Regulations about PGR professional development and research training

PGR6.1 Professional development and research skills training requirements

PGR6.1.1R All postgraduate researchers are required to undertake an assessed professional development and research skills training programme of a minimum Masters (M) level credit value to enable them to meet the requirements of the UWE Bristol MPhil or Doctoral descriptor and become effective researchers. This programme should align with the aims and objectives of the Vitae Researcher Development Framework.

PGR6.1.2R The credit requirements for the assessed programme are:

  • Master of Philosophy
    60 of which at least 60 are at level M
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    60-120 of which at least 60 are at level M
  • Professional Doctorate
    120–270 at level M
  • Master of Philosophy by publication
    60 of which at least 60 are at level M
  • Doctor of Philosophy by publication (DPhil)
    60-120 of which at least 60 are at level M.

It is recognised that some PGRs will benefit from undertaking research training beyond the minimum required to fulfil the credit requirement.

PGR6.1.3R Where the programme of related studies includes approved studies leading to a taught award and a PGR is registered for that award and fulfils all its requirements, they may be recommended for that award in addition to the degree of MPhil or PhD.

Regulations about accrediting prior certificated learning (AL) and prior experiential learning (AEL)

PGR6.2 Recognition of prior certificated learning (AL) in MPhil, PhD, MPhil and DPhil by publication awards

Prior certificated learning is accredited or otherwise certificated by an institution of higher education, including UWE Bristol or other external body acceptable to the University.  It is usually referred to as accredited learning or simply AL.

PGR6.2.1R PGRs on MPhil, PhD, MPhil and DPhil by publication awards may apply to use accredited learning to contribute towards some, or occasionally all, of the accredited training requirement of the award for which they are registered where the Faculty Research Degrees Committee (FRDC) has agreed that this is appropriate for that individual.

PGR6.2.2R The Graduate School has established procedures for the scrutiny and verification of applications for recognition of accredited learning from PGRs in this respect.

PGR6.3 Recognition of prior experiential learning (AEL)

Experiential learning is defined as learning achieved through experience gained by an individual outside formalised learning arrangements and where the learning is assessable by the University.

PGR6.3.1R Assessment of experiential learning requires the matching of the learning achieved by the PGR to the learning outcomes of a specified UWE Bristol module.

PGR 6.4 Recognition of prior learning (AL or AEL) in Professional Doctorates

PGR6.4.1R Where recognised prior learning (accredited and/or experiential learning) contributes to the credit requirements of a professional doctorate, the combination shall not exceed two-thirds of the total credit requirements for the award. The two-thirds ceiling shall not apply where a PGR has obtained all credit by study and assessment under the UWE Bristol Academic Regulations.

PGR6.4.2R Where a professional doctorate researcher fails to meet the requirements of the award on which they are registered but is eligible to receive a lower award, the two-thirds limit for credit gained by external accredited learning and/or accredited experiential learning shall be reduced accordingly for the lower award.

PGR 6.5 Reporting AL and AEL to Exam Boards

PGR6.5.1R All decisions to recognise credit awarded or certificated by an external institution or body (AL) will be reported to the Research Degrees Award Board and identified against the relevant modules.  This will be identified as recognised certificated learning (accredited learning) on the certificate of credit.

PGR6.5.2R Credit awarded for prior certificated learning (accredited learning) will not:

  • Carry marks or grades awarded by another institution
  • Carry marks achieved under study and assessment under the University’s assessment regulations.

PGR6.5.3R The outcome of the assessment of experiential learning (AEL) applications must be reported as recommendations for the award of credit to the relevant Field Board for decision, referencing the module(s) against which the assessed learning outcomes are being matched.  Where credit is awarded, this will be identified as recognised experiential learning on the certificate of credit. Outcomes of modules will be reported to the Research Degrees Award Board in the normal way.

PGR6.5.4 The module outcomes in both instances will be pass or fail.

Regulations about postgraduate researchers who teach

PGR 6.6 Postgraduate researchers who teach
The University’s 2030 strategy identifies research activity, output and knowledge exploration as key to informing and enriching its taught curricula. PGRs have the potential to play a significant role in supporting learning and teaching in this respect and the Graduate School has developed a policy for PGRs who teach which underpins this aim.

PGR6.6.1R Contribution to teaching by PGRs can only occur with the permission of the Director of Studies and must not impede progress on the research degree.

PGR6.6.2R For full time PGRs, teaching commitments may not amount in total to more than 120 hours per academic year.

PGR6.6.3R PGRs who teach for more than 120 hours per year must be registered on their research degree award part-time.

PGR6.6.4R PGRs who teach must undertake the training available that is appropriate to the number of hours that they teach per year.

Further information about the skills development programme

Researcher Professional Development Programme

The UWE Bristol Graduate School offers a comprehensive range of researcher development workshops  activities and resources which aim to help postgraduate researchers to develop vital transferable skills while participating in UWE Bristol’s research culture. The programme is updated annually in response to the evolving sector landscape, and we always welcome our PGRs' suggestions for improvements. Please see the UWE Bristol Graduate School skills development web page for current programme details.

Masters level modules

Purpose of the 60 credit Masters module requirement

These modules aim to enable postgraduate researchers to meet the requirements of the UWE Bristol MPhil or doctoral descriptor, enhance their skills and abilities as effective researchers and increase awareness of transferability of such skills portfolio into the wider labour market scene.

In discussing the package of modules that you will take with your Director of Studies, you should ensure that it aligns with the aims and objectives of the Vitae Researcher Development Framework.

Research in Contemporary Context (RCC)

This is a 30-credit Masters-level module, run by the Graduate School, which many PGRs will find helpful towards gaining their credits. It is intended to complement other module(s) that PGRs and supervisors may choose for skills development.

The aim of the module is to embed personal, professional and career development in each PGR’s individual research degree. Learning on the module will be enabled by workshops in two complementary strands – workshops for ‘Professional Researcher’ and for ‘Personal Skills Development’. It will include some elements of epistemology, but PGRs might want to complement it with specific methods training modules. PGRs from across UWE Bristol will be doing RCC so it will provide an opportunity to learn from a wide variety of other doctoral students.

View details of RCC in the Graduate School web pages.

Other modules

Modules from any faculty may be taken with the agreement of your Director of Studies, and PGRs enrol for all modules via the Graduate School Office. Information on modules can be found in UWE Bristol's module specifications information search.

Please note: These modules may form part of other awards at Masters-level awards within the University – they are not run specifically for PGRs. Therefore, there is no guarantee that all modules will run every year. If there is a module that you wish to register on, you or your Director of Studies should contact the module leader for that module to check whether it will be running and when.

Assessment regulations relating to taught modules, regarding non-completion, hand-in deadlines, extenuating circumstances, resits and second attempts are available in the Student and Academic Services information pages.