Year 1 timeline

A breakdown of 1st year key milestones in a timetable.

When What Sept Start
Month 1


Month 4-6


Month 9


Month 10


Month 12



Months stated in the column 'Sept Start' are indicative for full-time students who commence study in September. Students with other start dates should adjust these accordingly.

Each PhD student is on probation during their first year, and progressing to full PhD status depends on the supervisor's evaluation in the first annual report; this report takes into account the panel's evaluation of the student's thesis proposal; there is a section in that report for providing a written record of the feedback the panel gave to the student.  The research institute, and in particular the student's supervisor, is responsible for ensuring that the student submits the thesis proposal and that it is presented and reviewed by the panel within this time frame.  

Note for part-time research students

For part-time students, milestones in first year and subsequent years are delayed according to the extent of part-time studies. For instance, for a student with prescribed period of 60 months rather than the usual full-time prescribed period of 36 months, the thesis proposal is due in month 9*60/36 = 15. An exception is that formal reports from the supervisor are due at 12-month intervals for part-time students, just as for full-time students.

Note for CDT students

The Graduate School milestones are intended for all PGR students who are registered to do a PhD, including CDT students who are in the “+3” portion of their “1+3” programmes.  The monitoring and milestones for the first year of the CDT programmes, in which students should complete an MSc by Research, varies across the different CDTs.  Please consult your relevant CDT programme for details.  When CDT students are accepted onto the PhD programme (that is, the “+3” portion of the 4 year programme), they are expected to follow the standard PhD milestones process, supported by the relevant research institute. All information held on this and other milestones pages is therefore relevant to CDT students. Please also note that the document that is evaluated as part of the First Year Review is not the same as the post-MScR PhD Proposal (for instance, the review panel would expect to see a substantial piece of work under item 2, which describes the achievements so far towards completing the work plan).