Doctoral School

Working towards graduation

Working towards graduation

Get to know about the important milestones for your journey towards doctoral graduation:

All doctoral students (M.Phil./Ph.D., S.Th.D, Pharm.D., D.Mus) registered with the University of Malta, must comply with the University’s Research Code of Practice and the University’s Research Ethics Review Procedures and complete an Ethics and Data Protection form.

Students need to complete an online form which consists of four parts: Part 1. Applicant and Project Details; Part 2. Self-assessment; Part 3. Detailed Evaluation; Part 4. Submission details.

As per procedures:
1. Applicants who complete the Self-assessment (Part 2) without issues will not be exposed to the Detailed Evaluation (Part 3). Such applicants must still submit the form to their FREC (Faculty/Institute/Centre/School Research Ethics Committee) for filing and audit purposes, but may commence the research DIRECTLY.
2. Applicants who flag an issue in the Self-assessment checklist (Part 2) will be required to elaborate on ONLY the relevant issue/s in the Detailed evaluation (Part 3) and must seek FREC permission prior to data collection.

Once completed, the form will be automatically generated as a PDF document and sent to the applicant by e-mail for submission to the relevant FREC, after annexing any supporting materials (and with the Principal supervisor’s email approval).

Ahead of completing the online form, users are advised to read the UM Research Code of Practice  and the UM Ethics Review Procedures , refer to any relevant Frequently Asked Questions, and to familiarise themselves with the requirements of the form, which is available as a downloadable replica.  Full details are available on the UREC (University Research Ethics Committee) website. Submission of the UM Research Ethics Data Protection form will generate a code. Doctoral students are advised to keep a copy of the form and the code. The code is required when the Declaration of Authenticity is completed at the end of the examination process and a copy of the approved thesis is submitted to the Faculty/Institute/Centre/School Office.

In May of every year, students shall be required to submit an annual progress report to the Faculty Doctoral Committee, through their Principal Supervisor and co-supervisor (where applicable), and the Head of Department.

Principal Supervisors and co-supervisors, where applicable, shall submit a detailed individual progress report on their students to the Faculty Doctoral Committee, through their Head of Department, in June of every year. These reports should address the students’ performance and any issues raised by the students.

Students shall be sent a copy of the reports by the Faculty Doctoral Committee and have the right to submit their comments.

If a positive progress report is received and approved, the student will receive notification to enrol online.

The University of Malta is committed to ensure that its doctoral students are trained to develop transferable skills as part of their professional development. This should enhance their employability and augment the quality of their research.


There may be instances where students require an extension of studies, a suspension of studies, a change in mode of study, or a change in title.

The maximum allowable period for extensions is of two years and eighteen months for suspension of studies overall.

Change in the mode of study could be either from full-time to part-time or vice versa. If a student requests to study on a full-time basis, it is understood that not more than 19 hours are dedicated to paid employment per week. Full-time students may not engage in employment which is likely to interfere with the progress of their research. The Faculty Doctoral Committee must be kept informed about the nature and extent of the employment commitments throughout the period of study.

A major change in title may necessitate a re-consideration of the entire Ph.D. research.

In all instances, students are required to send a detailed request to the F/I/C/S Doctoral Committee indicating the reason for the request. The request requires the endorsement of the Principal Supervisor. 

Procedures for the transfer process from M.Phil. to Ph.D. have been produced by the Doctoral School and the Office of the Registrar to provide guidance to examiners of work submitted by students who are requesting to transfer their studies from the Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) degree to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree of the University of Malta. It contains essential information on the procedures to be followed in the transfer assessment process, describes the resulting options open to examiners, and the roles and responsibilities of all concerned in the transfer assessment process. Any deviations to these procedures need to be justified.

Procedures have been produced by the Doctoral School and the Office of the Registrar to provide guidance to examiners of work submitted by students for the award of the M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees of the University of Malta. It contains essential information on the procedures to be followed in the examination process, describes the resulting options open to examiners, and the roles and responsibilities of all concerned in the examination process. Any deviations from these procedures need to be justified.

Plagiarism is strictly not allowed. Plagiarism is a serious offence and may lead to University disciplinary action. Doctoral students are required to be familiar with the Plagiarism and Collusion Guidelines  and need to submit an electronic copy of their thesis through the official University plagiarism detector software. The portal for submitting the draft and final copy of the thesis through the VLE will be set up by the Principal Supervisor. The electronic copy of the thesis is considered to be the official submitted version of the thesis.

Finally an assiduous and exciting voyage is coming to an end. 

After the thesis result has been published, a copy of the Board of Examiners’ final joint report will be sent to all students and their principal supervisor by the respective Faculty/Institute/Centre/School.

Prior to the conferment of the Ph.D. or M.Phil. Degree, the student is required to present one electronic version of the final thesis for the University Library and other copies as required by the respective Faculty/Institute/Centre/School. The electronic version must conform to the standards set by the University of Malta Library and include an unsigned copy of the declaration of authenticity. The student is also required to present to the Faculty/Institute/Centre/School a separate signed Declaration of Authenticity. N.B. The Research Ethics & Data Protection form code in the Declaration of Authenticity Form refers to the code generated automatically when the student would have submitted the REDP form.

In the case of Ph.D. by Practice as Research, the student is also required to provide a permanent record of the research practice in an appropriate format (digital means, scores, artefacts, drawings, photographs) and must be included in the document deposited.

Failure to submit the copies of the thesis, will result in the Ph.D. or M.Phil. Degree not being conferred.

The Admissions and Records Office will get in touch with the student with details of the graduation ceremony in due time. This will include information about the hiring of the gown.