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Doctoral College Board of Studies

Terms of Reference

Delegated Powers

The Doctoral College Board of Studies has delegated authority from Senate for the maintenance of academic standards and quality for postgraduate research programmes across City, University of London.

(a) The Board may not delegate any decision-making authority without specific approval to do so being granted by Senate.

(b) The Board of Studies must seek approval from Senate and Council on matters as prescribed in Regulation 27, Delegation of Senate Authority.

Specific Duties of Doctoral College Board of Studies

  1. To oversee the academic strategy for postgraduate research programmes and ensure a positive relationship with associated research in accordance with City strategy;
  2. To agree a Code of Practice for Research Degrees that details the baseline standards and practices for the education of postgraduate research students across City, and to support Schools in the implementation of this code;
  3. To work with the University’s Research and Enterprise Office to build capacity for interdisciplinary research, scholarships and Research Council funding in relation to postgraduate research;
  4. To provide strategic direction and focus with respect to policy and good practice in admissions and institutional scholarships, with a focus on quality of candidates as well as achieving institutional targets;
  5. To represent the interests of postgraduate research students both within and beyond the institution;
  6. To assure the effective implementation of academic policies and regulations for postgraduate research programmes, as determined by Senate;
  7. To approve the following, in accordance with delegated authority from Senate and set out in Senate Regulation 27, on the recommendation of Schools:
    1. Appointments of research degree supervisors
    2. Registration of staff doctoral candidates
    3. Transfer of registration from MPhil to PhD
    4. Applications for a period of suspension
    5. Annual Progress Reviews
    6. Changes in mode of attendance
    7. Changes of supervisory team
    8. Transfers to writing-up status
    9. Applications for a period of extension
    10. Nominations of examiners for viva voce examinations
    11. Appointment of Chair for viva voce examinations
    12. Examiners’ joint reports and conferment of awards
  8. To review the following documentation:
    1. External Examiners joint submission and re-submission reports
    2. Annual Programme Evaluations for research degree programmes
    3. Programme Periodic Review reports for research degree programmes
    4. PRES and other student survey data
    5. Statistical data relating to the above approvals
    6. Minutes from relevant School Research Programme Committees and University Programme Approval and Review Committee and propose amendments to policy, process and practice, as appropriate;
  9. To review and consult on amendments and additions to City’s regulations, policies and procedures relating to postgraduate research degrees for recommendation to Senate;
  10. To oversee policies and procedures relating to Graduate Teaching Assistants;
  11. To coordinate a programme of researcher development training that supplements research skills training delivered by academic Departments and Schools;
  12. To share best practice in postgraduate research provision across the University, promoting a coherence where appropriate that enhances the effectiveness and visibility of the University as a research-led institution;
  13. To propose and embed strategic initiatives that would enhance the postgraduate research student experience;
  14. To engage with the student body, through representation and consideration of feedback, in order to support the academic quality of provision and associated student satisfaction;
  15. To establish Sub-Committees to investigate particular issues and make policy recommendations that might arise;
  16. To oversee the academic quality and standards of postgraduate research award partnership provision, including liaison with the University’s Collaborative Provision Committee on policy development and amendments that cover partnership provision.
  17. To monitor postgraduate research student admissions, progression, submission, examination and employment outcomes across the University, making recommendations for policy and process change where necessary;
  18. To monitor the University’s strategic performance indicators in relation to postgraduate research, making recommendations to Senate and the University Executive Team for action where appropriate;
  19. To prepare responses on behalf of the University to sector-wide initiatives, consultations, bid proposals and other national and international developments concerning postgraduate research student activity and provision;
  20. To refer to Senate any matters relating to academic standards, quality assurance or student experience which the Board of Studies considers require the attention to Senate;
  21. To report to Senate thorough the submission of i) an annual report on the Board’s activity in the previous academic year and ii) Minutes of each meeting of the Board.

Equality and Diversity Statement

Members of the Board of Studies are appointed based on their roles in their Schools and Departments. In most cases, the membership of the Board of Studies is role specific and/or experience related and as such, most members represent their areas because of their roles and/or School of employment.

An analysis of membership by protected characteristics will be undertaken yearly, to inform future appointments to the Board and where under-representation of specific groups can be addressed, particularly in relation to gender equality.

