University registration is the process by which you contractually agree to the University’s current regulations. It is a requirement for both new and returning students to complete registration at the start of your studies and for each new academic year. Please note that the start of each new academic year is September no matter what time of year you enrolled.
Registration for most students takes place online in the Student Record System.
All students will receive a notification when they need to register.
- New students receive this notification in the Welcome email from Admissions. Before you can register online, you will need to activate your University IT account
- Returning students receive this notification by email.
- New international students usually cannot complete University registration until the International Student Clearance has been completed, as detailed in the Welcome email from Admissions.
- International students returning to study after an interruption may not be able to complete University registrations until the International Student Clearance has been completed, as detailed in the “Returning from interruption” email from the PGR administration team.
How to access online registration
- Log in to the Student Record System using your short username and password
- In the Student Record System, if you have been cleared to register you will see a red box "Welcome to online registration"
- Click on the "REGISTER NOW" link to enter the online registration pages
If you have not been cleared to register, or do not need to register, you should see a message telling you why you cannot or do not need to register.
A charge of £50 may apply if registration is not completed within the dates issued, as well as a temporary block on IT access and library borrowing rights.
Periods of study
The University regulates the amount of time that students have to complete their studies, according to the type of qualification being sought and whether students are full or part time. The University also recognises that students may need to interrupt their studies for a variety of reasons, and that they may need to apply for extensions etc. All of this is governed by the University's framework of regulations of research students.
The University expects that students will make good progress on their research and writing, and progress is monitored by a series of mechanisms. Only registered students may have access to the facilities of the University, including supervision. Each student is given a Registration Status that reflects the qualification they are registered for, their ‘mode of attendance’ (full time, part time, continuation status, off/on campus) and other circumstances. Once you have reached your maximum period of study, you are expected to submit your thesis, otherwise you may face de-registration from your programme.
Further details can be found on the Teaching Quality Assurance Manual - Periods of registration and changes to registration status for graduate research students.
On MyPGR you will see your 'expected end date’. This is the date by which you must submit your thesis for examination. However, you may wish to submit your thesis before this date. It is helpful to speak to your supervisor to agree your intention of when you would like to submit your thesis. Your own personal target submission date cannot be shown on MyPGR but you may wish to record this in your supervisor agreement (updated each year). For funded students you may wish to aim to submit your thesis by your funding end date.
The Doctoral College and PGR Support Teams within, run two induction sessions each academic year for students with essential information on getting started on their research programme: One in September and another in January. Details of these are available on the Doctoral College Induction website here. All new starters are encouraged to work through the PGR Induction Portal, and online induction sessions are available for Distance-based students and those starting outside of our usual intakes. and online induction sessions are available for Distance-based students and those starting outside of our usual intakes.
If you are a campus-based research student you will be expected to be present on campus throughout your registration, with the exception of annual leave and fieldwork/research visits.
Full time students are expected to work 37.5 hours per week for 44 weeks of the year. Part time students are expected to work as per the following:
Calculation for number of hours per week per FTE (full time equivalent): 22.5 (0.6 FTE) / 26.25 (0.7 FTE) / 30 (0.8 FTE) / 33.75 (0.9 FTE).
It is important that students take time out from their studies for a break in order to maintain an appropriate work/life balance. Students are entitled to take up to 8 weeks of annual leave each year (pro-rata for part-time students) inclusive of public holidays and University closure days. Students should discuss this with their supervisors in advance.
Absence from the campus should be discussed with your supervisor(s).
Students who are distance-based are encouraged to spend some time in the University during your research and writing to experience the research culture of the University and to access any required training as agreed with your supervisor.
International students with Student Visas should note that attendance monitoring is a statutory requirement of the Points Based visa system and unauthorised absence from 10 compulsory academic activities will be reported to the UK Immigration and Visas and will result in termination of your student visa. The University has a duty to inform the authorities if a student is away from campus without agreement. Please see the Attendance and Engagement webpages for further details.
