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Postgraduate Research Handbook

Structure and Assessment

PLEASE NOTE the information contained on these pages refers to 2017/18 academic year.  The Research and Training Programme is currently being updated and course outlines, RTP requirements and and the new timetable will be published shortly.

If you have any queries in this regard, please contact the AMBS RTP Administrator at 


All students will follow the Alliance MBS Research Training Programme, with discipline-specific research training available for those in Accounting and/or Finance.

Our PhD Research Training Programme comprises three elements:

  • Research Training Core Courses: These courses provide the theoretical frameworks and take you through the key stages required for you to start to develop your research.
  • Research Training Elective Courses (Research Methods Workshops): You can choose to attend as many of these as you wish throughout the duration of your programme.
  • Researcher Development Programme: This is an individualized programme of development activities to give you the appropriate and relevant preparation to help you both complete a high quality doctoral thesis and to develop a range of transferable knowledge, understanding and skills necessary for your future employment.

In addition to the programme outlined above, you may elect to attend or audit course units from those which are delivered as part of a Postgraduate Taught (PGT) programme in the School. Such modules will be subject-oriented and will not be a formal part of research training. You should speak to the PGT Administration Office (AMBS Dover Street Building) if you wish to attend such a unit. Please bear in mind that enrolment onto PGT units is subject to capacity. Similarly, you may wish to attend a PGT unit in another School - again, you should contact the appropriate office to enquire if this is possible.

Courses provided by the ESRC North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership

Details of these will be posted on this website and Blackboard. You will need to inform your divisional Doctoral Programmes Administrator if you wish to attend any of these courses. It may be possible for one or more of these courses to substitute for a research methods workshop.

Other courses elsewhere, within or external to the University

In some cases, externally provided courses can substitute for part of the RTP, where courses have equivalent learning outcomes, work requirements etc. If you have the opportunity to access specialist training and would like this to be considered as part of your research training, please contact your divisional Doctoral Programmes Administrator in the first instance. Details of relevant courses will need to be provided before any decision can be made.

As such, with guidance from your supervisor, you have the option to develop a bespoke programme of research training, for which approval will be required from the Director of the Research Training Programme.

Your Research Training will feed into your Annual Review, which will take place in June 2017, where a panel will assess your progress and make a recommendation with regards to registering for Year 2.

Assessment and Completing your First Year

The marks from the assessed work undertaken as part of the RTP will be considered by the RTP/MRes Exam board to determine if the marks attained satisfy the RTP/MRes requirements.  Your First Year Annual Review panel will also receive a copy of the marks prior to your Annual Review, along with other aspects of your PhD study, including pilot projects and/or research proposal and literature review, as part of the formal review of your progress in your first year of study. First year PhD students MUST successfully complete the necessary units (subject to pathway requirements) that form the Research Training programme (RTP) prior to progression to Year 2.  

  • Students are expected to achieve marks of 60% or more in ALL core courses (subject to pathway requirements).
  • Marks attained between 50-59% may be required to do additional work.
  • Marks below 50% will be deemed to have failed the unit.

All performance will be considered by the RTP Examination Board in June and decisions will be communicated as soon as possible.

Should further work be deemed necessary in order to satisfy the RTP requirements, these may take the form of: 

  • Submission of another assessment related to the unit.
  • Re-submission of the same assignment.
  • Re-take the entire course unit in the following academic year.
  • Re-take examination. 

Feedback of assignments

Students can expect to receive feedback and assignment marks 15 working days after submission of assignments.  Students are referred to the Policy on Feedback to Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught Students for further information.  

Penalty of late submission of RTP assessed units

Students are required to submit their assignments electronically to Blackboard by the date stipulated on the Assignment Deadline Date table on the PGR Handbook.  Where students submit late, without extenuating circumstances, 10% per day will be deducted of the final mark and after 5 days 0% will be awarded.

Extension to RTP Assignment Deadline

If you are unable to meet your assignment deadline, you must have extenuating circumstances in order to apply for an extension, as permission must be obtained by the RTP Director.  You must email the RTP Administrator at stating your extenuating circumstances at your earliest opportunity stating the circumstances that will prevent you from meeting the deadline, along with the time-frame you feel you will need to submit by.  The case will be forwarded to the RTP Director for consideration.  It is very important that you must make contact with the RTP Administrator in advance of your assignment deadline date.