Guidance and resources for supervisors on the additional support available to doctoral students, reflecting that a research degree is a very different proposition to that previously experienced when studying for an undergraduate or a masters’ degree.
Expectations and responsibilities
As supervisor, you have a key role in ensuring that you:
- are familiar with the range of support services available
- are familiar with registration options including suspension or changing mode of study
- aware of the differing requirements/pressures at different stages of the student journey
- monitor for signs of problems with your students e.g. in your regular meetings
- are approachable and receptive to requests of support from your student, including non-research-related issues
- assess issues raised: provide advice where applicable and forward to specialist services when more appropriate
- whilst observing confidentiality, seek guidance from others, for example, Director of Studies, Student Services or the Doctoral College
- raise the alarm where there is a serious risk to the student
Details of responsibilities can also be found at QA7 Sections 3.2 and 8, Responsibilities of the supervisor and supervisory team and QA7 Appendix 1 Responsibilities of the Supervisory team.
Sources of support
If you are at all concerned about your student, you can ring the Student Services Staff Advice Line on 01225 384321 or ext. 4321, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student services provides all students with support and guidance, including:
Be Well - Talk Now service - free, confidential service for students, open for advice and support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Students can contact a trained adviser by phone, video call or live chat from anywhere in the world.
From within the UK: Call 0808 196 8046
From outside the UK: Call +44 3 307771499
Information on accessing student services whilst off-campus or on fieldwork or placement.
The Student Services staff page provides advice and guidance on supporting students in various circumstances:
- General Support: a general factsheet for supervisors of doctoral students
- Students wishing to suspend. If your student wishes to suspend or withdraw from their studies, there are a range of implications they need to consider beforehand, such as academic, health, funding or housing. Student Services provide guidance for staff if a student wishes to suspend or withdraw. Detailedguidance for students who wish to suspend their studies can also be found on the Student Services web page.
- Vulnerable students. You may need to provide additional support for vulnerable students who are care leavers, former Foyer residents, estranged students or refugees.
- Missing students: advice on what staff should do if a student is missing.
- Distressed students: how to support students in distress
- Students with a disability. Advice on Disability Access Plans, supporting students with specific learning difficulties/visual impairments and implementing reasonable adjustments for students
- Student sickness: advice if your student is ill
- Students on fieldwork/ based off campus: information on access to services for students whilst on fieldwork.
Supporting student success through pastoral care
Your Director of Studies (and others in your department)
Your Doctoral DoS plays a key role in providing advice to supervisors, or someone else for the students to seek advice. It may also be worth consulting with other experienced supervisors in your department.
The Doctoral College
The Doctoral College provides general advice on processes and procedures for dealing with students requiring support. Options may include temporary suspension of studies or transfer from full-time to part-time registration. It is recommended that you get in contact with your Doctoral College Administrator at the earliest point if you have any concerns about your student.
Finance Office Studentships Team
Details of studentship competitions for new students can be found from Find funding for doctoral research. Tuition Fees (by Faculty/School) can be found on the Fee Schedule. As tuition fees are also dependant on the registration status of your student (f/t vs p/t, suspensions, Transfer to Writing-Up - Continuation or Administration Fees), contact the Doctoral College if you are unsure of the registrations status of your student. If your existing student is funded, see the Studentships team webpage and contact the Studentships Finance Office for information relating to the T&Cs of the studentship, sick-pay etc. For details of funding available for current students (not studentships), see the information collated on the Doctoral College web page.
The Students' Union offers a wide range of support for all students on a range of topics affecting your student’s study and welfare, including academic matters and personal issues. Specifically, it has a Postgraduate Association that represents and helps build community for all postgraduates at the University of Bath.
University Independent Advisor for Postgraduate Research Students
The University Independent Advisor for Postgraduate Research Students provides independent advice for your student, should they feel that an issue cannot be resolved at department/School level. If you are unable to get appropriate advice or help within your department, you may find them a useful sounding board.
Student Immigration Service
The Student Immigration Service provides advice and information on visas and immigration including the visa application process and restriction, guidance on working in the UK, travelling and bringing family.