Information for PGR Supervisors in FEPS
Last updated: 19th December 2023

  • Slides
  • Case studies
  • Q&A

  • New supervisors in FEPS Detailed information on University of Southampton PGR regulations, and procedures for supervision and examination. Presentation by Dr Marina Carravetta, updated November 2023.
    All supervisors in FEPS Updated information for all PGR supervisors in FEPS. Presentation by Dr Marina Carravetta, updated November 2023.
    Doctoral supervisor training e-Learning module . Course developed by the Centre for Higher Education Practice (CHEP) for new doctoral supervisors, or supervisors new to Southampton, but open to all academic staff.
    Doctoral Supervisor Update Updated information on CHEP, Disability & Inclusion, Doctoral College, Library, Student Wellbeing, SUSU and Visa & Immigration. Presentation from the Centre for Higher Education Pratice (CHEP), updated September 2023.
    Centre for Higher Education Practice (CHEP) Sharepoint site with a wide range of resources for doctoral supervisors. Resources include online training, workshops, and links to useful material to support new or established PGR supervisors.
    Doctoral College PGR Handbook Official handbook for all doctoral researchers studying at the University of Southampton.

    FEPS special PGR policies

    Supervisor loading policy
    The Doctoral College has introduced University level regulations that Graduate Schools must monitor any staff who are supervising more than 10 PGR students or more than 6.0 FTE of students. It is worth stressing that staff are not banned from having in excess of these numbers, merely that the Graduate School should keep a record. A supervisor who exceeds these limits should make a case for why exceeding the limit is appropriate. This can be included as part of the supervisory team update on PGR Manager, and is approved by the Faculty Director of Graduate School.

    PhD funding and nominal registration
    PhD studentships paid through the University should provide a stipend that is no less than the minimum stipend specified by UKRI. The duration of PhD studentships paid through the University should be a minimum of 3.5 years.
    Nominal registration
    The University regulations for nominal registration were changed in 2019-20, however, the change only applied to new PhD students starting in September 2020. Consequently, the impact of this change will not be apparent until September 2023. For PhD students starting from September 2020, the period of nominal registration is up to six months. This is in response to moving to 3.5 years funding for PhD studentships.

    MPhil funding
    Infrequently students for various reasons move from PhD to MPhil degrees. The University Calendar allows these students the same term for submission as the PhD degree. However, this does not mean we should provide funding for a full 3.5 to 4 year period for this degree that is a lesser body of work. The Graduate School has debated this at its SSLC and then the Graduate School Board and determined the following policy:
    For students moving from PhD to MPhil, the supervisor may recommend a funding period between 3-8 months for the MPhil period. Any recommendation of a longer or shorter period must receive direct approval from the Faculty Director of Graduate School.

    Research paper PhD thesis
    Previously the Faculty did not permit submission by what was called the “three-paper” thesis. Recently the University changed the policy and the name to “Research paper” thesis. Link to Quality Handbook The new policy was reviewed by the Faculty Graduate School committee, and it was decided to remove the blanket ban on the three-paper thesis (now called research paper thesis). It was recognised that in exceptional cases a PGR student may produce a body of published work that would be appropriate to compile into a research-paper thesis. There are no plans to promote the research paper thesis route and the expectation is that most PGR students will still submit a traditional thesis.
    If a student wishes to submit a research paper thesis, this should be discussed at their confirmation review. If the assessors recommend that a research paper thesis is appropriate, the student should make a request to the Faculty Director of Graduate School for approval to submit a research paper thesis.

    Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences


    Phone: +44 (0)23 8059 1924

    Building 13 | Room 2047 Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences The University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ
    About Us
    The Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences Graduate School is here to support you from the day you arrive until the day you graduate. We manage the PhD programme as well as offering help and support for both academic concerns as well as pastoral support and guidance. The office operates an open door policy so if you have any concerns please don't hesitate to stop by and see us. Alternatively we are available on email or phone.