Phew, made it!

Not so well known outside of UK universities is the ‘APG Transfer’ process. For the first year full-time, or two years part-time, new doctoral students are formally registered as ‘Advanced Postgraduate’ in at least some UK institutions. Through the APG Transfer, we are confirmed as PhD students, redirected to a masters credential, told that it is not working out, or given time to come up to an expected standard. This is certain to create a level of stress.

I registered on January 17, 2011, and I had good intentions of completing the transfer in December 2012, or sooner. Well, at Christmas I was still completing the required 6,000 to 8,000 word progress report that served as a research proposal to be defended. It had been reviewed and received extensive comments, so I continued and submitted it on January 8, 2013.

The second part of the process was the choice of an oral examination or a departmental presentation that would be followed by a meeting with the panel responsible for the transfer recommendation. The panel is to be our supervisor and at least one other member of the academic staff. I chose the oral exam, and my panel consisted of Prof Hilary Burgess (chair of the panel), Director of Studies in the School of Education, Prof David Hawkridge, a visiting scholar from the UK Open University who works with our Institute of Learning Innovation, and Dr Palitha (Pal) Edirisingha, my main supervisor.

The panel asked me to give a presentation of no longer than 15 minutes. Fortunately, I was prepared with one that I anticipated would take 10 minutes. This was followed by about 50 minutes of questions, primarily from Prof Burgess whom had not met me prior to this date. At the end of the hour, I was advised that I was successful and would be confirmed as a PhD student.

Not to waste an opportunity for sharing with others, my supervisor suggested I make a presentation of the APG process I experienced, and the presentation I gave, to others at the BDRA. This would be particularly beneficial to those new to our department and facing the APG in the future. The presentation was conducted online, using Adobe Connect, for 1.5 hours on February 13, 2013. The link will be added here when available.

The plan now is to complete the main study and submit the thesis by December 2014.

A.E. (Tony) Ratcliffe, PhD Student

Leave a comment


  1. congratulations Tony, celebrate every milestone 🙂

  2. Congrats Tony – well deserved! You are an inspiration to online learners everywhere – I have never known anyone so dedicated about participating in webinars at ALL hours of the day and night! Looking forward to hearing more about your work as you write it up.

    • Thanks for the kind comments, Gabi. I am fortunate to be in a situation where I can be up in the early hours. It is just a killer when I cannot sleep early the night before. At a distance, we do miss out on many activities that are held at the campus, but at least we are able to participate in sessions from the Institute (formerly BDRA).

  3. Congratulations, Tony. Very happy for you.

  1. Advanced Postgraduate (APG) transfer complete | Tony Ratcliffe

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