Essex registration periods explained

Professional Doctorate programmes validated by the University of Essex have minimum and maximum periods of study.  Students may hand their thesis in at the end of the minimum period; however, if they are unable to do so, they may extend their registration – subject to approval of the Research Student Progression Board (RSPB).  Extensions are at least one term and a maximum of one year at a time.  Students may have more than one extension up until the maximum periods of study and further extensions beyond the maximum are permitted if they have proven extenuating circumstances.


Students studying beyond the minimum period are said to be ‘continuing’ (Tavistock terminology) and they will be charged half of the normal fee for the research phase of the course.  This recognises that students at this phase of their programme will be predominantly writing rather than doing data collection.


For part-time Integrated Professional Doctorate (IPD) students (D55, D10D, M10) who started before September 2020, the minimum period of study is four years and the maximum period of study is six years.  This means that fees for IPD Professional Doctoral programmes will be up to four years at full fee and two continuing years at half fee.


For IPD students, any approved extension requests beyond the minimum period (beyond Year 4) into the continuing period (Years 5 and 6) will be charged half the normal fee.


We recommend that for IPD students who are coming to the end of their maximum period in September 2021 or whose research progress has been severely impacted owing to the effects of the pandemic and are unable to study, take a period of intermission. Please be advised that no fees are applied during an intermission. 

Full-time doctoral students have a minimum period only (M80 – four years, M4 – three years).  Any extensions will be for unforeseen reasons and are likely to be for one or two terms only. From September 2021,  any approved extension requests beyond the minimum period will be charged the normal fee on a pro-rata basis.