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Graduate students, Department of Engineering


All students following the PhD course in Engineering are required to submit a First Year Report (FYR).  This is an important part of your first year and assessment of your report, along with your module results, will determine if you will be registered for the PhD Degree and be allowed to continue your course.

You can start thinking about your FYR from the start of your course. Your supervisor will ask you to review the current literature in your area of research so you can start writing your literature survey in your first term. Sessions on writing your First Year Report are offered as part of the Researcher Development Courses, which all students should attend.

Your report should be 10,000 – 15,000 words. Although this is not a strict word limit, it should not be necessary for your report to exceed 15,000 words.


You can find the deadline for submitting your FYR here.


The title of your report should be agreed with your supervisor. Your report should include the following:

Literature Survey
Clear statement of the Research Objectives
Description of the methods that will be used
Progress to date
Programme of further research to be carried out for the PhD degree, including realistic estimates of timing and dates.


Students who have completed and been examined for an MPhil or MRes before starting a PhD in the same subject often have concerns about self-plagiarism when it comes to writing their first year probationary report, if the PhD project is a continuation of the MPhil/MRes work.

If previously examined MPhil/MRes research forms part of the background work for the PhD project, the student should state in the report Introduction the extent to which (s)he has drawn on that work. It is recognised that the phrasing and content of the Introduction of the report is likely to be very similar to the MPhil/MRes introduction and this is acceptable. However, it must be entirely updated for submission as part of the first year report. The 'Results and Discussion' section should only include original work which has been conducted in the probationary year. Where it is absolutely essential to include parts (e.g. tables, diagrams etc.) of the work previously examined, these must be clearly identified in the text. The assessors should be in no doubt as to what work the student has completed in their probationary year towards their PhD research and it is this that will be assessed.


There is no standard format for the report but the following guidelines should be followed:

The report must be written in English
Formatted on A4 page size, in portrait format
Double-printed is acceptable
One-and-a-half spaced type
Minimum font size 11pt and 10pt for any footnotes. Easily readable fonts should be used, for example Arial, Times New Roman.

Submitting the report

If you wish to notify assessors of any disability or request adjustments on account of such disability for your assessment meetings, you can do this via your Degree Committee by completing and submitting the voluntary disclosure form. Please do this well in advance of your submission deadline as it can take some time for the DRC to advise the Degree Committee of any adjustments that should be made.

You should upload an electronic version of your report by the relevant deadline. Students in Division A will need to upload to Sharepoint. Students in Divisions B, C, D, E and F will need to upload to Moodle. Earlier submission is encouraged.

The Degree Committee attach importance to submission by the due date, and the Secretary of the Degree Committee is required to inform them of the name of any student who fails to submit by the prescribed time.

Extensions to the FYR deadline

Extensions are usually only granted in cases where a student has previously intermitted. If this applies, please email the Secretary of the Degree Committee, who will adjust your FYR submission deadline accordingly. If you have not had an intermission but still wish to apply for an extension, please email the Secretary of the Degree Committee giving the reason that you are requesting an extension, and the time required. We will contact your supervisor and College Tutor to confirm their support before considering your request. Extensions will only be granted exceptionally, and will usually be short.