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Support for doctoral students

Doing a research degree is a significant undertaking and can be challenging. Find out how you can access advice and support relevant to your needs.

Seek support early

Doing a doctorate is a significant undertaking and you may find yourself juggling many competing demands. For some students, this may include studying alongside full-time careers and family and caring responsibilities.

As a University we are committed to supporting you and want to make sure you have access to the right type of support when you need it. On this page you can find out about the range of support and support services available. In particular, you will find out about:

  • who to speak to if you have issues or changes in circumstances affecting your research and/or research degree
  • how to access help with a confidential issue affecting your research that you feel unable to share with your supervisors or your departmental Director of Studies
  • how to seek independent advice to resolve problems or make appeals
  • how to report incidents of harassment, bullying and victimisation
  • how to access support with your own wellbeing
  • how to access additional funding and financial support
  • how to access additional support as a disabled student or if you are ill
  • the additional support available for international students

Support with your research and studies

During your studies you may encounter challenges with your academic progress or face a change of circumstances. We would encourage you to raise this straight away with your supervisors or, if this is not possible, with your Director of Studies.

Our Doctoral College arranges for a detailed induction process, designed to support the start of your studies, recognising that some students may not have been to university for many years – you can revisit many of these resources later during your studies for guidance. The Doctoral College team has dedicated support staff for each department and doctoral training entity. They can provide advice about progression through your doctorate, including how issues such as changes of circumstances may impact on your studies and the guidance and forms you will need.

If you need to report a confidential issue affecting your research and you feel unable to share it with your supervisors or your departmental Director of Studies, you can do so by accessing the form reporting an issue online (this is also available in your six-monthly progress reports). This link will connect you to a simple form that when completed can be routed via the Doctoral College to your Faculty/School Director of Doctoral Studies or the Academic Director of the Doctoral College, who will get in touch to discuss the issue in confidence.

What to do if...

Here you'll find further advice and guidance from the Doctoral College on what to do if you face certain challenges during your doctorate.

Seeking independent advice

Sometimes you might want to seek independent, confidential advice to resolve a problem or to submit a complaint or academic appeal.

If you encounter a problem that cannot be resolved at a Department, Faculty, School or Doctoral College level, or where you feel these routes would be inappropriate or inadvisable, you can seek independent advice from the following services:

Doctoral Handbook

Reporting incidents of bullying, harassment, sexual misconduct and discrimination

Our University expects all students and staff members to treat each other with dignity and respect and as a University we have a clear view on misconduct.

Despite this, we do recognise that sometimes you may encounter an uncomfortable situation. We would strongly encourage all staff, students, and visitors to report any incident via our Support and Report reporting form.

Find out more about Support and Report
Never OK Logo

Supporting your wellbeing

Throughout your studies if you notice yourself struggling or would like to talk to someone confidentially then you can talk to a Student Support Advisor. This is a non-judgemental service and is often a useful starting point for you to discuss how you can manage your wellbeing.

Student Support's Counselling and Mental Health team offers counselling sessions, groups, workshops and one-to-one sessions. If you are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed, counsellors can give you space to explore the challenges you are facing and help you to find solutions that work for you. They can also support and complement your access to NHS services if you have a long-term mental health condition.

Also, The SU Advice & Support Centre and the The Chaplaincy can also provide general wellbeing support.

24 hour support service

Student Support has launched a support service called Be Well, Talk Now to provide flexible wellbeing support in addition to their existing on-campus services.

Talk Now is a confidential service that gives immediate advice and support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You can contact an adviser by phone, video call or live chat from anywhere in the world, who will be able to support you with any problems you may be facing. This service has been developed in response to student requests for greater out-of-hours support, support in multiple languages and support from trained advisors from diverse backgrounds.

You may find this service particularly useful if you:

  • are off campus
  • find it challenging to access support during working hours
  • are conducting research anywhere in the world
  • are studying at one of our doctoral training partners

Funding and money advice

There are a range of funding opportunities available to you during your doctorate, such as training grants and travel bursaries. This includes The University of Bath Hardship Fund (UBHF), a discretionary fund, provided to students who find themselves in financial difficulty.

If you have any questions about the funding arrangements for your doctorate, please contact the Finance Office Studentships (FOS) team.

Student Money Advice can help you with budgeting and information about funding support. They can also advise if you need a break from your studies or are considering leaving.

Find out what else the Student Money Advice team can offer
a student with an advisor

Disability service and illness

Find information, advice and support if you have a disability or you are ill

If you need advice or support around a disability, health condition or specific learning difficulty please contact the disability service for an appointment. You are entitled to reasonable adjustments to your doctoral studies and these might be different from those you may have had for previous studies or work.

If you are ill there is information on who to inform, where to get medical advice and if you are entitled to any sick pay.

Support for international students

Additional support for international students.

Contact us

If you have any questions, please contact us.