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Changes to policy and curriculum

Research Degree Regulations

In August 2021, The Open University updated its new Research Degree Regulations.

This Supplementary Agreement applies to Students who have been accepted on to The Open University’s Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) (Wales) programme. This Supplementary Agreement sets out the additional terms relating to study of a PGCE (Wales) qualification under both of the routes available in this programme: the salaried route and the part-time route.

The changes made:

There have been several significant changes to this policy:

  1. Renumbering as required.
  2. RD 3.2 & PD 3.2: added a reference to training in unconscious bias as mandatory for panel members and those involved in recommendations for admission.
  3. RD 3.7, RD 3.8; RD 3.9, RD 3.10, RD 3.11, PD 3.7, PD 3.8, PD 3.9, PD 3.10 & PD 3.11: amended to provide clarity on who has authority to make an offer of registration on to a research degree.
  4. RD 4.2: amended to clarify the need for identifying supervisory expertise where a student transfers their registration to The Open University (OU).
  5. RD 5.1; PD 4.1 & PW 4.1: amended to clarify the role of the Graduate School Director in approving the appointment of supervisors.
  6. RD 5.6,
  7. RD 5.7, PD 4.7 & PW 4.3: amended to recognise conflicts of interest where members of a supervisory team are in a close personal relationship.
  8. RD 5.8 & RD 4.8: clarified to indicate that research fellows (including post-doctoral researchers), emeritus professors of the University and honorary associates of the University may only be appointed as University internal supervisors.
  9. PD 4.5 c: added the same footnote as in the PhD regulations to ensure consistency
  10. RD 5.10, PD 4.10 & PW 4.6: amended to clarify the requirement to put alternative supervision arrangements in place where a supervisor has been absent for three months or more.
  11. RD 6.3 m & PD 5.3 m: reiteration of the regulation that the third party monitor of a student cannot act as an upgrade assessor nor as an examiner.
  12. RD 7.6 & PD 6.6: reworded to provide clarity. Version number: 1.2 Approved by: Research Committee Effective from: 1 August 2020 Date for review: August 2021 172
  13. RD 8.3 & PD 7.3: reworded to say ‘right to study’ instead of ‘right to work’
  14. RD 13.1 b & 11.1 b: included the requirement for upgrade to be completed within the regulatory timeframes.
  15. PD 12.3: reference to ‘PhD thesis’ replaced by ‘doctoral thesis’.
  16. RD 14.5, PD 12.4 & PW 9.2: updated to refer to the Postgraduate Research Student Plagiarism and Research Misconduct Policy.
  17. PD 13.2: reference made to the requirement to present research within a public forum.
  18. RD 15.3d Footnote 10 & 15.6 d Footnote 12: amended to note that upgrade assessor may provide guidance to the students on future work.
  19. RD 15.3d and RD 15.6 d: amended to change mini viva to upgrade viva.
  20. RD 15.4, RD 15.7 & PD 13.5: amended to provide clarification on the timescales for upgrade revisions.
  21. PD 13.11: amended to include reference to the authority responsible for appointing external examiners.
  22. RD 17.2, PD 15.2, PW 10.2 & HD 8.2: amended to reflect a move to electronic submission of thesis only.
  23. RD 18.9 j, PD 16.9 j & PW 11.9 j: amended to remove reference to amendments not listed in the report and to remove reference to the return to the Research Degrees Team of a hard copy of the thesis.
  24. RD 18.15, PD 16.5, PW 11.15 & HD 9.15 amended to strengthen the requirement for the examiners to maintain strict confidentiality.
  25. RD 18.18, PD 16.18 & PW 11.18: clause added to reiterate that the observer plays no part in the viva except where there are concerns over the welfare of the student.
  26. RD 20.3 & PD 18.3: sentence added to note that retrospective requests for an embargo of a thesis will not be considered.
  27. RD 20.3, RD 20.5, PD 18.3 & PD 18.5: amended to minimise the need for multiple authorities to approve a thesis embargo.
  28. Appendix 1a: revised to incorporate some of the provisions within the revised QAA Characteristic Statement Master’s Degree.
  29. Appendix 1b: revised to incorporate some of the provisions within the revised QAA Characteristic Statement Doctoral Degree.
  30. Appendix 4: revised to clarify the meaning of close personal relationship and to clarify conflicts of interest in the appointment of supervisors.
  31. Appendix 5: revised to strengthen the clause regarding confidentiality.

For more help or information

Please talk to your Student Support Team if you need any further information. You can find out how to contact them on Contact the OU.