Regulations for the Degree of Doctor of Social Science (DSocSci) and Degree of Doctor of Education (EdD)

The Regulations and Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes ("the Regulations and Code") will apply to these degrees, except where separate provision is made below.

The relevant sections of the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes will apply to the assessment of the taught component of these degrees.

 1.       Qualification for admission

1.1     Candidature for the degree shall be subject to Section 4.1 of the Regulations and Code and the relevant admissions statement.

1.2     A candidate who has obtained a Master of Science degree, or such other degree or award as may be deemed equivalent, may apply for recognition of Accredited Prior Learning and may be granted remission of part of the taught component up to a maximum of 90 credit points (DSocSci) or 100 credit points (EdD) of the 540 credit points required for award of the degree. Such an exemption will only be granted if the candidate successfully completes the doctoral programme, i.e. submits a dissertation which is approved by the examiners appointed by the University.

2.       Qualification for the degree

2.1     The qualification for the degree shall be:

a)    pursuance of a curriculum of advanced study;

b)    satisfactory performance in prescribed work;

c)    submission of a dissertation, representing a contribution to knowledge; and

d)    approval of such dissertation by examiners appointed by the University

3.       Period of study

The normal minimum period of study is three years full-time or six years part-time.

The normal maximum period of study is four years full-time or seven years part-time.

For regulations concerning suspension of study or extension of the period of study, see Section 6 of the Regulations & Code.

4. Taught Stage

4.1     Students shall take taught units as prescribed in the programme structure.

4.2     Units will be marked on a 5 point scale, A – E, where the pass mark is C, or a 100 point scale where the pass mark is 50.

4.3     Students must achieve the pass mark for the unit and meet any additional criteria, if applicable, to be awarded the associated credit. Additional criteria will be described in the unit description and School or Programme handbooks.

4.4     A student who is not awarded the credit for a unit may be permitted a second attempt to achieve a satisfactory standard to progress. Resubmission of essays and coursework should normally be within 8-12 weeks of confirmation of the grade by the external examiner.

4.5     If any student fails to achieve the unit pass mark following a re-sit of the unit, they will be required to withdraw from the programme with an exit award (if appropriate) unless there are validated extenuating circumstances. Refer the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes for full details of extenuating circumstances processes.

4.6     For any unit which is passed by re-assessment, the recorded unit mark will be capped at the minimum pass mark, even if the student achieves a higher mark in the re-assessment.

4.7     Students are subject to the University Examination Regulations on plagiarism and cheating.

4.8     The taught stage shall normally be completed within 2 years for full time students and 4 years for part-time students, subject to unit availability. Students who do not meet this time frame will be encouraged to exit with a lower award.

5.       Progression to Dissertation

5.1     In order to be permitted to progress to the dissertation, students must meet the following criteria:

a)    Pass all taught units as prescribed in the programme of study.

b)    Gain at least 100 credit points in the taught component by achieving the pass mark at the first attempt.

c)    Successfully complete any pre-requisites designated by the School as preparation for dissertation.

d)    Submit a research proposal, which must be approved by the School. Consideration should be given to the feasibility of the study and ability to complete the dissertation within the time limit.

e)    Obtain any ethical approval as required for the dissertation.

5.2     Once a student has progressed to the dissertation stage, they will be subject to progress monitoring arrangements as described in Section 6 of the Regulations and Code.

6.       Submission of the dissertation

6.1     The dissertation shall normally be submitted not earlier than one year and not later than four years after completion of the course work. The only permitted exceptions to this are covered by the rules on suspension of study or extension of the period of study in Section 6 of the Regulations and Code. 

6.2     Submissions must comply with Section 9 of the Regulations and Code.  Candidates should also be aware of the procedures for cases of plagiarism detected in a dissertation submitted for a research degree in Annex 8.

6.3     A candidate may not submit as their dissertation work which has already been submitted for an academic award of any degree awarding body. However, a candidate may incorporate part of such work, provided this is stated in the candidate’s application and the work is clearly indicated in the dissertation.

6.4     Dissertations should not exceed 45,000 words, excluding references, appendices and lists of contents. Unnecessary length in a dissertation may be to the candidate’s disadvantage.

7.       Oral Examination of the dissertation

See Section 9.4 of the Regulations and Code for details of this examination, and Section 9.5 for the possible outcomes of this examination.  

8.       Exit awards

8.1     Candidates on either the DSocSci or the EdD who fail to satisfy the examiners or who wish to leave before completing their award, may be recommended for the award of a taught Masters, PG Diploma or a PG Certificate subject to the following conditions and in accordance with the University Credit Framework:

a)  in the case of the Masters, candidates must obtain at least 180 credit points;

b)  in the case of the PG Diploma, candidates must obtain at least 120 credit points; and

c)  in the case of the PG Certificate, candidates must obtain at least 60 credit points

          The exit awards are:

In accordance with Section 1.2 of these Regulations for the DSocSci and EdD, an exemption for Accredited Prior Learning is not permitted for exit awards.  Students must reach the minimum amount of credit points to be considered for the exit award by taking and passing modules as part of their current programme of study.