Skip to main content

Student & Supervisor Responsibilities

Students and supervisors share responsibility for managing the effectiveness of the relationship.

In a relationship, it’s vital to not only know your own responsibilities but also those of the other person.

Here we identify what the responsibilities are for both students and supervisors over the course of a Research Degree Programme.

  • Student's Responsibilities
    • Together with the supervisory team at the initial formal meeting, agreeing everyone’s roles and responsibilities and the frequency, duration and format of formal meetings
    • Maintaining regular contact with the supervisory team
    • Recognising when they need help and seeking it in a timely manner
    • Preparing adequately for meetings with supervisors
    • Setting and keeping to timetables and deadlines, including planning and submitting work as and when required, and maintaining satisfactory progress with their Research Degree Programme
    • Maintaining research records in such a way that they can be accessed and understood by anyone with a legitimate need to see them
    • Raising awareness of any specific needs or circumstances likely to affect their work
    • Focusing on their own personal and professional development
    • Attending any development opportunities (research-related or other) that have been identified when agreeing development needs with supervisors
    • Being familiar with the regulations and policies that affect them, including those relating to their award, health and safety, intellectual property, electronic repositories, and ethical research
    • Knowing the key staff members in their school, including the Head of School, Postgraduate Administrator and the Course Director/Head of Graduate Studies
    • Knowing their Student Reps including their Postgraduate School Rep and the Postgraduate Student Officer
    • If you are funded for your study by a funding body, ensure that you are very familiar with the terms and conditions of your funding.
    • The student is responsible for the submitted work, and the eventual success or failure of the Research Degree Programme
  • Supervisor's Responsibilities

    Responsibilities are normally shared out amongst members of the supervisory team, however it is expected that the principal supervisor has overall responsibility with the second or co-supervisor providing a supporting role.

    • Together with the student at the initial formal meeting, agreeing everyone’s roles and responsibilities and the frequency, duration and format of formal meetings
    • Maintaining regular contact with the student
    • Making the student aware of relevant policies and procedures including: the Study Regulations for Research Degree Programmes; Conduct Regulations, procedures for the use of similarity checking software; and specific policies, including gaining ethical approval, and health and safety practices at School level
    • Ensuring that student understands the nature and requirements of postgraduate research, including progress requirements and deadlines, and is aware of the expected standards as a research student
    • Agreeing with the student what training and development requirements need to be fulfilled as part of the requirements for the completion of the Research Degree Programme
    • Agreeing an initial research plan with the student, which may be subject to change during the course of the Research Degree Programme
    • Providing timely (as agreed between the supervisor(s) and the student) and constructive feedback on the student’s work and overall progress within the Research Degree Programme, raising any concerns about progress at an early stage with the student
    • Ensuring that appropriate records are maintained in relation to supervisory meetings, progress monitoring, and Annual Progress Review (including differentiation)
    • Providing appropriate pastoral support as required, by providing advice and/or referring the student to other sources of support, including relevant support services
    • Helping the student interact with others working in the field of research, for example, encouraging the student to attend relevant seminars and conferences; supporting the student in seeking funding for such events as required; and where appropriate supporting the submission of conference papers and articles to referred journals
    • The second or co-supervisor may be required to act as the principal supervisor should they be away from the University for a prolonged period of time