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Guidance on a change of status

Support to make this as simple as possible

There are a number of reasons why a student may need to make changes to their registration status during their studies, and the guidance on these pages is intended to make this as simple as possible.

All changes of status require the support of the First Supervisor and approval from the Faculty Director for Postgraduate Research (FDPGR) under delegated authority of the Faculty Research Degrees Committee.

Once the approval has been granted the Research Degrees team will process the change and formally notify the student, their First Supervisor and the Faculty Admin team.

If, for any reason, a students’ circumstances change it may be beneficial for them to interrupt their studies or change their mode of study from Full Time to Part Time or vice versa.

In the first instance the student should discuss their options with their First Supervisor or contact the Research Degrees team for guidance.

Students may apply to interrupt their registration for up to one year. Any further interruptions would be seen as exceptional and consideration for approval of these will be at the discretion of the Faculty Director of Postgraduate Research (FDPGR).

Maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave do not count towards the one year maximum period of interruption.

Changes of mode can be requested for students other than those who are studying PhD by Publication or a Distance Learning PhD which are part-time only. 

International students should be aware that interruptions or changes of mode may have an effect on their visa. Any students wishing to check their visa status should email The UKVI Student Compliance Team.

Bursary students should refer to the details in their Bursary agreement regarding periods of interruption and payments.

To confirm a request for an interruption of change of mode a UPR4 form will need to be completed and signed by the relevant members of the Faculty before being returned to the Research Degrees team for processing. When an interruption or change of mode is approved the Research Degrees team will formally write to the student to confirm their new thesis submission date and any applicable deadlines for Annual or Major Reviews.

Should a student withdraw for any reason a UPR4 form must be completed and returned to the Research Degrees team.

If a change of course is required, for example from Prof Doc to PhD or PhD to MPhil then a student must gain the consent of their First Supervisor and approval from their Faculty Director of Postgraduate Research (FDPGR). A UPR4 form must be completed and processed by the Research Degrees team who will formally write to the student to confirm the change.

Further information regarding all of the above changes to registration can be found under Section 5 of the Regulations for Research Degrees or from Page 19 in the Operational Handbook.

If a student is unable to submit their thesis within their approved registration period then they should apply for an extension.

To enable this a UPR12 form must be completed by the student and signed by their First Supervisor before the student reaches their end date. Once this has been approved by the Faculty Director of Postgraduate Research (FDPGR) it will be sent to the Research Degrees team for processing.

For all students an extension of registration for 1 year can be approved, although part time PhD students who started their studies before October 2017 and part time Prof Doc students who started before October 2022 can apply for 2 years.

Any further extension would be classed as an exceptional extension and as such must be accompanied by a statement from the student which is supported by their First Supervisor and approved at the discretion of the FDPGR.

All associated Fees for extensions can be found on the Postgraduate research fees and bursary information webpage. 

These are mostly likely to occur when a supervisor leaves the University of Portsmouth, however they can happen for a number of reasons including maternity leave, sabbaticals, long term ill health or if the student/supervisor relationship is not working as well as it could be.

To initiate a change of supervisor a UPR3 form must be completed and fully signed by the student, First Supervisor, Departmental Director of Postgradaute Research (DDPGR), Head of Department and Faculty Director of Postgraduate Research (FDPGR).

Once the form has been sent to the Research Degrees team it will be processed, the changes are made on the system and an email will be sent to the student formally notifying them of the change.