Progress and reviews

Your study and research progress will be planned in conjunction with your supervisory team. The progress is assessed periodically and monitored throughout the programme to ensure you are able to submit a high quality thesis within the permitted timeframe.

Academic progression and monitoring for PGR degrees is governed by the University’s Policy on the Progress and Review of PGR students which forms part of the University’s Code of Practice for PGR.  

You are advised to familiarise yourself with this policy:

Progression milestones

Your progress will be monitored on eProg, which is a University-wide system that is specifically designed to help to structure your programme and enable both you and your supervisors to monitor your progress.

Progress reviews

Progress is assessed at formal progress reviews held twice a year:

You can check the deadlines for the mid year reviews in your ‘My Progression’ page in eProg. 

Regular monitoring of progress provides an opportunity for students to receive feedback on their performance and to identify and address difficulties as they arise.

You will be asked to prepare for each review and there will be a report written outlining the key outcomes. In particular, you must satisfy the Annual Review Panel that you have made the progress expected by the relevant point in your studies, in order to continue on the programme.  

Formal progress review meetings are treated as examinations in as much as, if a meeting is cancelled, it will be rescheduled at the nearest possible date. Further, should you fail to attend, or fail to submit a piece of work that is to be reviewed at that meeting without presenting any mitigating circumstances, then the panel will record this on your file and call for a rescheduled meeting.

Where you submit a piece of work that fails at the formal progress review meeting, fail to meet the requirements to progress to the next stage of the programme as part of the review or do not submit the work requested, this will be recorded on your file as a formal submission / failure to submit.

Repeated non-attendance of scheduled formal progress review meetings, failure of a piece of work on second submission or repeated non-submission of review material without the presentation of mitigating circumstances will lead to the case being referred to the School Postgraduate Research Committee for consideration and possible termination of registration.

Please see the ‘Satisfactory progress’ section to find out more information:

Length of programme

The length of your programme has been communicated to you in your offer letter. 

The standard lengths of programmes are as follows:

PhD 3 or 3.5 years 6 or 7 years
MPhil 1 year 2 years
Professional doctorates 3 or 3.5 years 6 or 7 years

It is expected that you will complete your PhD within the standard length of the programme. However, the university recognises that it may sometimes not be possible for PGR students to submit their thesis by the programme's official end date.

You may therefore be eligible to apply to extend the programme's official end date and / or enter a period of 'submission pending' for the sole purpose of writing up the thesis. Please refer to the Faculty Guiding Principles for the Submission Pending Period.

Mid-year reviews

The mid-year review is an interim review to discuss any issues, to prepare for the Annual Review, and can in cases of poor progress be used to determine progress.

It will be held by the end of month five of each academic session.


Details of the requirements of the review are contained within the mid-year review milestone in eProg.

  • eProg

You need to complete the mid-year review form with your supervisory team by the deadline given in the system.  You will meet with both your supervisors to discuss the comments made and to discuss plans for onward progression to ensure timely completion of the thesis.

Find out more

Please note that the format and organisation of the meeting may vary between departments. In particular, for example, the mid-year review may involve a panel of academics and not just the supervisory team.

In other departments, it is more likely that the meeting will only involve the student and their supervisory team. Your supervisor will provide specific details if special arrangements are to be made for your mid-year review.

Annual reviews

All students are required to undergo a formal review of progress in month nine of each academic year, which for most students will be no later than the end of June. This review will determine whether students progress to the next year of study.

An annual review meeting must take place in all years of registration, regardless of whether a student is full-time or part-time. In attendance must be the student and either the supervisory team and at least one independent reviewer or the student and at least two independent reviewers.  The department coordinator can also be asked to attend the review meeting if required and available. If the supervisor does not attend the meeting with the student and the two or more independent reviewers, they must be fully consulted in relation to the student’s progress and the standard of the progress report before the meeting and involved in discussions after the review regarding the final recommendation. Please see the SEED Annual Review document for further details.

A written piece of work must be submitted for consideration, as a minimum, for every annual review.

As per the Policy on the Progress and Review of Postgraduate Research Students, students will be assessed for satisfactory progress against criteria which should typically include a clearly identified and accepted research topic and a thorough review of relevant literature which demonstrates a good understanding of the research context. Students should also be able to demonstrate they have developed, in consultation with the supervisory team, a suitable research plan and approach for carrying out the research, and that they have attained the skills and experience necessary to achieve the research plan. Good practice would be for the student to submit a recognised piece of work, as to be agreed, that contextualises how this fits into the thesis - for example, a chapter.

A timeline for completion of your programme should also be completed.  The purpose of the timeline is to act as a guide for completion planning so that you can readily see how far you have already progressed, but also visualise and plan for what remains to be done. 

It also provides a clear illustration to those assessing your progress what has actually been achieved, when the majority of the review might be focused mainly on a current project/piece of research.

Students and supervisors may refer to the SEED Annual Review document for guidelines on the level of research work, research proficiencies, work plan and other expectations that PGR students are expected to demonstrate at the annual review.

Student responsibilities

Your responsibility in terms of the annual review is to:

  • attend the annual review meeting, unless you have mitigating reasons to not be in attendance;
  • submit the work required on time; to engage with the process;
  • complete your sections of the annual review form before the annual review meeting in a timely manner allowing the panel enough time to consider all inputs on the form.

