Regulations for the Award of the Degree of PhD (by Published Works)

Approved for entry from September 2018


The criteria for the award of the Degree of PhD (by Published Works) shall be the same as those established for the Degree of PhD.  ‘Published Works’ may be defined as works which are in the public domain or which have at least been accepted for publication (provided that the candidate can provide adequate proof that this is the case).Works submitted for examination should not normally have been published more than ten years previous to the date of registration.


In line with research degree schemes which fall within the University's subject area of Creative and Performing Arts, the published works may take one or more of the following forms: artefacts, score, text, portfolio of original works, performance or exhibition.  The submission shall be accompanied by any other items which may be required (e.g. a catalogue or audio or visual recording).


In all cases the submission and written commentary shall be bound, and other required items (e.g. tape or other media) shall be enclosed in a container suitable for storage on a library shelf and shall carry the same information on the spine as is required for dissertations/theses. This information shall be placed so as to be readily readable from the container in its stored position.


On completion of a Doctoral degree, graduates will have attained Level D, as defined by the QAA’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.


Eligibility of Candidates


1. Except as provided in Regulations 3 and 4 below, any candidate for the Degree of PhD (by Published Works) shall be a graduate of Aberystwyth University, or a member of staff at Aberystwyth University, of at least six years’ standing  prior to registration for the degree. In addition, external scholars who have, or are developing, a close association with the University may be nominated by an academic department as a candidate for this award.


2. A candidate for the degree must be enrolled as a part-time student/staff candidate at the University prior to examination for the Degree.  The time limit for submission of the works for examination is 12 months from the date of registration.


3. A person shall not be eligible to proceed to the Degree of PhD (by Published Works) under these regulations if they have been previously approved for a PhD or other related Doctoral Degree of the University.


4. A candidate who has been examined for a Doctoral Degree but who has not been approved for such a degree may not become a candidate for the Degree of PhD under these Regulations.



5. A prospective candidate for the Degree of PhD (by Published Works) shall identify the most appropriate Department of the University for registration and shall submit an application to the PG Admissions Office stating the subject with which their contribution to scholarship appears to be most nearly connected and specifying the published work or works on which their claim to the degree is based. In assessing the application, the Department shall draw upon staff with relevant subject expertise, including the candidate’s prospective advisor, to consider whether the works submitted in order to decide whether or not there is a prima facie case to support the referral of the works for examination, prior to admission.


6. A candidate, in submitting an application, shall be required to

(a) declare that the submission as a whole is not substantially the same as any that they have previously made or is currently making, whether in published or unpublished form, for a degree, diploma, or similar qualification at any university or similar institution,

(b) state what parts (if any) of the work or works submitted have previously been submitted for another qualification,

(c) declare that, until the outcome of the current application to the University is known, the work or works submitted will not be submitted for any such qualification at another university of similar institution,

(d) submit three copies of each of the published works in question, and a list of the works submitted.



7. Candidates shall be required to provide a critical analysis of at least 5,000, and no more than 10,000, words giving an evaluation of the field in which they have worked, and indicating also the original contribution to learning in that field which in their opinion their work has made.


8. Candidates may submit work(s) done in collaboration with others in support of the candidature, but such work shall be accompanied by a statement signed by each collaborator indicating the nature and amount of the work done by the candidate.


9. The University shall assign an advisor or advisors nominated by the candidate’s Department. The advisor(s) shall provide general guidance on the presentation of the published works for examination and advice on the written commentary. The following categories of staff are eligible for appointment:

(a) full-time members of the academic staff of the University

(b) part-time members of such staff who have formerly held a full-time academic post at the University



10. An examination board shall be established in accordance with the regulations on the submission and examination of research degrees, with a Chair, and two examiners, at least one external to the University or two external examiners, in the case of staff candidates. A candidate’s advisor may be invited by the Chair of the Examining Board to attend the oral examination in an advisory capacity, subject to the candidate’s approval.


11. Should the Examining Board not be satisfied with the candidate’s performance in the oral examination, it may allow him/her to be examined orally on one further occasion, not later than one year from the date of official communication to him/her of the result by the Academic Registry. A re-examination fee will be payable by the candidate.


12. Examining Boards may recommend one of the following options:

(a) That the candidate be approved for the degree of PhD, subject to such minor corrections to the critical analysis as may be required by the Examining Board.  Corrections should be completed within a period of four working weeks.

(b) That the candidate be not approved for the degree of PhD but that, where the critical analysis submitted for examination is satisfactory in substance but defective in presentation or in detail, the candidate be allowed to modify it and re-submit it on one further occasion, not later than one year from the date of the official communication to him/her of the result, for the degree of PhD on payment of a re-examination fee.  This option is not available when a re-submitted work is being examined.

(c) That the candidate be not approved for the degree of PhD.


13. Two copies of every work of research approved by the examiners shall become the property of the University.  One copy shall be deposited in the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth; the other shall be deposited in the University Library.


Reviewed: January 2019