The University runs two surveys focusing on the doctoral community: the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) and the Professional Doctorate Experience Survey (PDES). The PRES is administered via Advance HE and has the advantage of providing benchmarking data. The PDES, on the other hand, is an internal survey.

Our Postgraduate Researchers are among the most satisfied in the UK, according to the 2023 PRES. Overall satisfaction rate is 83%, up from the 80% rate we achieved in 2021. This places Bath 16th out of 100 institutions and in the first quarter (in 2021 we were 40th out of 89 institutions and in the second quarter).

Besides overall satisfaction, the PRES measures nine further summary scales including supervision, resources, research culture, research skills, and professional development. Of particular note is Bath’s excellent performance in ‘Resources’ where we came first in the country. Across all scales, we have made significant improvements since 2021, and placed in the first quarter for eight of the ten summary scales.

For the PDES, overall satisfaction rate was equally impressive with 89% of respondents satisfied with the quality of their programmes. Strong performances are particularly noted in teaching, research supervision, and resources. Eighty-nine per cent of respondents would recommend their programme to a friend.

Professor Sarah Hainsworth, Pro Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Bath, commented: “It is fantastic to see improvements in both surveys, and I want to thank our postgraduate researchers and all those who support them for the many contributions they make to the research success of the University. Going forward, we will work with the doctoral community and the Students’ Union to analyse the survey data more closely and identify priorities for future improvements so that our researchers can have the best doctoral experience possible.”

Results are now available for staff to view on the PRES & PDES Student Survey Data Archive Wiki (VPN required).