The Early Stage Assessment or ESA is a College-wide Milestone, that all doctoral students must pass to continue their registration.

Following submission of your IRP (Initial Research Plan), you should work with your supervisor to make a strong start on your research project and begin to master experimental techniques and/or other research methods.

The Early Stage Assessment (ESA) aims to give you an early chance to measure your progress, and to step back and assess the focus of your efforts for the next stage of your research degree. It also gives your supervisor an opportunity to obtain a clearer picture of your abilities and aptitude for research.

Note that:

  • All doctoral students are required to submit their ESA through Turnitin. You should liaise with your department for further information on how to do this.
  • Your ESA needs to be completed 12 months after your start date (or 24 months for Part Time students), which may include an opportunity for re-assessment.

You should read the Guidance for Early Stage Assessment for further details, and check the information provided by your department.

In addition, to successfully complete the ESA you will need to have:

Finally, following your ESA, it is a good opportunity to revisit and discuss with your supervisor, how your partnership is working. Use the Mutual Expectations document to help with this conversation.