Research degree administration

Student page

The Research Degrees section, based within the Graduate School, is responsible for administering MPhil and PhD studies, from the point of enrolment through to examination and conferment of the award.

Matters relating to research degree examinations and registration for research degree programmes should be addressed to the Research Degrees section (contact details below) in the first instance. If you are unsure about who to contact for your enquiry, please email the main Graduate School inbox (

Further guidance on support, training, policy and procedures can be found on the main Graduate School web pages. 

Research degree exams

Registration and submission of your thesis, your viva, contacting examiners and conferring your award.

Registering for your MPhil/PhD programme

You are required to register every year for your programme as well as pay your tuition fees. Notification for enrolment will be sent to your college email account, it is your responsibility to check this account regularly.

If you are here on a Tier 4 visa you will also be required to make two additional check-ins at the start of each term.

The normal expected length of registration is 4 years Full-Time and 7 years Part-time.

For further information refer to the Goldsmiths Code of Practice for Postgraduate Research and Training. 

Taking a break from study

With departmental consent you can take some time away from your study. You can interrupt for a minimum of 2 months and a maximum of 2 years, see Progression for Research Programmes.

  • You would not be expected to be working on your thesis or receiving supervision during this time
  • Your expected end date would be adjusted accordingly
  • You must be registered for a minimum of 3 months after a period of interruption before you submit
  • You are not permitted to interrupt in completion or continuation status unless there are extenuating circumstances and these would be dealt with on a case by case basis

2019-2020 Interruption Form (PDF)

Switching from either full or part-time study

With departmental consent you can change your mode of attendance (FT to PT/PT to FT).

  • Your registration period will be recalculated with the following formula, 1 full-time year = 2 part-time years
  • Your expected end-date will be adjusted accordingly
  • You must submit the application within 2 weeks of the date of the transfer

Please note that you are not permitted to change mode of attendance in completion or continuation status.

Change of programme form (PDF)

Off campus study

In certain circumstances, research students registered with the College may, for reasons integral to their research (e.g. overseas fieldwork), need to be based for defined periods (normally between 3-12 months) at an off-campus location.

If you are registered on a full-time MPhil/PhD programme and are going to be researching away from campus for a period of time you can apply for Off-Campus Research status for the applicable period. If approved, your tuition fee for those months will be adjusted pro rata to the part-time rate for your programme. 

You can read the current guidelines applicable to Off-Campus Research in the Goldsmiths Code of Practice for Postgraduate Research and Training. 

Applications are made via the online form below: 

 Off-Campus Research application form

Please note that there are additional considerations for students who are studying on a visa when applying for Off-Campus Research status; if you are studying on a visa, you are advised to contact Goldsmiths Immigration Advice Service to discuss your plans before making an application.




Upgrading from MPhil to PhD

Information on the upgrade process can be obtained from the Research Student Handbook. We will write to confirm your successful upgrade, if you require additional confirmation for the purposes of your sponsor please contact research-degrees (

Transfer of Registration from MPhil to PhD form (PDF)



Completion Status

Completion status is a reduced fee status available to MPhil/PhD students who are confirmed to be in the 'writing up' phase of their programme. The annual Completion Fee is the same regardless of whether a student was previously full-time or part-time. Qualification for completion status for students studying on a full-time basis will usually take effect in year 4 if you are studying for a PhD, and in year 3 if you are studying for an MPhil.  If you are studying on a part-time basis and started your programme prior to September 2013, eligibility for completion status will occur in years 6 and 7 if you are entering for the PhD examination and years 4 and 5 if you are entering for the MPhil examination.  However, if you have begun your programme from September 2013 onwards, eligibility for completion status occurs in years 7 and 8 for PhDs and years 5 and 6 for MPhils.

Eligibility for the status is assessed accordingly the following conditions:

  • Registration of at least 3 years full-time or 5/6 years part-time (depending on your start year - see above) for a PhD or registration of at least 2 years full-time or 4/5 years part-time (see above) for an MPhil
  • You must have upgraded (PhD programmes)
  • You must be on track to submit by the end of your maximum registration period (as set out in the Code of Practice for Postgraduate Research and Training

Your department will confirm your eligibility to move to completion status and notification of whether you have qualified for the status will occur at the relevant enrolment point.

Interruptions to your study when you reach completion status will only be granted in exceptional cases. PGR students who have been approved for a switch to Completion Status status will not be considered eligible for extensions to their registration period, save for in exceptional mitigating circumstances.

Further information: Tuition Fee Schedule

Extending your study, Continuation Status

If you do not submit your thesis by the end of your completion period your department can ask that you are granted one additional year of study called 'Continuation Status'. The Graduate School will consider the request; if successful you will be invited to register for the status.

The possibility of any extensions beyond the continuation year would need to be discussed in detail with your department and the Graduate School.

Further information: Tuition Fee Schedule

Extending your Tier 4 visa

If you need to apply to extend your Tier 4 visa during your studies please make an appointment with the Immigration Advisory Service well in advance of any application.

Further details on extending your Tier 4 visa.

Where to find us

The Graduate School, Room 117 Whitehead Building 
Open 9am-5pm, Mon-Fri
research-degrees (
020 7078 5390

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