Degree of Doctor of Engineering in Optics & Photonics Technologies

The Degree of Doctor of Engineering in Optics & Photonics Technologies is offered by the University of Glasgow, as part of the Industrial Doctorate Centre (IDC) in Optics & Photonics Technologies with partner institutions Heriot-Watt University, the University of Glasgow, the University of St. Andrews and the University of Strathclyde. The IDC is conducted through a Management Committee, which has overall responsibility for the strategy, priorities and management of the Centre, and a Course Committee, to which some of the academic functions pertaining to the individual EngD programmes are devolved from the partner institutions. The programme is run in co-operation with industrial companies providing sponsorship of students.


The Degree of Doctor of Engineering in Optics & Photonics Technologies is governed by Resolution 618 of the University Court which came into effect on 1 September 2010, with provision that:

1.    The Degree of Doctor of Engineering (EngD) in Optics & Photonics Technologies may be awarded by the Senate of the University of Glasgow in the College of Science and Engineering (College);

2.    The Senate shall have power to make such regulations governing the award of the Degree as may be approved by the University Court;

3.    A candidate for the Degree shall undertake study and research in accordance with the provisions below, and shall present either a thesis or a themed portfolio;

4.    The Degree of Doctor of Engineering in Optics & Photonics Technologies shall in no case be conferred on persons who have not satisfied the conditions set out below, and shall not be conferred as an Honorary Degree;

The following regulations are supplemented by a series of PhD Guidance Notes for students, which additionally apply to the Doctor of Engineering in Optics & Photonics Technologies unless specifically excluded by regulation, and which are available within the current on-line Calendar which can be found at https://www.gla.ac.uk/myglasgow/senateoffice/policies/calendar/.


1.     A research student who has pursued in the University of Glasgow, or in an institution recognised and approved for the purpose, a programme of prescribed study and industrially-focussed research, may offer themself for the Degree of Doctor of Engineering in Optics & Photonics Technologies under the following conditions:

a)   that they have obtained a degree in any Scottish university, or in another university or college specially recognised for the purpose of this Section by the University Court on the recommendation of the Senate (provided always that a diploma or certificate recognised in like manner as equivalent to a degree may be accepted in place of a degree). The normal standard of admission for a research student will be that of a Degree with First or Upper Second Class Honours in a Science or Engineering discipline of a Scottish University, or an approved equivalent qualification;

b)   that they have produced to the Senate evidence of satisfactory progress in the prescribed study and research undertaken by them;

c)   that they will have been registered for such study on a full-time basis for a period of not less than four academic years, or on a part-time basis for a period normally of not less than eight academic years;

d)   that for each candidate undertaking a programme of study and research leading to the Degree there must be one or more sponsoring companies, or equivalent organisations, that will be nominated by the Course Committee;

e)   that each candidate will be supported by a supervision team which will normally include the primary academic supervisor, a second academic supervisor, an industrial adviser and other academic staff as required to offer expertise in guiding and supporting the candidate’s research project. The sponsoring company or companies will appoint an industrial adviser for the duration of the programme and, to ensure continuity of the research project, provide an alternative industrial adviser should the first appointee be unable to continue in the role;

f)    that within the prescribed duration of the programme, each candidate will be required to achieve 180 credits at the appropriate standard (50% average across all taught modules, or an average of at least C3 [aggregation score 12]) from the portfolio of courses prescribed by the Course Committee in the programme documentation;

g)   that they have has pursued such formal research training as set down by the Course Committee.

2.1   Each candidate for the Degree of Doctor of Engineering in Optics & Photonics Technologies shall present for the approval of the Senate a thesis or a themed portfolio which shall embody the results of the research, and which shall be accompanied by a declaration signed by the candidate that the thesis or themed portfolio has been composed by themself. For a candidate permitted by the supervision team to submit a themed portfolio of a number of projects, they must be in the standard format and must include the following:

i)    a succinct bound summary which describes the contribution to knowledge and innovation demonstrated by the candidate;

ii)   clear evidence, either directly or indirectly, of the relationship between each project through demonstrable relevance to the doctoral programme.

2.2   A thesis or themed portfolio for the degree of EngD shall normally be presented for examination within five years from the date when a candidate first registered for full-time study, or within nine years from the date when they first registered for part-time study. Where the College has approved suspension of study for a period of time[1], the maximum period of study permitted shall be equivalent to the duration for full-time or part-time study plus the approved period of suspension adjusted proportionately.

2.3   Where the candidate has fulfilled the minimum period of full-time study, or the minimum period of part-time study, required by the regulations, and has not submitted the thesis or themed portfolio for examination, they shall be registered with a ‘thesis pending’ status. If further research project work is required, the College may require the candidate to register as a full-time or part-time student. Failure to meet College requirements for progress without good cause, may result in exclusion from further study.