Frequency of Meetings

Boards of Studies are required to meet three times per year, or more frequently as appropriate. [N.B. It is intended that the Doctoral College Board of Studies will meet bi-monthly to allow progression decisions and award conferrals to be made promptly] Before the end of June, in each year, the Secretary of each Board of Studies is required to submit to the Secretary of Senate a programme of dates of meetings for the new academic year for inclusion in the Calendar.


The quorum for a Board of Studies or a Sub-Committee of a Board of Studies shall be 50 per cent of the members. This must include Associate Deans or Research Programme Sub-Committee Chairs representing a minimum of three Schools. In the case of an inquorate meeting, the meeting may be re-convened on a reasonable period of notice no less than a week.

Boards of Studies and their Sub-Committees do not need to have a quorum at the start of the meeting but do need a quorum to make decisions. A conference call from one or more individual Members can count towards the quorum as being in attendance.

Actions by the Chair

The Chair of a Board of Studies or Sub-Committee of a Board of Studies has power to act on behalf of the Board or Sub-Committee; the exercise of this power will be reported to the following meeting of the Board or Sub-Committee.

Decisions out of Session

Decisions can be taken by a Board of Studies or Sub-Committee of a Board of Studies by correspondence and e-mail. In exercising this mechanism quoracy rules apply in that at least 50% of the members must express a view and a majority shall carry.

Record of Decisions of a Board of Studies or Sub-Committee

Decisions of a Board of Studies or Sub-Committee and the reasons leading to particular decisions are recorded in the minutes and should be regarded as in the public domain except where the Board or Sub-Committee agrees matters are confidential for commercial, personal or other good reasons.

Minutes of meetings of a Board of Studies shall be presented to the next meeting of Senate together with a report of key items of business (which may be verbal).

Minutes of meetings of Sub-Committees of Boards of Studies shall be presented to the next meeting of the Board of Studies together with a report of key items of business (which may be verbal).

Standing Orders

Boards of Studies operate in accordance with the Standing Orders for Boards of Studies and their Sub-Committees.


Committee membership and meeting dates for the following academic year will be reviewed annually and reported at the final Senate meeting of each academic year.

Composition and Membership

Ex-Oficio MembersPost-Holders
Assistant Vice-President (Doctoral College)Professor Stephen Cottrell
Deputy Chair, appointed annually by SenateProfessor Jean Chalaby
Associate Dean with responsibility for Postgraduate Research, SASS (or nominated Senior Tutor)Professor Miguel Mera
Associate Dean with responsibility for Postgraduate Research, SMCSE (or nominated Senior Tutor)Professor Panicos Kyriacou
Associate Dean with responsibility for Postgraduate Research, SHS (or nominated Senior Tutor)Professor Leanne Aitken
Associate Dean with responsibility for Postgraduate Research, CLS (or nominated Senior Tutor)Professor Andrew Choo
Associate Dean with responsibility for Postgraduate Research, Business School
(or nominated Senior Tutor)
Dr Giacinta Cestone
Deputy Director, Department of Learning Enhancement and DevelopmentProfessor Pam Parker
Students’ Union Vice-President (Education)Ruqaiyah Javaid
Students’ Union PGR part-time OfficerSohail Ahmadi
Non-Ex-Officio Academic Staff Members 
Five academic staff, of which one should be appointed by each
School Board of Studies and all should be current Senior Tutors
for Research or Category A Supervisors.
Dr Dimitrina Dimitrova (Business School)
Professor Panos Koutrakos (Law)
Dr Thomas Davies (SASS)
Dr Madeline Cruice (SHS)
Professor David Bawden (SMCSE)
Student Members 
Two PGR student representatives, nominated annually by the Students’ UnionTo be confirmed
Board of Studies Secretary 
Appointed by SenateMandy Instrell
In attendance 
Head of Quality and Academic Development, Student and Academic ServicesYewande Akindele
Assistant Registrar (Research Degrees), Student and Academic ServicesRichard Alderman
The Committee has the authority to invite other members of City staff to meetings for
discussion of specific matters. This may include colleagues from
relevant Professional Services to support development of the programme/s and the student learning experience.
Jessica Hancock (LEaD)
Claire Packham (Library Services)


If you would like to see records of committee meetings prior to 2015, please visit our archived pages.