Swansea University

Guide to Transfer and Withdrawal

Guide to Transfer and Withdrawal

Transfer and Withdrawal of Research Students

Transfer Mode of Study

Transfer of mode of study (full-time to part-time or part-time to full-time) is only permitted where a student is within the minimum candidature of the programme. A transfer of mode of study will normally only be actioned at the beginning of a student’s year of study (on the student’s enrolment anniversary). Changes from part-time to full-time will normally only be permitted at the end of even years of part-time study (after 2 or 4 years). Exceptional circumstances may be considered as a special case by the Postgraduate Research Award and Student Cases Board (or the Postgraduate Research Executive Group) on a case by case basis.

If a student wishes to transfer mode of study more than once during a single candidature, the student will be required to provide a detailed explanation of the need for the further transfer.

Procedure

The student should discuss the proposed transfer of mode with his/her supervisors to ensure that such a transfer will not be detrimental to the student’s candidature. The student should seek approval from his/her sponsor (if appropriate) before requesting a transfer. If all parties agree to the transfer in principle, then the student should obtain a transfer of programme form from the University Intranet and complete all the relevant sections. The student and the supervisors will need to provide a short written statement outlining the reasons for transfer. The student will also need to provide written consent from his/her sponsor (if appropriate). The completed request should be signed by the Head of College and forwarded to the Academic Office for Postgraduate Research for consideration by the Postgraduate Research Award and Student Cases Board (or the Postgraduate Research Executive Group). If the request is approved the student’s record will be updated appropriately.

Transfer Programme – Up and Down

A request for a transfer of programme of study would normally come from a student’s College via the Postgraduate Research Progression Board as a progression recommendation. However, in certain circumstances a student may request a transfer of programme outside of the progression system.

Transfer of programme of study is only permitted where a student is within the minimum candidature of either the current programme or the proposed new programme. In extremely exceptional cases transfers of programme may be permitted when the student is outside of minimum candidature for both programmes where the student is seeking to transfer to a lower award (e.g. PhD to MPhil or PhD to MA/MSc by Research).

Transfer up to a Higher Research Degree

Research students who apply to transfer up to a higher research degree (e.g. MPhil to PhD or MSc / MA by Research to MPhil or PhD) must meet all of the relevant upgrade criteria prior to their individual case being considered at the appropriate Progression Board. The criteria applied as a minimum check should include: a report clearly outlining how the research to date can be expanded to meet the required standard and substance of the higher degree, a presentation by the student to relevant representatives from the College (mini viva), proof of funding to cover the additional year(s) of study and appropriate entry qualifications. The student must also have support from his/her supervisory team and College.

Procedure

If the transfer of programme is the result of a progression recommendation then the supervisor should obtain a transfer of programme form from the University Intranet and complete all the relevant sections. The completed request should be signed by the Head of College and the student and then forwarded to the Academic Office for Postgraduate Research. The transfer will be actioned normally to take effect from the beginning of the student’s next year of study.

If the transfer of programme is outside of the progression system, then the student should discuss the proposed transfer with his/her supervisors to ensure that such a transfer will not be detrimental to the student’s candidature. The student should seek approval from his/her sponsor (if appropriate) before requesting a transfer. If all parties agree to the transfer in principle, then the student should obtain a transfer of programme form from the University Intranet and complete all the relevant sections. The student and the supervisors will need to provide a short written statement outlining the reasons for transfer. The student will also need to provide written consent from his/her sponsor (if appropriate). The completed request should be signed by the Head of College or nominee and forwarded to the Academic Office for Postgraduate Research for consideration by the Postgraduate Research Award and Student Cases Board (or the Postgraduate Research Executive Group). If the request is approved the student’s record will be updated appropriately.

If the transfer of programme entails a change of College, then the form needs to be signed by both the Head of College or nominee of the releasing College and the Head of College or nominee of the accepting College.

The University restrictions placed on transfers of programme of study are that students must:

  1. satisfy the entry requirements of the proposed programme of study;
  2. be accepted to the proposed programme by the School concerned;
  3. be released from his/her commitment of the current programme of study;
  4. NOT have previously been Required to Withdraw from the University. 

It is the student’s responsibility to notify any sponsor of the transfer of programme and to ensure continued support from the sponsor for the duration of the programme.

