Policies and procedures

There are numerous policies and procedures given in the University Fees and General Information for Students section of the University Calendar, which also contains information on Hardship Funds, the Code of Procedure for Appeals and the Complaints Procedure.

It also sets out the University's policies on 'Sexual or Racial Harassment' and 'Plagiarism'.

The College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences section of the Calendar provides the definitive regulations governing admission, award of degrees and degree regulations.

Additionally, the PGR Code of Practice sets out the policy of the University of Glasgow with regard to good practice in all matters relating to postgraduate research students. 

Its aims are to ensure that consistent, high standards are set and achieved across the University and to define clearly the responsibility of all parties, including students and their supervisors.  

Further information about the Code of Practice can be viewed on the Research Strategy and Innovation Office Postgraduate Research Service website.

Suspension of Studies

Students should record short periods of absences from their studies, e.g., a short period of illness, in MyCampus as detailed in the Student Absence Policy to have an ongoing record of any negative impacts on their ability to fully participate in their studies.

While students sometimes resist this so that they don’t appear to be struggling, a thorough absence record can, for example, support requests for extensions or a case for a change in status from full time to part time.

Where students are experiencing periods of mental or physical ill health or are experiencing any issues or pressures that affect their ability to fully participate in their studies, they are encouraged to seek appropriate support and, where needed, a period of leave from their studies. Students may request leaves of absence (suspensions of study), or extensions as detailed in Section 8 of the Code of Practice.

Periods of suspension or extension are not granted retrospectively, e.g., on return to study, except where this was unavoidable.

Students who are in receipt of scholarship funding to support their studies should be mindful of any terms and conditions of their funding and how a period of absence might affect stipendiary or other payments.

The University is unable to continue stipend payments out with the 13-week period set out in the Student Absence policy unless individual funders make specific provision for this. Students should seek advice from their Graduate School and/or the Student Services Enquiry Team who may be able to direct them to hardship or emergency funding, where this is available.

A suspension of study usually cannot extend beyond 12 months. Beyond this original 12-month period, a second period of suspension (also only up to 12 months) will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. Students must provide appropriate documentation to support any such requests.

International Students - Suspensions of more than 60 days

If your school or college gives you approval to be absent for more than 60 days, the University is required to withdraw sponsorship of your visa. If you are in the UK, you will need to leave the UK and apply for a new visa when you are ready to return and resume your studies. Please note that this also applies to suspensions of study requested for maternity leave.

If you are considering suspending or deferring your studies, contact International Student Support who can offer you further advice.

If you are experiencing any difficulties, don't suffer in silence. Talk to your supervisors and Postgraduate Convenor and discuss whether a suspension of studies is appropriate. And don't leave it too late. Periods of suspension or extension are not granted retrospectively, e.g., on return to study, except where this was unavoidable.

Suspension of Studies

Extension to thesis submission

If you and your supervisor(s) perceive that the original submission date may not be achievable you may apply for an extension no later than 3 months prior to the planned submission date.

An extension to your submission deadline can be granted subject to approval by the Higher Degrees Committee and in compliance with any funder terms and conditions. See the PGR Code of Practice.

Extensions are not granted for a period in excess of 12 months and are considered on a case by case basis.

Eligible reasons for granting an extension include:

  • ill health (accompanied by medical certification)
  • death of a person with whom a close relationship can be demonstrated (e.g. immediate family member; spouse)
  • delay to data gathering/analysis due to lack of operable equipment
  • dramatic change in circumstances

The application should be written and submitted by you, the student, and include:

  • an account of the reasons for the application
  • a plan and timetable for the revised submission
  • sufficient evidence to support the application (medical certificates, evidence of relationship)
  • letter of support from the principal supervisor.

The Graduate School shall inform you in writing of the outcome of the application for extension with the reasons for the outcome with any revised submission dates if applicable.

Applications should be submitted at least two weeks prior to Higher Degrees Committee meetings and emailed back to the MVLS Graduate School.

Download your Extension to Thesis Submission

Late thesis submission

Under the Regulations for the various types of research degrees (PhD, MD, MSc), there are strict time limits for submission of theses. 

Some funding bodies have imposed penalties on institutions showing poor rates of timely thesis submission. 

Once such a time limit has passed, the student (or former student) loses the absolute right to submit a thesis and be examined. 

Graduate Schools do have discretion to allow late submission.  However there has to be a convincing case made.  

Applications for extension will be considered on a case by case basis.

