Research Student Administration Office


"Sussex has a large and cosmopolitan graduate community, with an international reputation for research and a culture driven by interdisciplinary problem-solving. As a Doctoral Researcher, you make an invaluable contribution to the Sussex research culture and the spirit of critical inquiry for which it is renowned. The Doctoral School provides a range of support – from advice on funding to professional development opportunities – across Sussex Schools and their diverse doctoral programmes. Do visit the Doctoral School website, it contains information about events, programmes and opportunities relevant to you as well as up-to-date guidance on the resources available to support you – both professionally and personally – at Sussex.

These webpages are designed as a guide to the day-to-day organisation of doctoral studies at Sussex as well as the policies and procedures – from registration to graduation – that will govern your progress through your research. Like any large institution, Sussex is a complex place; these webpages set out who and what you need to know as a Doctoral Researcher. Not everything will apply to everyone but we have set out the basic ‘lifecycle’ of a Doctoral Researcher, including the people who will be working with you during your period of study. Your supervisor, or supervisory team, is at the core of your studies but each School also has a Director of Doctoral Studies (DDS) responsible for graduate research who is a key point of contact for our Doctoral Researchers.

Prof Jeremy Niven

The pursuit of doctoral research is one of the most interesting, exhilarating and (sometimes) daunting experiences you can have. You are pursuing your studies at a time of significant change in the postgraduate landscape, with national and international discussion on the future shape of doctoral research. The Doctoral School is committed to developing the critical and creative environment for postgraduate study at Sussex, including the provision of opportunities for participation in research workshops, skills training and professional development throughout your period of study."

Professor Jeremy Niven, Dean of the Doctoral School.

About these webpages

The purpose of this website is to provide guidance and information to help Doctoral Researchers navigate through the University's requirements for research degrees. It signposts the key stages and processe involved in the lifecycle of a Doctoral Researcher, and clarifies who is responsible for doing what at each stage. The website is divided into chronological sections (see Throughout your research degree and The Submission and Examination Process) based on the typical Doctoral Researcher journey from registration to graduation.

The website specifies the minimum standards for a range of activities leading to the award of a research degree at Sussex, and has regulatory status. All Doctoral Researchers are also expected to comply with the University Regulations. As independent researchers, Doctoral Researchers are subject to the same research policies as academic faculty, and Doctoral Researchers and their supervisors should familiarise themselves in particular with the University's Code of Practice for Research and with additional research governance policies as well as copyright guidance.

University-level policy regarding research degree matters is normally approved by the Doctoral Studies Committee in consultation with Schools and with the Research Degrees Examination Board, and ratified by Senate. Changes to policy and regulations normally take effect from the start of the academic year. Doctoral Researchers and supervisors are expected to keep up to date with any minor changes that may be made to this framework that may be communicated to them throughout the year by e-mail and advertised on this website.