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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.

Coronavirus update

The University has a wide range of support available to you throughout your doctoral studies. If you have any additional challenges due to Coronavirus and self-isolation you can find sources of support on our Coronavirus information page.

If you are unsure where to direct a question or concern, a good place to start is with the Doctoral College's Engagement Manager, who can signpost you to the right source of support and guidance.

Progression through your doctorate

The Doctoral College and the SU (Students' Union) can provide you with support.

During your study you may encounter challenges with your academic progress or face a change of circumstances.

If you are not receiving the academic advice or support that you need, please raise this straight away with your supervisors or, if this is not possible, with your Director of Studies.

Our 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.

The SU Advice & Support Centre also have professional advisors who can support you with any academic problems.

If you are an international student, The Student Immigration Service provides advice and help about visas and life in the UK.

You can also refer to this Doctoral College Student Support leaflet for sources of advice and support and the contacts you’ll need. It covers Health and Wellbeing, Accommodation, Complaints and Appeals, the Disability Service, Funding and Money Advice, Skills, and Immigration and Visas. You can download a copy to save for future reference.

Independent Advice

Sometimes you might want to seek independent, confidential advice.

If you encounter a problem which cannot be resolved at department or School level, or where you feel this route would be inappropriate or inadvisable, you can seek independent advice from The University Independent Advisor for Postgraduate Research Students, Marcelle McManus, can be contacted for confidential consultations.

The SU Advice and Support Centre also offers independent advice and support on a range of topics affecting your study and your welfare, including academic matters and personal issues including housing, stress and harassment.

The Chaplaincy offers counsel and advice to both staff and students of all faiths and no faiths.


Find out how you can get support help with all wellbeing and welfare issues.

The Wellbeing Service, run by Student Services, offers help and support with all welfare and wellbeing issues. If you have an academic problem such as an issue with your supervisor, or need advice on an emotional or practical issue, you can talk to a Wellbeing Adviser or come along to a daily drop-in session.

Student Services' Counselling and Mental Health team offers counselling sessions, groups, workshops and one to one sessions specifically for postgraduate students. If you are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed, counsellors can give you space to explore 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.

Student Services can also provide you with practical information on specific issues that might be concerning you such as suspending your study, pregnancy, and sick pay if you are a funded student and fall ill during your studies.

The SU Advice & Support Centre also has professional advisors who can offer confidential, independent and non-judgemental information, advice and support.

Alongside these professional services, we have our Doctoral Peer Support scheme where you can have regular one-to-one meetings with a fellow doctoral student. With your peer supporter you can discuss issues arising from working remotely on your doctoral studies, or just have informal chats to support your wellbeing.

Reporting harassment, assault and misconduct

Find out how to report harassment, assault and misconduct using the 'Report and Support' tool.

Our University expects all students and staff members to treat each other with dignity and respect. However, we recognise that sometimes you may encounter an uncomfortable situation. All staff, students, and visitors can report discrimination, misconduct, harassment or assault by using the 'Report and Support' tool.

Disability Service

Find information, advice and support if you have a disability.

If you need advice or support around a disability, health condition or specific learning difficulty please contact the disability service for an appointment. You can phone, email or visit their Helpdesk.

Funding and money advice

Get advice about managing money, funding and sourcing additional income.

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)] /guides/applying-for-the-university-of-bath-hardship-fund/), 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. Please contact the Helpdesk for an appointment or go along to a drop-in sessions.

Contact us

If you have any questions, please contact us.