2.4   The thesis or themed portfolio shall be examined by one or more examiners appointed by the Senate from among the experienced academic staff of the University, and by one or more External Examiners appointed by the University Court on the recommendation of the Senate. Normally, two External Examiners shall be appointed with one external examiner being responsible for assessing the candidate’s technical ability and the other, the candidate’s management skills and understanding of the industrial context of the research project. No person who has been involved in the direct supervision of the research student may be appointed as an examiner. The internal examiner shall not undertake any duties which have been allocated to the Convener (see §2.6 and Guidance Note 3) and shall act as an examiner in the normal way.

2.5   A candidate for the Degree of EngD must present themself for oral or other examination by the Committee of Examiners on the subject matter of the thesis or themed portfolio and its context. This requirement for an oral examination shall be observed at the first submission of the thesis or themed portfolio.

2.6   A Convener shall be appointed by the Convener of the Higher Degrees Committee or its equivalent committee to convene the oral examination and to report on the agreed recommendations of the Committee of Examiners to the appropriate College Committee.

The Convener will be responsible for the following:

a)   making the arrangements for an oral examination and ensuring that this is normally held no later than three months after the submission of the thesis or themed portfolio;

b)   attending the whole examination and ensuring that it is conducted in a fair manner and is of a reasonable duration;

c)   arranging for the report stating the recommendation of the Committee of Examiners to be signed at the conclusion of the examination;

d)   after the oral, co-ordinating the completion of a joint report detailing the requirements for revision or resubmission and providing this to the candidate;

e)   recommending to the Higher Degrees Committee the appointment of an additional examiner in instances where agreement has not been reached. The additional examiner will normally be an External Examiner.

2.7   The supervisor shall not normally be present at the oral examination but shall be available to the Committee of Examiners for consultation. If the candidate makes a request in writing to the Convener for the supervisor to be present at the oral examination, this should normally be permitted. The request should be made no later than one week before the date of the oral.

2.8   Where a candidate has been permitted to resubmit a thesis or themed portfolio for examination, an oral shall also be held other than in exceptional circumstances, where the Convener, on the recommendation of the Committee of Examiners, may seek the agreement of the Dean of Graduate Studies to set aside the requirement for an oral examination after resubmission. In such circumstances the agreement of the candidate must be obtained, otherwise the candidate shall have the right to insist on an oral being held.

2.9   Where a candidate has been permitted to resubmit the thesis or themed portfolio, it shall normally be on one occasion only. The resubmitted thesis shall be examined by the Committee of Examiners appointed for the first submission or by the Committee of Examiners appointed for the second submission. If the Committee of Examiners considers that the thesis has not achieved the standard required for the Degree of EngD but is of sufficient merit to be worthy of an award, it may recommend that the candidate revise the thesis and submit it for consideration for a Masters degree.

3.     Submission of Thesis or Themed Portfolio

In submitting a thesis or themed portfolio a candidate must state, generally in the preface and specifically in the notes, the sources from which their information is derived, the extent to which they have availed themself of the work of others, and the portions of the thesis or themed portfolio which they claim as original. The thesis must be in English.

A candidate must submit three copies of the thesis or themed portfolio which must include a summary of 250 - 1000 words. The summary must be an adequate and informative abstract of the work, suitable for publication by the University. The submitted copies of the thesis may be soft-bound but otherwise should generally conform to the British Standard Institution’s Recommendations for the presentation of theses (BS4821:1990) which is available for consultation in the University Library or from the College Graduate School.

In signing a submission form, the supervisor is confirming that the work was undertaken by the candidate. The wording of the form makes it clear that the supervisor's signature does not endorse that the work has been completed nor does it indicate that the thesis or themed portfolio has achieved the required standard for the award of the degree. A candidate may submit a thesis or themed portfolio against the advice of the supervisor but in such cases the supervisor may state the position in a report submitted to the Convener of the Committee of Examiners.

If approved for the degree, one hard-bound copy of the thesis or themed portfolio and one electronic copy shall be deposited with the University Library. The bound copy should normally be produced to the standard defined in BS4821:1990, and the electronic copy must conform to University Library specifications published at https://www.gla.ac.uk/myglasgow/research/enlighten/theses/formattingyourthesis/. It is the University's normal practice to make the bound copy available for consultation in the Library, and to permit computer download of the electronic copy through its repository service, Enlighten. Such access may, however, be restricted under provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 or the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

[1] The appropriate College Committee may permit the period of study to be suspended for a defined period when a student is ill or has other personal circumstances which prevent the student from continuing the research or taught elements. Suspension can be agreed by the appropriate College Committee for other reasons. The arrangements for suspension of study shall be in accordance with those of the Research Councils.

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