Research students are expected to manage their own research with guidance from their supervisor. In addition, the majority of programmes require research students to take a number of taught courses in their first year, and some courses in the second and third years (see Lectures, classes and independent study for more information about taught course teaching methods). Requirements will vary across programmes but will usually include methodology and skills training courses as well as subject-specific courses. Full details of individual programme requirements are published in the Calendar. All research students are also expected to attend, and usually present at, regular doctoral workshops held in their department.
Requirements for progress reviews are set within each department but could include passing compulsory taught courses to a particular standard and/or producing particular pieces of work relating to the research topic.
The final award is determined either by a traditional thesis (60,000 words for an MPhil or 100,000 words for a PhD) or, for some programmes, a thesis containing a series of publishable papers, an introduction, critical discussion and conclusion. Where a department does not permit submission by papers, this will be clearly indicated. A viva oral examination forms part of the final assessment for all students.