School of Mathematical Sciences

Assessment and progression

Research students are allocated two supervisors when they commence studies. The first supervisor has responsibility for academic progress during the research programme. The second supervisor will normally act as a mentor, and as a deputy for when the principal supervisor is away. Ideally students should meet with their first supervisor on a weekly basis. It is a student's responsibility to be proactive in organising contact with their supervisor to discuss their research.

Throughout a research programme it is important to be aware of Queen Mary’s current research degree programme regulations and policies, including policies on plagiarism.

Annual Review

During the first three years your progress is reviewed annually. After three years reviews will take place every six months until a student transfers to writing-up status. Each review is centred on an interview between the student and two appointed assessors. One of the assessors (usually the second supervisor) is the principal assessor and is responsible for ensuring the review is carried out efficiently. 

The common format for reviews is as follows. 

  1. At least one week in advance of the review meeting students and their supervisor send written reports to the assessors. students also provide details of training and development through their Skills Points Database record
  2. The review meeting consists of an interview of up to one hour where students explain their research and progress.
  3. Within one week of the review meeting assessors complete a report on progress and the Director of Postgraduate Research Studies will determine any actions that may be required. This might include transfers of registration, remedial action, or ad-hoc intermediate reviews.  

Preparing to Submit

Writing-up Status

Writing-up status lasts for one year only, whether a student is full or part time, and a student can transfer to writing-up status at any point after completion of the minimum registration period (2 years full-time, 4 years part-time). Further information and guidance on transferring to writing-up is on the Research Degrees Office web pages.

PhD Examination Entry

Examination entry and the appointment of PhD Examiners takes considerable time. A minimum of three to four months before the expected PhD thesis submission date a student and supervisor must nominate examiners to read the thesis and conduct the viva voce examination. There are two examiners, one who is external to the University of London and one who is internal to the University of London. The examiners must not have personal or professional connections with you or your supervisor.

Further information regarding examination entry can be found on the Research Degrees Office web pages.

Templates for PhD Theses

Students who require a LaTeX template for their thesis are advised to adapt this template created by E. Nalson, a former QMUL PhD student. Note that the thesis template may require modifications to meet current Queen Mary standards. Please check the Research Degrees Office thesis requirements to find out more..