Transfer Out to Another Institution

Before a student considers transferring to another institution it is important that he/she discusses this with his/her supervisors and/or Head of College or nominee, and makes an appointment with the Assistant Registrar, Postgraduate Research, so that possible alternatives are considered before a final decision is made. International students are strongly encouraged to consult the International Student Advisory Service before making a final decision, as this may have implications with regards to immigration status. Students are prohibited from transferring candidature to another institution after the minimum period of candidature has expired.

In order to transfer to another institution, a student is first required to withdraw from the University (see Voluntary Withdrawal below). However, students should be advised not to withdraw until a firm offer has been made by the new institution. Students should contact the destination institution and find out whether any period of study at the University will be counted towards the candidature period at the new institution. The destination institutions may request an academic reference and formal permission from the University to permit the transfer of candidature the student. The student should make sure that any Intellectual Property Rights issues are clarified before transferring to another institution.

Transfer In from another Institution

Students may transfer in from other institutions by submitting an application for admission in the normal way. Students transferring in from another institution would, on the recommendation of the relevant Head of College or nominee, have the period of study at the other institution recognized. Irrespective of any prior period of study, students who transfer in from another institution will be required to complete at least one year (full-time equivalent) of minimum candidature. The University will seek written confirmation from the original institution that there are no objections to the transfer of the student.

Withdrawing from a Programme

Voluntary withdrawal

Before a student considers withdrawing from the University it is important that he/she discusses this with his/her supervisors and/or Head of College or nominee, and makes an appointment with the Assistant Registrar, Postgraduate Research, so that possible alternatives are considered before a final decision is made. The student should also consult the Student Support Office and his/her sponsor (if applicable). International students are strongly encouraged to consult the International Student Advisory Service before making a final decision, as this may have implications with regards to immigration status.

If a student’s proposal to withdraw is the result of financial difficulties, the student should first visit the University Money Advice and Support Office.  Students can also contact the Finance Department to discuss making an arrangement for the payment of fees or debts to the University.

Formal notification of withdrawal has to be on a “Withdrawal from University” form. The form must be signed by the student and by the student’s Head of College or nominee to confirm that the College is aware of the student’s decision. The University must be notified of the reasons why the student has decided to withdraw, and have confirmation of the last date of attendance. If the student is withdrawing for health reasons, a medical certificate should be attached to the form.   The form can be downloaded from the University Intranet, or obtained from the College or the Academic Office for Postgraduate Research.

Upon receipt of the withdrawal form, the Academic Office for Postgraduate Research will ensure that the student’s record is amended (recording the reason for withdrawal) and inform the student’s sponsor (if applicable) and all other relevant parties such as the student’s College, the Finance Office, the Accommodation Office, the Library and, if the student is an International student, the Immigration authorities.

Where a student fails to resume study by the specified return date following a period of suspension (see Guide to Suspensions and Extensions for Research Students for more information), the Academic Board (Postgraduate Research) will assume that the student has withdrawn from the University. The procedure for a voluntary withdrawal will be followed with the exception that the “Withdrawal from University” from will be completed by the Academic Office for Postgraduate Research in the student’s absence.

Required to withdraw

A student may be required to withdraw from his/her programme as a result of:

  • failing to enrol or re-enrol on the anniversary of initial enrolment;
  • failing to have candidature confirmed (see Guide to Progress Monitoring of Research Students);
  • failing to make satisfactory academic progress. [Note: The supervisors must have set clear and achievable targets for the student and be able to provide documentary evidence of the failure of the student to meet these targets in order for a student to be judged as having failed to make satisfactory academic progress];
  • a progression recommendation (see Guide to Progress Monitoring of Research Students);
  • failing to adhere to the University’s attendance policy;
  • a disciplinary issue.

Where a student is required to withdraw, the Academic Office for Postgraduate Research will ensure that the student’s records are amended (recording that the student was required to withdraw) and inform the student’s sponsor (if applicable) and all other relevant parties such as the student’s College, the Finance Office, the Accommodation Office, the Library and, if the student is an International student, the Immigration authorities.

The student has the right to seek a review or appeal the decision (see the Regulations for Academic Appeal).

< Guide To Research Degree Candidature | Guide to Suspensions and Extensions >