Department of Engineering

First Year Assessment

First Year Assessment

The First Year Assessment

All Research Students are required to take two modules from the approved list of Module and Reading Clubs. The pass mark for Research Students is 50% (30/60).

You are also required to take part in a Researcher Development Course. These RDC's are organised by the Divisions.

Probationary PhD students are required to submit two soft-bound copies of a 10,000-15,000 word report on their work. The report, the title of which will have been agreed previously with your Supervisor, is to be submitted to your Divisional Administrator* by the published deadline; you may also be asked to submit a pdf version of your report. 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.


Action Michaelmas term starters Lent term starters Part-time Michaelmas term starters Part-time Lent term starters
Pre-meeting with supervisor and advisor 30 June 30 September 31 January of 2nd year 30 June of 2nd year
Submit FYA1 form to Graduate Studies Office 3 July 3 October 3 February of 2nd year 3 July of 2nd year
Submit First Year Report to Divisional Administrator 31 August 30 November 31 March of 2nd year 31 August of 2nd year
Complete first year assessment process 30 November 28 February 31 August of 2nd year 30 November of 2nd year

Where a deadline falls on a weekend, the deadline will be the following Monday.

The First Year Assessment consists of 5 steps, which should be completed within two months from the First Year Report submission deadline
1. The ‘Pre-meeting’ between student, supervisor and advisor (organised by the student) FYA1 Preliminary Meeting Form to be completed and returned to the Graduate Studies Office

The ‘Technical Meeting’, organised by the supervisor, includes the student and an assessor. The aim of this meeting is to enable the assessor to form an accurate opinion of the graduate student’s progress during the first year. The first year report forms the basis for the discussions at this meeting and the assessor will ask questions about its content and the wider context of the work. After the meeting the assessor summarises their view in a short report. The supervisor submits an independent report of the student’s progress (usually done before the meeting). The reports, the supervisor’s copy of the 1st year report and any other relevant information (such as module marks) are collected by the Head of Divisions’ offices.


Once all the required information has arrived back in the Divisional Office, the Head of Division (or Deputy) will organise a ‘Formal Assessment Meeting’. In this meeting, which excludes the supervisor, the final decision regarding the progression of a first year student will be made. In the majority of cases, where a student is well on track, this is likely to be a short meeting. Only when there are serious concerns would this meeting include a detailed examination of the student and a discussion of the causes and possible remedies of underperformance.

4. The outcome of the formal meeting is reported to the supervisor and to the Graduate Studies Office, who will action the recommendation.
5. The student will be required to complete an online feedback form covering supervision, progress and assessment on the first year of study. The Deputy Head of Department will respond directly to any areas of concern

*Divisional Contacts

Division Subject Area Head of Division Divisional Administrator


Energy, Fluid Mechanics & Turbomachinery

Prof H Babinsky

Ms Wendy Raymond
Room BE2-03


Electrical Engineering

Prof A Flewitt

Mrs Sue Murkett CAPE-119


Design, Materials and Mechanics

Prof R S Langley

Ms Claire Whittaker Room BE3-38


Civil, Structural, Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Development

Dr S D Guest

Mrs Sharon Nightingale
Room 241, Civil Engineering Building


Manufacturing and Management

Prof T H W Minshall

Ms Maggie Harriss
Alan Reece Building


Information Engineering, Computing, Control and Mathematics

Prof W J Byrne

Mrs Rachel Fogg Room BNO-31