Change of status
Further details about changing mode of attendance can be found under Section 7 in the TQA Chapter 5: Periods of registration and changes to registration status for graduate research students.
Requests to change from Full to Part Time (or vice versa) will be considered by the PGR Support team on their merits. In some cases, we might also recommend changes if we think they are to your benefit.
The following part-time registrations are permitted: 0.5 FTE (full-time equivalent), 0.6 FTE, 0.7 FTE, 0.8 FTE, 0.9 FTE.
Requests to change status may not be made more frequently than at six-month intervals, without an exceptional case being made.
A review of the new arrangements should take place no later than 3 months after the change of status had taken effect. The student and supervisory team should undertake this review during a contact event to confirm that the change in arrangement is working. If there are problems with the arrangement that cannot be resolved by the student and supervisory team the lead supervisor should refer this to the PGR Support Team.
If you are in receipt of a studentship, please make sure you understand whether your sponsor will permit changes to your registration status, for instance Research Council studentships may not be permitted to change status in the latter part of the funding period.
If you are funded by a Research Council, you should be aware that the approval of the Research Council/DTP/CDT may need to be sought before seeking the approval of the University.
International students only
Student Visa holders will be required to apply for a new Student Visa before changing to either full-time or part-time mode of attendance. Students considering changing their mode of attendance should discuss the immigration implications of this change with an International Student Adviser and should be aware that a switch to part-time means a more restrictive visa. All requests from international students to change their mode of attendance to full-time or part-time must be signed off by a member of the International Student Support Office.
Further details about changing mode of attendance can be found under Section 7 in the TQA Chapter 5: Periods of registration and changes to registration status for graduate research students.
An interruption of your studies means a complete cessation of academic work for a specified period usually granted when a student is suffering from severe personal or other difficulties which make it impossible for you to continue with your research. Fees are not payable during this period and the period does not count towards the timeframe for the completion of your degree. If you would benefit from such a period then we would suggest that discuss the matter with your Supervisor. You may wish to discuss requesting an interruption with your Pastoral Tutor and your PGR Support team before completing the Interruption Request Form which is found in MyPGR. The International Student Support Office will check requests from international students on a student visa. Approval for an interruption of study is given by the relevant Director of Postgraduate Research or nominee or their nominee on the recommendation of your supervisor. Once your interruption request has been approved you will receive a confirmation email which will also provide details of your new programme end date.
Further information about interruption to study is available under Section 4 of the TQA, Chapter 5 Periods of registration and changes to registration status for graduate research students.
If you are in receipt of a studentship, please make sure you understand whether your sponsor will permit changes to your registration status, for instance Research Council studentships are normally restricted to a maximum period of 'suspension' of 12 months.
If you are funded by a Research Council, you should be aware that the approval of the Research Council/DTP/CDT may need to be sought before seeking the approval of the University. your team
The stipend payments will be suspended during periods of interruption (exceptions below). If the stipend is paid to you for a period of time during which you are not registered on the programme of study, we will seek reimbursement for any overpayment that has occurred.
1. Payment can continue during interruptions for medical reasons for up to 13 weeks (in any 12 month period) and this will also increase the length of your funding. The ‘12 month period’ is calculated from the date of your first interruption. The policy can be found at https://www.exeter.ac.uk/research/doctoralcollege/funding/currentpgrs/.
Additional information for International Students: Whether or not to take a period of interruption can feel like a difficult choice, but for international students it can also have serious immigration implications of which students are often not aware. The immigration rules are not lenient, and very rarely make allowances for compassionate circumstances. It is vital that international students are aware of the ramifications of their decision before it is finalised. You can find full regulations and information online here: Interrupting, withdrawing, completing early | International Student Support | University of Exeter and we would recommend that you speak to a member of staff in the International Student Support Office .
