Regulatory aspects of your studies

Information and resources detailing the regulatory aspects of your studies.

Regulations for Research Degrees

PhD with Practice

The PhD at Ulster University can take the form of either a standard thesis-based PhD or it can incorporate an element of practice.

The University has developed additional guidance on practice based PhDs at this University which must be read in conjunction with the general regulations for PhD and the Guidelines for PhD submissions involving practice.

PhD by Papers Format

The presentation of thesis by papers format may be suggested by supervisors when it is considered that chapters from a dissertation may be suitable for publication as papers in international journals, with little modification.

Framework for Distance Research Study

Our PhD programme may also be undertaken by 'distance' where part time PhD Researchers who are not based in the UK may wish to remain in their home country and guidelines for this approach have been developed to support candidates.

Other regulatory matters governing your research studies

You should also be aware of a number of regulatory matters which may affect your research studies.

These are noted below:

  • Attendance

    As full-time researchers, you are required to attend the University on a daily basis except by written agreement with your supervisors and Research Director. You are entitled to 40 days leave per academic year, to include public holidays and periods when the University is closed.

    Furthermore, if you hold a Student Visa, you will be required to meet monthly in person with your supervisor and record these meetings on PhD Manager.

    If you need to spend a period of time studying away from the University, you should submit your request in PhD Manager, which involves an assessment of risk and will provide the University with details of where you plan to be based (please see below).

  • Disclosure of Personal Circumstances Affecting Progress¬†

    You are encouraged to disclose any disability or long term ill health condition at the earliest opportunity, so that the University can consider appropriate reasonable adjustment(s). The University has in place excellent support structures for PhD researchers. For general assistance please contact Student Wellbeing in the first instance and, in some cases the Students Union may be able to advise or provide support.

    If you wish an examining/assessment board to take into account any difficult personal circumstances which have impacted on your ability to progress with the research programme, it is your responsibility to make the board aware of these circumstances prior to examination/assessment.

    If you choose not to disclose any such circumstances then these cannot, at a later stage, be used as grounds for appeal. You should note that these conditions apply to all assessment/progress stages.

  • Health and Safety

    As part of your induction you will be provided with a basic level of health and safety information and instruction to allow unsupervised access to low risk areas and activities (e.g. Library, computer laboratories etc.).

    As a researcher you are expected to keep yourself reasonably informed through the information and instruction provided by the University of the health and safety issues which are relevant to your activities.

    Depending on the nature of your research studies, and if required, you will be expected to contribute to any risk assessment process.

    The Universitys policies and procedures for health and safety are available online; these include specific policies on fieldwork (including advice on activity which is potentially dangerous for political, societal or geographic reasons), risk assessment and supervision of students.

  • Research Governance and Ethics

    Research governance is about the regulation, monitoring and quality assurance of research. The remit of the Universitys Research Governance section is to keep local, national and other policy under 12 Ulster University Research Studies 2017-18 review and to disseminate relevant information to the disciplines and researchers that are affected.

    Research governance is also a mechanism for managing certain parts of the research process, including permissions and authorizations, and for our purposes it primarily relates to research involving human beings as participants in  and especially subjects of  research, particularly in the sciences and social sciences. However, all research in all disciplines should be conducted with similar principles in mind.

    Research ethics is about ensuring that research, especially research involving human participants or subjects, is conducted appropriately. There are a number of issues that researchers need to address in their research design and which must be considered and approved by a research ethics committee.

    Research Integrity: all researchers are required to undertake and pass the Universitys online short course. Research Integrity which is available through Blackboard. The course takes approximately one hour to complete and provides grounding in the essentials of good research conduct, and guidance on how to avoid bad practice.

    More information on Research Governance and Ethics and Professional Integrity can be found in the University's Code of Practice for Professional Integrity in the Conduct of Research.

  • Access NI Procedures

    Access NI Procedures If, as part of your research studies, you are required to work in close contact with children or vulnerable adults, you may need to complete an Access NI (ANI) check.

    Further guidance is available online and if you are applying for an ANI check you are advised to also consult the ANI Code of Practice.

  • Plagiarism

    You should note that it is a requirement that all assessment material, including your final thesis, be submitted to TurnItIn for review by the Board of Examiners and/or Faculty as part of your assessments. For this purpose, you should use industry standard software in the production of theses.

    The University's Plagiarism policy, procedures and guidance for research degrees provides further guidance on all aspects of plagiarism and how instances will be dealt with.

  • Intellectual Property Rights

    As a researcher, you will have signed up to the Universitys IP Policy, assigning rights to the University for the duration of your studies.

    The IP Code of Practice provides more information on matters relating to IP, copyright, patents etc and procedures in relation to re-assigning of IP upon completion.

  • Data Protection

    Data Protection As a researcher, you may be required to hold and process, both electronically and manually, personal data and you must do so in line with the Universitys Data Protection Policy.

  • Appeals and Complaints


    If your studies have been discontinued by the University during your registration period (either following an interim assessment or on the basis of a lack of progress), or you do not succeed in attaining the award for which you registered, you may choose to appeal.

    This is known as A Request for a Review of the Decision of the Examiners and must be received by the Doctoral College within one month of the notification of the recommendation.


    Information about the University's complaints procedures are available online.