Doctoral supervisors have a crucial role to play in the success of research students. While there are important regulations that you need to understand, we acknowledge that there is no single ‘correct’ way to supervise.
These pages provide guidance for you at each stage of the doctoral supervision journey. They include resources, with tips from other supervisors, to help you as you work with your research students, and self-reflection for you to consider how to further your knowledge of the role of supervisors within a research-led university and the pedagogy of supervision.
In addition to these resources, it is recommended that you engage with the online Supervising Doctoral Studies module, developed by Epigeum. This provides flexible, engaging training to equip both new and more experienced doctoral supervisors with the knowledge, skills and understanding that are vital to effectively supporting doctoral candidates' development into independent researchers.
Recruitment and selection

Guidance and resources to support you in recruiting a doctoral student, including sourcing funding, deciding on a supervisory team, arrangements for interviews and sample interview questions and selection activities.

Settling in and getting started

Guidance and resources to help you prepare your student for doctoral study, including preparing for your student’s arrival, establishing the relationship and setting expectations, managing the research project, with tips from experienced supervisors.

Monitoring and progression

Guidance and resources for managing and reviewing the progress of your student, including your responsibilities as a supervisor, progress reports, completing Candidature and Confirmation, and adapting your supervision style through the doctorate.

Supporting your student

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 master's degree.

Skills and career development

Guidance to help supervisors support the personal and professional career development of their doctoral students, including expectations of the supervisor, training resources available to students, and advice from experienced supervisors.

Preparing and writing the thesis

Guidance and resources for supervisors, including what the University requirements are on thesis format, giving feedback to your student on their writing, the process for thesis submission, links to forms, and tips from experienced supervisors.

The Viva

Guidance and resources covering the responsibilities of the supervisor, how the viva examination is conducted at Bath and how to prepare your student for their viva, including explaining the purpose of the viva and demystifying the viva process.


Guidance, information and support for supervisors on dealing with problems arising in the supervisory relationship, including the responsibility of supervisors in dealing with issues and challenges and tips from experienced supervisors.

Your professional development

Guidance, information and support for the development of good supervision, recognising that supervision is a skill that needs to be developed and nurtured.  Guidance is also provided as to what good supervision might look like.