 years (no more than 1 year before submission)

between 4 and 6 years (no more than 1 year before submission)

Transfer to writing-up status

5 months before submission

Begin filling in exam entry form

3 months before submission

Deadline for exam entry form

4 years

7 years

Deadline for submission


Throughout your programme, you are supported by a supervisory team made up of experienced academic staff in the School. Your research supervisor(s) will usually have monthly meetings with you. The frequency of contact depends upon the stage you have reached in your research. More information on supervision arrangements is available here.

First-year progression

Six to nine months into your programme (eighteen to twenty-four months of part-time students), you will be interviewed by a panel of two academic staff on the progress and viability of your PhD based on material you have submitted. The occasion provides an opportunity to assess the progress of your studies, as well as any challenges you may be encountering, and to ensure that you are on course to submit within four years (seven years for part-time students). Following a successful interview, your status as a PhD student will be confirmed.

Writing up

One year before you submit your thesis, you can transfer to writing-up status. At this point, you should only require minimal use of the School's facilities because you should have completed all data collection and be wholly engaged in analysis, interpretation and presentation. Students who have transferred to writing-up status are not required to pay tuition fees.


Once you have submitted your thesis, you will be invited to an oral examination (called a viva) during which you will be interviewed by two expert examiners (usually, one internal to QMUL and one external). The School holds training sessions and mock vivas before this examination.