Please see the Extension to Thesis Submission for eligibility criteria.

In this Graduate School, applications for permission to submit a thesis late are considered by the Higher Degrees Committee which meets 4 or 5 times annually. 

Applications should be lodged with the MVLS Graduate School at least two weeks in advance of the relevant meeting

The Supervisor’s letter is particularly important in informing the HDC's decision.  The Board will not normally consider a second application if a degree candidate fails to meet an extended deadline. 

If permission is granted for a late submission, payment of the late fee is required.

Note:  In the specific case of international students who have not submitted a thesis on time and whose visa is approaching expiry, a very good case will need to be made in order to justify the University sponsoring a visa extension to enable thesis submission.

 Download your Extension to Thesis Submission

Research furth of Glasgow

Doing research or fieldwork away from your University base.

Graduate students are expected to be based at the University throughout their studies unless there is a specific arrangement for locating at a recognised institution (listed below) or local NHS hospital. 

In cases where the location is not University premises, permission should be sought in advance. 

Special permission must also be obtained in advance for any work undertaken away from the usual location. 

This applies whether the remote work is in another academic or research institution, or industrial laboratory, where supervision levels and facilities and safety are at least equivalent to those here; or whether you are doing fieldwork. 

Permission is required, under the University’s guidelines, for any period of over a month away. 

Permission is not withheld unreasonably but we do have to ensure that students are appropriately supervised, are safe, and that facilities are adequate. 

Further Information

Research Furth of Glasgow

Research Furth Application Form (MS Word)

Research Furth Checklist (MS Word)

Absence policy

The University expects students to complete their study in a single continuous period. 

Absences from research degree studies may, however, be appropriate when a student needs to suspend or interrupt studies, for example, as a result of maternity leave. 

In such instances, application for a prospective suspension of study should be made, in writing, to the Graduate School.

The absence policy can be found in the Code of Practice and guidance can be found on How to Report an Absence.

Travel insurance

It is important that  the Finance Office is notified of staff and postgraduate student business travel for insurance purposes.

The travel insurance policy covers staff and postgraduate students travelling on University business if the journey is either (i) outside the UK or (ii) within the UK and involves either air travel or an overnight stay (in the case of an overnight stay the mode of travel is irrelevant). 

An online form must be completed for each journey at least seven days prior to departure.  An insurance cover note will be returned via e-mail.

Travel insurance can be found here.

Travel Booking for Staff and Students

The University has developed a new travel solution for PGR students and staff, in partnership with Selective Travel, to simplify the University’s current travel booking process.

The new University Travel Hub will be live and fully operational from Tuesday 21 June.

What is the University Travel Hub?

The new Travel Hub not only enables self-booking for University flight, accommodation, and rail travel, but also has the advantage of instant booking confirmations and eliminating the need to raise a Purchase Order or using external booking websites.

Who is the University Travel Hub for?

  • The Travel Hub is for travellers to book their travel directly (colleagues and PGR students). If you prefer to self-book travel, the Hub is very intuitive and easy to use, like Expedia or other travel search engines! You will find a range of online support and FAQs in the Travel Hub.

Contact & Support Resources

A range of training and online resources have been developed to ensure all colleagues feel confident and supported as they begin to use the Hub. User guides, FAQs and videos are all easily accessed via the University Travel Hub, which will be live from 21 June.

If you have any initial questions, please contact the Project Team by email (golivetravelhelp@glasgow.ac.uk) or visit www.gla.ac.uk/myglasgow/procurementoffice/travelinformation/

Travel Hub

UKBA compliance

Guidance for Students:
As you are aware, as your sponsor, the University has to follow strict regulations as outlined by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) in relation to attendance monitoring of Tier 4 students whilst they complete their studies.

As outlined during registration, students also have specific responsibilities under the points based immigration system; please find further guidance at Tier 4 visa.

As you are aware, University Registry will conduct three central ‘check-in’ points during the academic year, at which students are required to attend. Please follow the guidance circulated from Registry regarding the arrangements for these check-in points.

Further information on Tier 4 Student Visa Holder Responsibilities can be found at‌ Your responsibilities.

Code of Practice student agreement

You will receive notification to login to the Code of Practice Student Agreement using your GUID and password to confirm that you have read and agree to abide by the Code of Practice. 

If you have not yet started at the University of Glasgow as a new student and informed the Graduate School of any delay in your start date you need take no further action at this stage, however you will be asked to complete the Code of Practice registration once you have taken up your position as a research student.