You should also ensure you are available following the annual review meeting to discuss the outcome with either your supervisors or the PGR Director and / or department coordinator.

It is a requirement of registration that all students successfully progress via the annual review process each year.

You will not be permitted to re-register until the PGR office has received confirmation from the review panel that your academic progress is satisfactory.

Students who have remedial work should contact the PGR Office to inform them of their status, for registration purposes and late registration charges.

Annual review - second year onwards

All doctoral students will continue to undergo formal Annual Reviews normally each year in June or earlier until the thesis has been submitted for examination. 

Post review: Recommendations

Initial recommendations

The review panel will write a report on the review using the annual review form in eProg.  They will outline their judgement and give details of any further action required by you – for instance, you may be asked to re-submit a written report or undertake further work, with or without a further presentation. They will record one of the following initial recommendations regarding your future study:

  • Continuation - The student has met the required doctoral standards and the recommendation is made for the student to continue registration on the doctoral degree.
  • Resubmit - (remedial work) The student has almost met the required doctoral standards but further work must be done to continue registration.  Following the first attempt at a formal review, students will normally be given one opportunity to resubmit work for a formal review and will normally be given up to ten weeks after the first panel meeting to complete the remedial work and submit it to the panel for consideration.  The resubmission and review of the submitted work should, where possible, take place before the end of the student's current year of study.  
  • Transfer - The student has not met the required doctoral standards and a recommendation is made for the student to be transferred from the doctoral degree to MPhil.
  • Withdrawal - The student has not met the required standard for doctoral degrees or MPhil and the recommendation is made for the student’s registration to be terminated.

Final recommendations (following resubmission)

Once the Annual Review is complete, including any assessment of resubmitted work, the panel will make a formal recommendation which will determine your progression on the programme. The panel will make one of the following final recommendations: 

  • Continuation - The student has met the required doctoral standards and the recommendation is made for the student to continue registration on the doctoral degree.
  • Transfer - The student has not met the required doctoral standards and a recommendation is made for the student to be transferred from the doctoral degree to MPhil.
  • Withdrawal - The student has not met the required standard for doctoral degrees or MPhil and the recommendation is made for the student’s registration to be terminated.

For further details of these outcomes, please refer to the Policy on the Progress and review of Postgraduate Research Students:

Appealing the outcome of an annual review

If you are not satisfied that the reviews were undertaken and recommendations were made in accordance with University regulations, you may submit a formal appeal.

We advise that you discuss this in the first instance with your supervisor, PGR director and/or graduate office.

Satisfactory progress

All PGR students within SEED will have their progress reviewed formally twice a year throughout their University career.  These timeframes will be adjusted accordingly for students who have had periods of interruption to their studies or to take into consideration the registration of part-time students and students registering outside of the normal September period.

Minimum requirements

You should be aware that what is detailed in this section are the minimum requirements for progression and monitoring within the School.

The timing and number of reviews given in the SEED Annual Review document are indicative of a normal progression structure for a PGR student. However, if your progress is assessed as unsatisfactory by an annual review panel, you may be required to have your progress assessed more than twice a year.

The School reserves the right to convene a panel to review the progress of a student at any time during their University career.

It is a requirement of registration that all students successfully progress via the Annual Review process each year. 

You will not be permitted to re-register until the Postgraduate Research Office has received confirmation from the Review Panel that your academic progress is satisfactory.

Progression milestones

Progression milestones help you keep track of your progress. They represent each activity that you must complete to meet the programme requirements with deadlines in order to help you plan your activities. They are in an electronic system called eProg.

What is eProg?

eProg is a University-wide system that is specifically designed to help to structure and break down the PGR programme and monitor progress, both for supervisors and for postgraduate research students.

It is useful to think of eProg as being split into three main functions:

1. Progression

Monitoring and recording your progression from the point of registration to the point at which you submit the Notice of Submission form.

2. Thesis submission and examination

Monitoring and recording the submission to examination process from the point at which you submit the Notice of Submission form to the point at which your final award is ratified.

Your thesis examination will be recorded in eProg. My Examination Summary area can be found in your individual student profile and displays the status of your thesis examination stages.

3.  Researcher development training courses

You can keep a record of all training you have attended (this is also visible to your supervisors) which is useful when writing CVs or job applications.


  • It helps you to stay on track to submit your thesis on time.
  • You can use eProg to track your progression and plan targets.
  • You can your supervisor can view your progression history and meeting logs at any time and remotely.
  • All completed milestones and forms remain in eProg and can be referred back to.
  • eProg is an interactive tool for you and your supervisor and offers an online platform for you to record and track key progression milestones throughout the programme from the point of registration to examination.

Accessing eProg

You will be expected to use eProg regularly throughout your studies, and it is particularly crucial for thesis submission and recording meetings with your supervisor.

You can access eProg via My Manchester:

If you have completed your IT Account Activation and been given a central account, you use the username and password given to you to log into eProg.  You will have access to your eProg record whilst you are an active student.

Using eProg

Guidance to help with using eProg can be found on the Faculty of Humanities eProg Student Guide.

For guidance on how to book training courses via eProg, please see our video guide Booking onto Training Courses via eProg.

Help and support  

For queries related to specific milestones on your programme, please contact