Annual review process


What is an annual review?

  • Your academic progress is formally reviewed by an annual review meeting at least once every 12 months unless you have interrupted your studies, in which case the review will take place not more than two months after you have formally resumed your studies. This is the same for both full-time and part-time students.
  • The purpose of the annual review is to:
    • consider your academic progress
    • confirm satisfactory completion of research training
    • confirm that you have discussed the ethical implications of your research with your supervisor
    • determine new objectives and training requirements for the next period of the research project.
  • The following information should be read in conjunction with your department's specific annual review details in the block further down the page.

Annual review panel composition

The annual review panel must consist of at least one member of your supervisory team plus one member of staff completely independent of your supervisory team.

Timeline of the annual review process

  • For details of when in the year you can expect your annual review to take place, please refer to the department-specific section below.
  • You and your supervisor will be notified by the Doctoral School approx. six weeks before your next annual review is due so that you can schedule the meeting.
  • Two weeks before your meeting is due to take place, you will need to send a copy of all the relevant documents (see box below) to your annual review panel, with the Doctoral School copied in.
  • Within a fortnight of the meeting taking place, the Independent Panel member will forward the form (with the supporting documents) to the Doctoral School for processing, confirming their approval of the form on behalf of the review panel. 

Annual review deadlines

Annual review deadlines are manually calculated by the Doctoral School based on your start date and the schedule provided by your Departmental Lead / School Director of Postgraduate Education.

These deadlines will only be amended if you have interrupted your studies at the time at which you are meant to complete your annual review. In these cases, your deadline will be changed to be two months from the date you return to your studies (in line with Section 9 (1) of the Research Degree Regulations).

In all other cases, annual review deadlines will not be amended, and instead, your panel should take into account how much time you have been actively engaged with your studies since the last meeting and make a decision about your progress with this factored in.

Annual review documentation

As part of the Annual Review Process, you are expected to submit a written report showing your progress to date. The exact structure and format of this report should be discussed with your supervisor. This report, along with the documents listed below should be submitted at least two weeks prior to your meeting taking place:

  • Research Training log
  • Supervisory Meetings log
  • Copy of the Ethics Self-Assessment form (if applicable)
  • A copy of the confirmation of completion receipt from the latest PRES survey (if requested by your department - see department-specific section below).  If you do not have evidence of having completed the PRES survey, please email the Doctoral School who will be able to provide a letter confirming whether you have completed the survey. Please note that not providing confirmation of completion of PRES will not be detrimental to your academic progression.
  • If this is your first annual review, you should also provide proof that you have 

    completed the ‘Avoiding Plagiarism’ course in Moodle ( This 60 minute interactive online course is designed to ensure that students across all discipline areas follow best practice in referencing, paraphrasing and using citations

Ethics approval

As part of the annual review process, you will need to be able to confirm that you have discussed the ethical implications of your research with your supervisor. 

Find out more about the University’s ethical approval process

Special arrangements

If you have a disability, specific learning difficulty or impairment and wish to ask for reasonable adjustments to be made to the conduct of the annual review meeting, please discuss these with your supervisor ahead of the meeting so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

You may find it beneficial to speak to the University's Disability and Neurodiversity Services team for further guidance and support with requesting special arrangements

Extenuating circumstances

  • If you want the annual review panel to be made aware of extenuating circumstances that have affected your study, you should submit your statement and supporting evidence to the panel chair within the deadline set by the Department / School for the submission of material for the review (see department-specific section below for details). 
  • In the case of circumstances relating only to your performance at the review meeting, you should inform the panel members and submit a statement and supporting evidence within seven days of the meeting to the Doctoral School.

Annual review outcomes

  • After your meeting has taken place, there are three possible outcomes* that the annual review panel can choose from:
    • Good progress
    • Satisfactory progress, save for minor concerns in one or more areas
    • Unsatisfactory progress
  • If you receive an outcome of 'Unsatisfactory progress', you will be required to undertake a further review within a few months of the original meeting. The deadline for this referal meeting will be clearly stated on the annual review form. In certain cases, the Department / School may consider whether it is appropriate to issue a formal warning. 

*The School of Business and Management currently use slightly different terminology to refer to the three outcomes but they are substantively the same.

Pre-submission interviews

  • Some Departments / Schools will invite students in their writing up year, who are six months away from their submission deadline, to attend a pre-submission interview (see department-specific section below for details).
  • The pre-submission interview can be considered as similar to a standard annual review meeting, usually involving just you and your School Director of Postgraduate Education, or their nominee.
  • These meetings are not mandatory, however they are an opportunity for you to discuss your work and your preparations for the examination process with an independent academic in your School. 
  • As with other annual review meetings, you will be notified in advance of the meeting that you are eligible to complete a pre-submission interview, and who you will need to contact to arrange this. 
  • Once the meeting has taken place, the completed Pre-submission Interview form should be sent to the Doctoral School for processing. 

Return to Studies Meetings

  • If you have interrupted your studies at the time at which you are due to complete an annual review, the deadline will be moved to be two months from the date that your interruption ends and will be referred to as a 'Return to Studies Meeting'. 
  • These meetings are largely similar to a typical annual review, and use the same documentation. The main difference is that the panel's decision about your 'progress' should consider how well you have been able to pick up your studies following the interruption. 
  • As with other annual review meetings you will be notified in advance so that you can schedule the meeting
  • Once the meeting has taken place, the completed annual review form should be sent to the Doctoral School for processing.


 Department-specific information

School of Business and Management

Please be aware that the School of Business and Management uses its own version of an Annual Review Form. This form should be used in place of the standard form by all PGR Management students.


Contact us

By email:

By phone:

  • 01784 276886
  • Manned 10am-4pm, Tuesday to Thursday

In person:

  • Visit our helpdesk in room S-105, Founder's South Tower
  • Open 10am-4pm on Tuesdays

Quick links

Annual review form

Pre-submission interview form

Research training log

Supervisory meetings log

Ethical approval process

Research Degree Regulations

Tips from fellow students on completing your progression review meeting

A to Z of the Doctoral School microsite

Doctoral School processing turnaround times