Any questions should be emailed to mvls-gradschool@glasgow.ac.uk.

Appeal procedures

What is an Appeal?

A request for a review of a decision by an academic body charged with making judgements concerning student progression, assessment, or awards. For example, if you have sat your viva and do not agree with the outcome given to you by the examiners, you may wish to launch an appeal.

You should be aware that if you graduate you are deemed to have accepted the award; if you wish to formally appeal you must withdraw from graduation.

First Stage - Submit an Informal Appeal

  • Contact the MVLS Graduate School within 10 working days of publication of the decision to be appealed, to explore whether there is a possible resolution without proceeding to a formal appeal.
  • The student then has a further 20 working days to submit full grounds for appeal and any necessary supporting documentation.
  • There are three permitted grounds for appeal:
    i) unfair or defective procedure;
    ii) a failure to take account of medical or other adverse personal circumstances;
    iii) relevant medical or other adverse personal circumstances which for good reason have not previously been presented.
  • The Graduate School will contact the exam convenor of the examination committee to review the appeal and supporting documentation.
  • The exam convenor will contact the examiners to review the outcome based on the appeal and supporting documentation.
  • The exam convenor will contact the Graduate School with the outcome of the informal appeal, whether its a change to the outcome or maintaining the current outcome.
  • The Graduate School will inform the student of the outcome of the appeal.

Second Stage - Submitting a Formal Appeal

  • The student must submit a letter intimating an intention to appeal within 10 working days of publication of the decision that they wish to appeal. 
  • The student then has a further 20 working days to submit full grounds for appeal and any necessary supporting documentation.
  • There are three permitted grounds for appeal:

i) unfair or defective procedure;
ii) a failure to take account of medical or other adverse personal circumstances;
iii) relevant medical or other adverse personal circumstances which for good reason have not previously been presented.

  • The College Appeals Committee Convener will decide whether to consider the appeal by full hearing (which the student may attend) or by preliminary disposal (which is held in private).
  • The College Appeals Committee will consider the grounds for appeal and will take account of a response from the School/Subject Area.
  • If you are asked to provide such a response, please bear in mind that this will become part of the appeal papers and will be made available to the student. The Committee may dismiss the appeal, uphold it or refer the case back to the Board of Examiners/Progress Committee for further consideration.
  • If the appeal has been considered by preliminary disposal and the student believes that some element of the appeal has been overlooked they may request reinstatement of the appeal for further consideration by a full hearing of the College Appeals Committee.
  • If they wish to seek reinstatement, they must do so within 10 working days of the Appeals Committee’s decision being issued, explaining what they believe has been overlooked.
  • A member of the College Appeals Committee who has not been involved in the case will decide whether there are grounds to permit reinstatement.
  • If the student is dissatisfied with the outcome from the College’s consideration of the appeal (whether or not they sought reinstatement) they may be able to proceed to the Senate Appeals Committee.

The SRC Advice Centre is available to advise students. 

You are encouraged to consult the SRC, as they can provide invaluable independent advice on the grounds for appeal and on the appeals process.

If a student is considering appealing against their final award, they should be aware that if they graduate they are deemed to have accepted the award; if they wish to appeal they must therefore withdraw from graduation.


PhD Student Maternity, Paternity, Parental, Adoption Pay and Leave Policy

This policy should be read in conjunction with the University's Student Maternity Policy as outlined by the Senate Office.

Scope of the Policy

This policy covers any registered PhD student in the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences who is pregnant during the period of PhD study; whose partner is pregnant; and for those who become a parent through adoption, whilst receiving a stipend from the University.

There is no maternity, paternity or adoption pay provision available for students who are self-funded or in a writing-up status after funding has ceased.


There is no qualifying period for maternity, paternity, or adoption leave e.g. a student can take leave regardless of when they commenced their studies.


Students should contact their supervisor initially, or where necessary the funding organisation, for advice and guidance.

It is recommended that students discuss this with their supervisor at the earliest opportunity so that provision can be made available.

