Statutory Bodies and Committees

University Doctoral Studies Committee (UDSC)

The University Doctoral Studies Committee (UDSC) is responsible to Senate for strategic coordination, the maintenance of high academic standards and the continuous improvement of the student experience for all doctoral study, including taught components of doctoral programmes and all Doctoral Training Entities.

Committee Secretary: If you would like further information about the University Doctoral Studies Committee, please contact  Dorcas Mumford, ext: 6615

Committee members

Terms of office expire on 31 July in the year stated.

 Professor J Bradshaw Chair, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International & Doctoral) ex officio
 Professor J Knight Vice-Chair, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) ex officio
 Professor C Mitchell Academic Director of the Doctoral College ex officio
Mr Liam Emery SU Postgraduate Officer ex officio
  one student elected by the SU and from the doctoral student community ex officio
  Associate Dean (Research) from each faculty and school ex officio 
  Faculty/School Directors of Doctoral Studies  

The following Officers routinely attend:


 Mr S Gane Head of Doctoral Recruitment and Programmes   ex officio  
 Dr J Brice Head of Doctoral Development and Student Experience ex officio
  Doctoral Quality Framework Officer  ex officio  
  Representation and Engagement Manager, SU (observer)  
Miss Dorcas Mumford Secretary  

Other University Officers will attend meetings of the Committee either on a routine basis or in respect of relevant items of University business.

Terms of Reference

Approved by Senate 7 June 2017,

1. To oversee planning and policy development relating to doctoral study, in conjunction with Senate and other University Committees as appropriate.

2. To approve the academic strategy for the Doctoral College, supporting it in driving forward agreed strategies for doctoral study and for overseeing and reviewing its performance.

3. To work with the Faculties and the School to grow and innovate the University's doctoral provision. Developing strategies and ensuring the coherence of University, Faculty, School and Departmental plans to:

  1. identify and exploit emerging opportunities
  2. recruit increased and sustainable numbers of doctoral students,
  3. deploy doctoral resources to maximise effect including developing and reviewing the effectiveness of the University's doctoral scholarships strategy.

4. To monitor the requirements and expectations of key national and international agencies including UKVI, research councils and other sponsors and to coordinate the University's responses to these, seeking to influence the development of external policy and strategy in respect of doctoral study and to ensure the University is appropriately positioned.

5. To ensure the development of a clear identity and profile for doctoral students within the University.

6. To have overall responsibility for the quality of the doctoral student experience and the doctoral research environment at an institutional level, ensuring that performance is commensurate with the University's ambitions to become an international leader in graduate education. To develop strategy and drive continuous improvement in all aspects including:

  1. induction
  2. communications, including information, advice and guidance relevant to doctoral students both pre and post arrival
  3. the doctoral skills and professional development offer
  4. doctoral community/cohort building initiatives and the effective integration of doctoral students with internal and external research communities
  5. supervisory practice
  6. support services for doctoral students
  7. institutional facilities for doctoral study and definition of minimum levels of local facilities.

7. To oversee the academic standards and quality of the University's doctoral provision developing and recommending to ULTQC a quality framework to assure high quality doctoral provision and ensuring its implementation across all discipline areas.

8. To make recommendations to Senate in respect of University Regulations applying specifically to doctoral study.

9. To establish appropriate performance indicators in respect of, and commission and consider periodic reports  on, doctoral recruitment and the quality of the University's doctoral study with a view to identifying significant risks to the University's objectives and driving improvement, including:

  1. appropriate metrics including date on recruitment, completion, submission and attrition rates
  2. relevant national and international benchmarking data
  3. student feedback including the results of the Postgraduate Research Students Survey (PRES)
  4. feedback from external examiners and other internal and external stakeholders
  5. the incidence and outcomes of student complaints, academic reviews and investigations of assessment offences
  6. evaluation of the costs and benefits of institutional participation for new DTE proposals, rebids and mid-term review.

10. To give strategic consideration to proposed new doctoral degrees and new doctoral collaborations for submission to the Academic Programmes Committee (including the new Doctoral Training Entities).

11. To review the effect of decisions made by the Learning, Teaching and Quality Committee, Boards of Studies (Doctoral) and Faculty/School Doctoral Studies Committees on doctoral study, and to keep these bodies informed of the business of the committee.

12. To oversee the development and implementation of the University's strategy in respect of doctoral training entities (DTEs), ensuring coordinated institutional level planning and support for current and proposed DTEs.