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Part-Time Study

Attendance

With respect to attendance, in general, you are required to be engaged in the programme. Including the Scientific Methods courses, and the PGR Symposium, in which all research students are required to participate.

PGR follows a Flexible Working model with Core Hours between 10:00 - 16:00 (you are expect to be here between these times unless personal circumstances dictate otherwise)

This does two things - it means that staff should not be organising supervision meetings outside 1000-1600 unless all parties agree (and students should not by default expect to contact their supervisor outside of these hours). In this way we follow Athena Swan [8] and protect staff and students who may have family responsibilities.

Because we run a Flexible Working Model [1] we now expect students to be in Department between 1000-1600 unless they have made arrangements with their supervisor to work differently. Therefore, you can work flexibly at anytime with the consent of your supervisory team.

It is my experience (and that of many other staff) that students who don’t attend, do worse, drop out, or fail because they neither give, nor receive, support.

Working Hours

I quote here from and advice document for new PhD students written by Dame Professor Nancy Rothwell, who is the President of the University, Doing a PhD [7]

These are not fixed — some people start early and leave early, some the other way round, some seem to work long hours but take many breaks. The important thing is that you get things done. A PhD is a very demanding workload and you will need to manage your own working hours. You will need to work flexibly around the demands of your experiments and this may involve work in evenings or weekends.

Your supervisors may have particular reasons for you to work at particular times. The students who succeed well tend to be those who work here and interact with members of their research group(s). It is not a good idea to work from home.

Warning

For this reason in CS we expect attendance between 1000-1600 but you can discuss this with your supervisors to come to an equitable arrangement based on our Flexible Working Model [1].

Your attendance will be monitored in the following way. Once a month, your main supervisor will be sent a form on your eProg account. This asks two questions: have you been present during the last month, and have you been engaged during the last month. The supervisor can provide free text to support his answers; usually filled in only if the answers to the preceding questions are “No”. If your supervisors know you are away, working in another lab as part of your research for example, this is not a problem. It is indicated in the free text box. However, we expect you and your main supervisor to be seeing each other on a regular basis and certainly more than once per month.

Tier 4 Visa Attendance Monitoring Census

The University operates attendance monitoring Census Points within the academic year in order to confirm the attendance of students holding a Tier 4 Student Visa. This is to ensure the University meets the UKVI statutory requirements as a sponsor of Tier 4 students and its responsibilities in accordance with its Highly Trusted Sponsor status.

If you are a Tier 4 visas holder, you must attend these attendance monitoring census points, in addition to complying with the School’s own programme attendance requirements.

The attendance monitoring census points and further information are accessible via the Immigration and Visas [3] site.

Please note: registration is your first point to confirm your attendance at the University and you will not be required to attend a further census point in October, if you registered in September.

You will receive an e-mail from the Department to confirm when and where you should attend to have your attendance confirmed. You must check your University e-mail account regularly. Failure to check your e-mail account is not a valid reason to be absent from a census point.

What if a Tier 4 student cannot attend a census point?

If you cannot attend in person due to a valid reason which includes: illness; placement; field studies; research work; or any other reason connected to your course of study, you must email Student Support [2] to inform us of your absence and your inability to attend in person. In the case of illness, you must provide a copy of a medical certificate. If you are in this position you should report in person to the Student Support Office as soon as possible after you return to campus.

Students who are recorded as interrupting their studies are not expected to attend during their period of interruption.

What happens if a student does not attend a census point?

The Department must be able to confirm your presence to the UKVI by the end of each census point in the academic year. If you do not attend a census point when required by your Department and you do not provide a valid explanation for your absence you will be deemed to be not in attendance.

Those students identified as not in attendance will be reported to the UKVI and the University will cease to sponsor the student’s Tier 4 visa. The Tier 4 visa will then be curtailed and the student must leave the UK within 60 days.

Keeping your ATAS clearance up to date

If you are studying on a course that requires ATAS clearance, you must make sure that your ATAS clearance is up to date by applying for new clearance if your area of research changes at any point after you obtained your ATAS clearance. Apply for your new clearance as soon as you know that your course details have changed. ATAS applications take approximately 20 working days to be processed, but may take longer at peak times including July-September. You do not need to obtain new ATAS clearance if you obtain a new passport, get a part-time job, or if your contact details change. You can perform at ATAS Certificate Check [5] to see if you need a new Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) [6] certificate.