Should funding not be found, students will be entitled to the following:

  1. 52 weeks of maternity leave. The first 26 weeks are paid at the full stipend rate. The following 13 weeks are paid at a level equivalent to employee SMP. The final 13 weeks are unpaid. Current rates for employee SMP can be found on the GOV.UK website - Statutory Maternity Pay and Leave: Employer Guide.
  2. Partners are entitled to up to 10 days paid ordinary paternity leave on full stipend.
  3. Submission dates can be amended for periods of maternity, paternity, or adoption leave and if the student changes to part-time study; however, a formal request must be submitted in advance to the Higher Degrees Committee.
  4. There is no limit to the number of periods of maternity, ordinary paternity, shared parental or adoption leave that can be taken during a studentship.
  5. Students may opt to study part-time (normally 50%) following a change in their personal circumstances, a request for which must be submitted in advance to the Higher Degrees Committee.

Where no funding is found local PGR administrators should be advised. They will then liaise with the MVLS Financial Aid tram to arrange payment.

Maternity Leave for International Students:

Main policy can be found here on the Senate webpage.

The International Student Support Team advise that Tier 4 or Student Route visa holders are allowed a maximum of 60 days of maternity-related absence.

The key Points:

  • Students requiring a Visa to study in the UK must check the terms of their Visa closely and comply with any restrictions or requirements. If clarification is needed on the terms of the Visa, this should be sought immediately from the UKBA and students are advised to obtain advice from International Student Support (see https://www.gla.ac.uk/international/support/).
  • International students with financial sponsors must contact their sponsors and agree a plan of action (such as deferring study/ when to resume study etc.). Those international students who are not entitled to any maternity benefits in the UK may prefer to return home for the duration of their pregnancy. It should be remembered that most airlines will not carry passengers who are seven months pregnant or more, and this should be taken into account when planning. The benefit rules are different for EU students and international students, and further advice should be sought from the International Student Support, or SRC Advice Centre.

Policy on student surveys

Approval for internal student surveys that form part of an externally funded research project should be sought before the funding bid is submitted.  Surveys that form part of either an undergraduate or postgraduate project should also be approved before the project is initiated. For surveys that will only involve students from within one School or College, permission for the survey should be obtained from the relevant Head of College.  For surveys that will involve a broader cross-section of the student population, permission should be sought from the Clerk of Senate who will make the decision whether or not to grant permission in consultation with the President of the Students Representative Council.  Approvals of this type should be sought prior to submission of the project for ethics approval.

All requests from external organisations to survey any group of students of the University should be referred to the Clerk of Senate who will make the decision whether or not to grant permission in consultation with the President of the Students Representative Council.

For further information click here

Note: “University Supported” projects (such as NSS), that include a student survey element, are exempt from this policy as appropriate mechanisms are already in place for their approval.  If there is any doubt whether a project is “University Supported”, the matter should be referred to the Vice-Principal (Learning and Teaching) for decision.

Annual Leave

PGR students are entitled to take a maximum of eight weeks annual leave, including public holidays. Please see your local School or College guidance to confirm annual leave procedures. 

Annual leave may be taken in accordance with a funder or employer's regulations and in line with any visa requirements or restrictions with which a student must comply:

  • Funder, visa or employer terms and conditions overrule University Policy regarding periods of leave. By accepting a studentship/employment/visa, you are agreeing to these specific terms and conditions if they differ from University policy.
  • Always refer to the funder/employer/visa terms and conditions in the first instance and contact the Graduate School and Immigration Compliance if further clarification is required.
  • If you are subject to visa restrictions, inform the Graduate School and your local PGR admin of the dates of absence once a period of annual leave is agreed with your supervisor.

Be aware that you may experience workload requirements which make taking annual leave impractical at certain times. Discuss this with your supervisor.

If a period of annual leave cannot be agreed upon, contact your School.

Should the situation remain unresolved the issue should be brought to the attention of the Graduate School office and the Dean of Graduate Studies. 


MVLS Visiting Researcher Policy

Visiting Postgraduate Researcher Application - Two Step Procedure

Applicable to the College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences (MVLS) only

  1. Applicant, Supervisor and School / Home Institution complete application form
    • Students interested in applying for visiting status, must first make contact with their proposed supervisor and agree the terms and duration of their visit. This should also be agreed with their home institution.  This form will need to be signed by the agreed supervisor at Glasgow and the Head of School where the supervisor is located as well as a representative of the home institution.
    • Visiting Postgraduate Researcher Form

  2. Application via Direct Admissions
    • Students then complete an online application where they will upload a copy of their completed Visiting Postgraduate Researcher application form as part of the process.
    • This should not be framed as making a ‘second’ application but rather to complete a process to create their student record and address any visa or other requirements. 
    • The application will be routed to an appropriate contact within the College, who will add relevant information to the form (such as the plan number and the applicable fees) and sign it off.  
    • If the request is not acceptable, the decision to refuse Visiting PGR status will be communicated to the applicant in writing by the appropriate School/Research Institute.
    • The Admissions Team will contact the relevant School in any cases where the completed visiting researcher application form is not provided with the online application.
    • Students should be aware that applications for a ‘visiting’ period of longer than 6 months may have Tier 4 visa implications.
    • Online application link: 
  3. The Admissions Team will provide the student with a Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) if applicable.
  4. The School will issue a welcome letter with any additional relevant information.

