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How we use student feedback to improve your student experience

Find out how your feedback is used from the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) and the Professional Doctorate Experience Survey (PDES).

What are PRES and PDES?

PRES and PDES are surveys that are run every two years, in the spring, in order to understand and improve the doctoral student experience within the University.


PRES

PRES is a national survey ran by Advance HE that the University can use to understand and evaluate student satisfaction towards the overall doctoral student experience. The survey evaluates themes such as supervision, research culture, student support and professional development.

PDES

PDES is an institutional survey ran by the University to understand and evaluate student satisfaction on professional doctorate programmes towards the overall doctoral student experience. The survey evaluates themes such as learning and teaching, supervision, research culture, student support and professional development.

How we are using feedback from PRES and PDES to improve provision within the University.

Supervision


Based on your feedback about doctoral supervision, these are some examples of things that departments and programmes have done:

  • The mix of supervisors identified at candidature has come under greater scrutiny (Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering).
  • Made more opportunities for group supervision (DClinPsy programme).
  • Department hosted a supervision best practice forum (Department of Psychology).
  • Clarified the role of the 2nd supervisor and there is more contact between students and their 2nd supervisors (Department of Physics).

In addition, the Doctoral College has done the following:

  • Introduced a checklist for students and supervisors to use for their first meeting.
  • Set up a working group to develop new supervisor training and enhance existing training and support provision.
  • Reviewed student expectations of what excellent supervision means to them.
Students in the lab from the CSCT doctoral training centre

Research culture and professional development


Based on your feedback about research culture and professional development, these are some examples of things that departments and programmes have done:

  • Invited doctoral students to divisional/School research seminars (School of Management).
  • Introduced a regular workshop to support students with writing and critiquing papers for publication (Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies).
  • Ensure that doctoral students belong to a research group and have opportunities to attend research group meetings (Department of Psychology).
  • Recorded research seminars to make them available to students studying off-campus (DBA programme).

In addition, the Doctoral College has done the following:

A student presenting to an audience

Student support


Based on your feedback about student support, these are some examples of things that departments and programmes have done:

  • A new Moodle page helps signpost provision such as support from student services (Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering).
  • Improved signposting of PGR Director of Studies support through the SAMIS progression forms (Department of Chemical Engineering).
  • Introduced a series of coffee catch up meetings where students can discuss their issues and feelings within the Department (Department of Education).
  • Implemented a buddying system for new first year students to provide support (Department of Computer Science).

In addition, the Doctoral College has done the following:

A group of students talking

Postgraduates who teach


Based on your feedback about teaching as a postgraduate student, these are some examples of things that departments and programmes have done:

  • Provides a range of mentoring support to students teaching and supporting learning in different contexts (Department of Chemistry).
  • Supports students with teaching responsibilities to obtain AdvanceHE recognition (Department for Health).

In addition, the Doctoral College has done the following:

  • Updated student guidance related to teaching.
  • Supported UCU to review postgraduate teachers pay and conditions with more Departments using flexible contracts.
  • Worked with the CLT to develop more bespoke training for students who teach.
A student giving a workshop

Other ways you can give us your feedback

In addition to our student surveys there are plenty of other ways in which you can give us your feedback to improve your experience. Find out some of the ways you can give us feedback.


Academic Reps

These are elected individuals in your departments and programmes who represent your views at Faculty Staff-Student Liaison Committees (SSLCs) throughout the year. Find out who your Academic Reps are in your departments and programmes.

Check-in surveys

These twice semester surveys are an opportunity for you to give the University timely feedback towards your satisfaction with your programme and university experience. See feedback from previous check-in surveys.

The SU

You can give your opinions through the SU through the Postgraduate Officer, the Doctoral Executive or attending a doctoral forum. The SU and the University meets regularly to discuss student feedback. Find out how you can give feedback through the SU.

Department meetings and forums

Most Departments have meetings with their doctoral students throughout the year. Attending these meetings are useful ways in which you can provide feedback to your Department. Contact your Director of Studies to find out the schedule for these meetings.