Progression Milestones: PGR Students

As part of your Doctoral Research Degree you will be required to undertake several “milestone reviews” including an initial Academic Needs Analysis and at least three Progression Reviews. Here we overview each milestone – this should be read in conjunction with the Code of Practice for Research Degree Candidature and Supervision .

The Milestones

The milestones are the method by which a student’s progress is assessed at regular intervals and provide an opportunity to formally identify issues and solutions. They also assure external regulators, funders and stakeholders of the quality of the doctoral training that the University provides.

The milestones are:

  • Academic Needs Analysis (within the first 3 months of starting)
  • First Year Progression Review (9-12 months)
  • Second Year Progression Review (Confirmation) (18-21 months)
  • Third Year Progression Review (30-33 months)
  • Interim Progression Reviews

    NEW Information for research students and supervisors on providing a Covid-19 impact statement with the First Year or Second Year Progression Review.

    If you are part-time, First, Second and Third Reviews will occur in your second, fourth and sixth year with Interim Reviews occurring in between.

    If you are deemed to not be making sufficient progress outside of one of these milestones you may also be required to attend an Exceptional Progression Review.

    The ANA and third progression review are documented discussions with your supervisory team. The first and second year Progression Reviews must include a viva, a review and update of the Academic Needs Analysis, any requirements for ethical approval and the Data Management Plan.

    The purpose of the Progression Review is to:

  • ensure regularly that you are making adequate progress through your research degree
  • enable you to become familiar in presenting your working in an assessment setting;
  • receive feedback on your research from an academic who is not in your supervisory team;
  • analyse and update your training needs, ethical approval and Data Management Plan;
  • give you an opportunity to formally raise issues concerning your studies.

    The Progression Review will be sufficiently rigorous to provide an adequate test of your knowledge and understanding of the subject material, of progress to date, and of plans for the remainder of your candidature.

    Following a Progression Review, you will be given written feedback by the Review Panel and, if necessary, written guidance on actions to be taken to support progress in your candidature.

    The links above on this page take you through each of the Progression Reviews explaining submission, assessment, outcomes and any departmental specific information that is required.

    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your Faculty Graduate School Office who will be able to provide further advice on any Faculty-specific processes.

    Useful information regarding Progression Reviews may also be found here:

  • The PGR Student Handbook
  • The University of Southampton Calendar: Section V
  • Regulations for Research Degrees
  • Code of Practice for Research Degree Candidature and Supervision.

  • Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences


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    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.