Centre for Learning and Teaching

1516 HEA logo RGB portrait logo

Further information

Email: studentengagement@bath.ac.uk

Postgraduate Research Experience Survey

About PRES

The national Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) is coordinated by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and has been running since 2007.

PRES is available to all higher education institutions across the UK with postgraduate research (PGR) student provision. Currently around 115 HEIs participate in the survey.

PRES helps institutions enhance the quality of the PGR experience by collecting feedback from current PGR students in a systematic and user-friendly way.


Scope of the survey

The primary aim of the survey is to measure the overall experience of studying at the postgraduate research level. Areas for questioning have been designed to explore:

  • supervision
  • resources
  • research culture
  • progress and assessment
  • responsibilities
  • research skills
  • professional development
  • opportunities
  • and overall experience

In addition, the University of Bath will ask a few questions on:

  • GW4 and Training Centres/ Doctoral Training Entities
  • academic induction
  • professional doctorates
  • development and support for Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs)
  • technology enhanced learning
  • academic skills
  • peer support
  • accommodation, bars and eateries
  • student support and welfare
  • student voice
  • Students' Union

Maximising response rates

Weekly response rate figures are provided that enable us to target our marketing and promotional activities to specific departments and programmes to ensure they reach the thresholds for publication.

To help you keep up-to-date with the PRES response rates from students in your Department, we provide regular updates on progress.

Encouraging student participation

In order to collect the most accurate data possible we want to encourage a high number of responses from our students.

One of the ways we achieve this response rate is by developing an environment of open and honest feedback and by highlighting the PRES campaign with students.

We promote the PRES to our students through a varety of institutional events and promotions. If you would like to further raise the profile of the PRES with students in your Department, we provide a range of marketing materials.

Feeding back to students

Responding to student feedback is an effective way of encouraging participation in future surveys. It is expected that results of the PRES will be fed back to the student body by departments/faculties and their Staff Student Liaison Committee so that students can see that the University has been responsive to their feedback.

The Code of Practice on Research Degrees (QA7) outlines how academic departments should respond to the data from PRES.

Survey methodology

PRES uses the same method as the Careers in Research Online Survey (CROS), which has been used successfully by HEIs across the UK in recent years for collecting feedback from research staff, and the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) for collecting feedback from research students. Both surveys are based on online questionnaires that are delivered via the Bristol Online Surveys (BOS) website.