Glossary of Terms

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Documentary appendices: Documentary appendices refer to information submitted with your thesis, but which does not form part of your thesis. An example might be a rare or obscure text necessary for an examiner to effectively understand your work. 

Extension:  Following the completion of the student’s research period, an extension refers to any amendment to the deadline for a student’s submission. Extensions require prior approval by the Graduate School Board or designate and will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. Extensions may include periods of approved suspended study. 

Graduate School:  Within a College, the Graduate School’s function is to implement strategy, policy and practice in relation to postgraduate students. It is led by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Graduate School Board:  Within a College, the Graduate School Board is accountable to the College Management Group for policy, procedures and practice in relation to the Graduate School.

Intellectual property:  Intellectual property (IP) refers to original work (e.g. the results of a program of research) which can be treated as an asset or physical property. Intellectual property rights fall principally into four main areas: copyright, trademark, design rights and patent, but other forms of IP exist, and all forms of IP are covered by University policy.

Primary Supervisor:  A member of the academic staff of the University with an appropriate level of qualification and experience (see Section 5) who is appointed to supervise a postgraduate research student. As part of the supervisory team, the Primary Supervisor will have primary responsibility for the supervision of the student. Even in cases where supervision is shared equally, one supervisor should be designated as the primary supervisor and this should be made clear to the student.

Research Degree / Higher Degree by Research:  Any higher degree offered by the University of Glasgow involving a substantial research period and production of a thesis for examination.

Research Period:  The research period is the period in which the student is registered for their research degree as a full or part-time student and during which they are actively conducting their research. Each research degree has its own prescribed time limit for completion set out in the degree regulations within the University Regulations. A student is generally expected to submit their thesis within this period. Please see Section 9 for indicative minimum and maximum programme durations.

Secondary Supervisor: A member of the academic staff of the University appointed to supervise a postgraduate research student but who does not have primary responsibility for the student. As part of the supervisory team, the secondary supervisor may provide independent advice and support, bring subject expertise to the team, provide support if the primary supervisor is absent for a period and may in some cases provide pastoral support. Secondary supervisors may also be referred to as joint supervisors or co-supervisors. 

Student Contract: The Student Contract is a legally binding agreement between you and the University of Glasgow. You will be required to “sign up” to it online each year as part of your academic registration.
The Student Contract sets out your rights and obligations as well as the University’s rights and obligations.

Suspension:  An interruption of study. Suspensions should be rare and must be approved in advance by the relevant Graduate School Board or designate. Periods of suspension are considered when calculating a student’s funding end date and submission date.

Thesis Pending:  A period of registration on a ‘thesis pending’ status may be granted following the research period if this is approved by the relevant Graduate School and the student requires additional time to complete the writing of their thesis. This period, along with the research period, may not normally exceed the maximum period of study for the programme.

University Regulations:  The University Regulations is the annual publication of academic regulations and covers degree regulations, fees, student codes and assessment. These were formerly known as the University Calendar. Often referred to herein as Regulations to distinguish from programme level or other regulations.

Viva Voce: Oral examination by which doctoral degrees are assessed. This is often simply referred to as a 'viva' or herein as the examination. Students defend their thesis in front of a Committee of Examiners to determine the outcome of their study.