We recognise that during your time as a PGR, you may need to take time off from study, whether that is through annual leave, sickness or leave for other reasons. In August 2022, the PGR Student Absence Policy came into effect. PGRs who need to take absence of any kind should refer to this policy and are advised to contact their PGR Support Team if they have any questions.
You should advise your supervisor of short term illnesses and complete the PGR Self Certification Sickness form for all periods of absence (excluding pre-arranged annual leave). You should also ensure you contact any other staff you were due to meet with today, e.g. to attend training. Students on professional doctorates and work placements should also advise their place of work directly.
Please refer to the list of FAQs and further information to determine how the policy applies to you.
I have been off sick for more than 7 days, what should I do?
Absences of more than 7 days should be notified to your supervisor, you should complete a PGR Self Certification Sickness form and a copy of a medical certificate should be submitted in addition to your Self Certification form. Students who have an ILP and whose absence is linked to their disability or long-term health condition do not need to provide a medical certificate.
Students experiencing ongoing sickness should discuss their concerns with a member of their supervisory team or their PGR pastoral tutor, as a period of interruption may be appropriate.
The PGR Support team can offer advice on your eligibility for sickness pay according to your particular sponsorship arrangements. Please note that it is exceptional for the start date of an interruption to be back-dated. If you are considering applying for an interruption due to illness please ensure you do so as soon as possible,
Please contact your PGR Support Team for more information.
If your health and wellbeing is having an impact on your ability to study or studying is creating health problems for you, confidential and non-judgemental support can be provided by the University:
- PGR Specific Wellbeing Support (all PGR Students)
- Student Wellbeing (Exeter Campuses)
- Student Support and Wellbeing (Cornwall Campuses)
If you are in receipt of studentship funding through the University, your stipend payment will not normally be suspended or adjusted during short-term periods of sickness or other authorised absences of less than one month.
If you are absent from your studies for one month or more due to illness, you should apply for an Interruption of Study on MyPGR.
Please note that it is exceptional for the start date of an interruption to be back-dated. If you are considering applying for an interruption due to illness, please ensure you do so as soon as possible.
We will be able to advise you on your eligibility for sickness pay according to your particular sponsorship arrangements. Please contact your PGR Support Team for more information.
Sickness pay is available to students who are funded from a UKRI Training Grant. For these students they are entitled to 13 weeks (91 days) paid sick leave within any rolling 12 month period. The 12 month period starts on the first date of the medical interruption.
If you receive a stipend through the University of Exeter you may be eligible for sickness absence pay, full details of which can be found in our Sickness Absence Stipend Payment Policy 2021.
*Students studying on the DClinPsy programme should consult their student handbook for further guidance.
Am I entitled to sickness pay if I am working at the University (as a PTA)?
Please refer to the Human Resources Guidance for more information.
Maternity/Paternity/Shared Parental/Adoption Leave – if you need to take leave of this kind, the University has a policy on this. For students in receipt of funding administered by the University of Exeter stipend payments can continue for some time, please see Annex C: Maternity Funding Policy for full details.
You are permitted to withdraw from your programme of study at any time and for any reason, but any fees or fines that you have outstanding must still be paid. Once you withdraw from a programme, your registration is terminated, and you cease to be a student of the University. If you are considering withdrawal from study due to adverse personal circumstances, you should ensure that you have first considered interrupting your studies instead. To help the University understand the reasons for your withdrawal, and to formally tell the University about your decision to withdraw, you are asked to complete a PGR Withdrawal Form.
Once all parties have signed the form, you will receive written confirmation of your withdrawal and a copy of the form and letter will be sent to the Postgraduate Administration Office to update your record.
If you are in receipt of a stipend through the University, you would not be required to repay your stipend, but we would seek reimbursement for any overpayments you may have received by the withdrawal date (as we pay stipends in advance).
Further details about withdrawal are available in section 11 of the TQA, Chapter 5 Periods of registration and changes to registration status for graduate research students.
