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Academic changes - postgraduate research

During your time at the University you may, for academic or personal reasons, wish to request a change to your studies. It is important to note that such changes may have a significant impact on other areas of wider university life, including but not limited to, your student status, funding arrangements, tuition and accommodation liability, and your immigration status if you are an international student.

The following page directs you to important information to help ensure that any change you request goes smoothly.  If you require further advice, please contact the Registry Officer (Research Student Support).  Also, you are always welcome to contact the Associate Provost (PGR).

Leave of Absence: A leave of absence is a temporary withdrawal from the University on medical or personal grounds

Extension of Time Limit: If a thesis is not submitted within the time-limit, in exceptional circumstances, an extension may be granted by the Associate Provost (PGR)

Withdrawal from Studies: Is an officially approved permanent withdrawal from studying at St Andrews

Change in Mode of Attendance: It may be possible to change your mode of attendance from full-time to part-time or vice versa

Change in Degree Registration: It may be possible to change your degree course during your studies, depending on the programme requirements of the degree for which you wish to study

Fieldwork: Is defined as research activity undertaken by a matriculated postgraduate research student in the course of their study for a Degree, which takes place outside the control and infrastructure of the University and similar institutions such as libraries, archives and laboratories, and necessitates a change in location of study outside the student’s normal term-time address. 

Thesis Submission

In order to complete your PhD you will be required to submit your thesis to the Academic Registry.


Students who have completed their degree course may be eligible to attend a graduation ceremony in which their degree award is officially conferred.

Failure to Matriculate

If you do not matriculate on time and fail to register within the timescales and conditions set out under the Failure to Matriculate policy, your studies may be terminated.

Things to consider

Further guidance

Termination of Studies

A student's studies may be terminated on academic or non-academic grounds such as when they fail to meet the requirements set out in the Postgraduate Senate Regulations.

Things to consider

Further guidance

  • Termination of Research Postgraduate Studies
  • Possible Exit Awards - Research Postgraduates