Responsibilities of Visiting Researchers

The Visiting Postgraduate Researcher is required to undertake appropriate induction and safety training at the University, maintain an appropriate record of their activity in the University, and observe the following:

  • The Visiting Postgraduate Researcher is required to carry a Glasgow University Identity Card and to present it to University officials on demand.
  • The Visiting Postgraduate Researcher is required to read and follow the University’s regulations governing the use of IT facilities. Details are available at: http://www.gla.ac.uk/services/it/regulationscommitteesandpolicies/aup/codeofconduct/
  • The Visiting Postgraduate Researcher must follow the University’s Code of Conduct available at: http://www.gla.ac.uk/services/senateoffice/studentcodes/staff/studentconductstaff/#tabs=0
  • The Visiting Postgraduate Researcher is required to read and follow the University’s Code of Practice for Postgraduate Students (available at: http://www.gla.ac.uk/services/postgraduateresearch/pgrcodeofpractice/) together with any specific School and College Graduate School rules dealing with access, use of facilities and local safety regulations.
  • The Visiting Postgraduate Researcher must agree with their Glasgow supervisor a detailed research plan ahead of any work at the University to ensure adequate supervisory arrangements are in place and that reasonable access to facilities is available.
  • The Visiting Postgraduate Researcher will be bound by confidentiality rules designed to protect the Intellectual Property of staff and students of Glasgow University. Awareness of information gained through having Visiting Postgraduate Researcher status is a privilege. This is protected information and cannot be disclosed to a third party without the written permission of the owner of the information. Details of copyright and intellectual property issues are available here.

Supervisor Responsibilities

In agreeing to act as primary supervisor at Glasgow University the staff member/research fellow takes responsibility for:

  • Ensuring the Visiting Postgraduate Researcher will receive appropriate induction training and is made aware of current safety and security regulations.
  • Reviewing safety training, identifying training needs and ensuring that a training programme is initiated (this might also include standard training provisions offered by the College Graduate School to postgraduate researchers).
  • Ensuring appropriate supervision arrangements are in place at all times during a research visit and that there is appropriate access to facilities.
  • Ensuring there is agreement in writing on the management of costs, including tuition fees and any bench fees, incurred by the Visiting Postgraduate Researcher during and after a research visit. The expectation is the home university will be responsible for all costs incurred except where specifically stated in the agreement.


Dispute Resolution and Dealing With Problems

Most students experience problems at some time during their studies. Most will be concerned with the work itself but you may experience personal problems too. Remember that it is important that you talk to someone at an early stage when the problem is often easily overcome.

First Level - Raise an Issue/Complaint/Dispute at the Local School Level

Project matters should be discused with your supervisors, you should have two. However, what happens if the problem is the relationship with one, or both, supervisor(s)?

In the first instance, try to sort this out with your supervisor. Give them the opportunity to consider practices. They may be totally unaware of the problem.

If this is not possible, speak to your second supervisor, or the Postgraduate Convener in your school.

Second Level - Taking it Higher

If you are unhappy with the help you receive from your school, supervisor, PG Convneor, or if you would prefer to talk to someone outside your school, please contact the MVLS Graduate School, the SRC for independant advice, a student support officer (SSO) or the Dean of Graduate Studies. You may contact the Dean at any time to discuss issues that concern you.

Third Level - Making a Formal Complaint

If you don't feel you can talk to anyone in your school, your supervisor, PG convenor or the graduate school, you have other options.

The University has a duty to maintain and enhance the quality of its provision and to provide an effective system for handling complaints.

The University has a Complaints Procedure which allows complainants to raise matters of concern without fear of disadvantage and in the knowledge that privacy and confidentiality will be respected.

Information about making a complaint can be found on the university’s complaints web page.

For completely independant advice, contact the Student Representative Council (SRC). They also have a complaints procedure in place to support you.