You can apply for reinstatement at a later date in line with the regulations here: Section 14 in TQA Chapter 5 - Periods of registration and changes to registration status for graduate research students, with the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of Faculty and the Dean of Postgraduate Research so withdrawal does not necessarily mean that you must give up your studies forever. To apply for reinstatement, you will need to produce a work plan and timetable to submission and your application will be considered on its own merits by the relevant Department . There is no guarantee that an application will be successful however as there are many considerations for a Department.
Additional information for International Students considering withdrawal : Withdrawal is always a difficult choice, but for international students it can also have serious immigration implications of which students are often not aware. The immigration rules are not lenient, and very rarely make allowances for compassionate circumstances. It is vital that international students are aware of the ramifications of their decision before it is finalised and understand what actions they must take after the withdrawal to ensure that they are allowed to study in the UK in the future. It is a requirement of the Immigration Office that only authorised University personnel in the International Student Support Office interview and sign off forms for students who wish to withdraw from their studies.
Extensions to the maximum period of study are only granted in very exceptional circumstances and must be approved by the relevant Director of Postgraduate Research.
In cases of illness, excessive personal, work or other commitments, or other difficult circumstances it is expected that you will follow the advice on Interruption of Studies. In the case of problems with your research, you are expected to have built in a time allowance for addressing problems and as such failure to do so will not normally be sufficient grounds for an extension. If you wish to apply for an extension, please read the regulations under section 10 in TQA, Chapter 5 - Periods of registration and changes to registration status for graduate research students and complete the Extension Form. You are required to submit an outline of work completed to date and a work plan and schedule for completion of the remaining parts. If your request is approved, you will receive written confirmation of the new expected end date for your thesis/dissertation and this will usually be done in conjunction with an initial warning for Unsatisfactory Student Progress and Engagement which will formalise your work plan and deadlines.
Research Council Students only: Research Council funded students, who require an extension to their submission date, must submit an application to your relevant PGR Support Team. Applications must be received 6 months before the submission deadline date and will be forwarded to the Research Council or Doctoral Training Partnership for approval.
Transfer to continuation status is not an automatic right as it is dependent upon your progress. The Statement of Procedures on transferring to continuation status can be found here:
Statement of Procedures: Periods of Registration and Changes to Registration Status for Graduate Research Students
For students who started prior to the academic year 2019/20:
A move to Continuation Status is not an automatic right for a student, however, all students are encouraged to apply to transfer at the appropriate point in their studies. Continuation Status is granted on the basis that the student:
- no longer requires normal levels of supervision;
- will not undertake any significant additional research;
- will be expected to submit within 12 months
For students who started from the academic year 2019/20:
A move to Continuation Status is not an automatic right for a student but granted on successful progression which should for the majority mean that they are ready to transfer to continuation status three to six months ahead of submission.
Students will have to demonstrate the following:
- Being in a position where formal submission of the thesis within three-six months is demonstrably possible. For part-time students this period should be calculated on a pro-rata basis.
- Being in a position where formal submission within their maximum period of study is demonstrably possible.
- The student has provided a project time-line to submission with their application.
- The supervisory team have received a complete or near complete draft of the thesis.
Students in continuation status are considered to be writing-up their thesis, so are charged significantly reduced “continuation fees” . Students who have transferred to continuation status will be expected to make minimal use of University resources.
You will need to discuss a potential transfer to Continuation Status with your supervisor(s) and if they agree that it is appropriate you will need to complete the request to transfer to Continuation Status Form which you will find in MyPGR.
Please see the ‘Student Pregnancy, Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Policy’ for more information. You might also like to note that Annex C: Maternity Funding Policy covers provision of stipend payments for funded postgraduate research students. Pregnant students or students who have returned from maternity leave should also consider completing a maternity support plan, under Annex A: Pregnancy and Maternity Support Plan.
Our Parent and Carer webpage also details useful information about support during your studies if you are a parent and/or carer.