Support during your degree

Support teams

Graduate School Office

You are welcome to contact us by phone, email or in person. We are based in room 3E37 Frenchay campus and we will be pleased to see you. Until otherwise advised by the Graduate School, this may be by appointment only and may take place online.

Academic supervision

Your supervision team

You will be allocated a supervision team, led by a Director of Studies (DoS), which will include at least one other supervisor. Your DoS will have already supervised other research students through to successful completion and will be able to guide you academically as well as assist you in navigating the milestones that form part of your research degree.

Your supervisors will be chosen on the basis of the knowledge and expertise relevant to your individual research interests and/or methodological approach. Depending on the nature of your research project, there may be scope to add additional members onto the team. One or more members of the team can also be external to UWE Bristol, if necessary.

Your relationship with supervisors

Whilst the project and overall responsibility belongs to you, your supervision team are there to support you along the way. You will develop a pattern of working which works both for you and your supervision team and which will vary from time to time.

You'll find this way of studying considerably different to taught study and will find that your relationships with academic staff and supervisors will change over time and along with the level of progress you're making in your degree.

Resources for research


As well as being part of the Graduate School community, you will also be a postgraduate researcher within a specific college, school or department.

Depending on the nature of your research, you may become a member of a research group or centre situated within a given college.

As a researcher, you will also have the opportunity to become part of the wider research community at UWE Bristol through your contact with academic colleagues and other postgraduate researchers.

Dedicated library support

You will have access to materials and support from librarians specialising in research and knowledge exchange, such as help from subject-specific librarians, training sessions, and the Researcher Zone - a dedicated space for UWE Bristol research staff and postgraduate researchers.


As a postgraduate researcher, you will receive a regular newsletter from the Graduate School. This is how we will keep you up-to-date with policy changes, skills development, and wider university support, news and events.

Postgraduate researcher representatives

The Faculty Research Degrees Committee (FRDC) and Graduate School Committee both have PGR representatives as members. If you have a PGR issue you would like to raise, please contact your representative.

If you would like to become a student representative, please contact the Graduate School office or find out more about being a student representative via The Students' Union at UWE website.

Graduate School Sub-Committee

The Graduate School Sub-Committee (GSSC) oversees the policy and strategy development for postgraduate research and has representatives from services and colleges across UWE Bristol as well as representatives from within the research student body.

The Committee champions research student matters within UWE Bristol and addresses concerns or issues affecting our students as well as showcasing their achievements and highlighting their impact within the wider research community.

Coronavirus updates

Can my research now proceed as normal?

Research at UWE Bristol: For information about doing research at UWE Bristol during Stage four of UWE Bristol's roadmap out of COVID-19 restrictions please see the Research and Enterprise COVID-19 information which has the latest details. 

Almost all research is now proceeding according to usual timescales but you still need to check any requirements there might be for particular activities, eg coming onto campus, ethical approval etc. 

PhD/MPhil Thesis Format: We have introduced new regulations that allow for the incorporation of research outputs in final PhD and MPhil theses - this might enable you to save time if you have research outputs. For further details see our guide for incorporating research outputs (PDF).

Skills Development Programme and adjusting research: We've updated the Skills Development Programme Blackboard site (available through MYUWE) with the range of recordings and advice. For those adjusting their research: there are resources on the site to help you think and rethink your research project, we are adding a series of 'Agile Researcher' workshops to the series for 2021, and we have formed a mentoring group for supervisors looking to help PGRs adjusting research.

Research ethics: If you're changing your research design in any way, you may need to obtain ethics (re)approval. See the research ethics for further details.

There will continue to be regular updates in the PGR newsletter and from the Skills Development Programme Blackboard site, which includes details of a range of activities including the regular PGR 'drop-in' sessions that run online and at which you can chat about anything PGR.

How can I continue to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on my PGR milestones?

The information below should help you manage your registration and progress milestones. We recognise that the impact of disruption due to COVID-19 may be long-lasting. From September 2021 onwards you will need to provide evidence for suspension of registration including those that are covid-related.


Research degree registration: If you cannot progress at all with your research, we advise that you apply to suspend your registration for three months using the personal circumstances process. You can suspend your registration for further periods of three months if any COVID-19 related impacts are preventing you progressing your research.

Progress milestones: All progress milestones and final vivas can take place remotely.

I'm a Professional Doctorate student, how does this affect me?

If you are currently undertaking modules, refer to Blackboard for information on online teaching and assessment.

If you are in the research phase, continue as normal if you are able. If not, consult your supervisory team. You will be able to suspend your studies for up to 3 months at a time – you should inform us by emailing that you wish to suspend but no evidence will be required.

I want to submit my thesis for viva. How do I do it? Will the viva go ahead?

Please upload an online version of your thesis to the UWE Bristol Repository and notify that you've done so, submitting your RD14 form.

Find more information about final viva and thesis submission. You should also look at the Graduate School Handbook, Part 13 and Part 14 on preparing for the final viva.

From September 2021 you can choose whether to have an online or in-person viva.


I want to submit my thesis but it needs to be kept confidential. If I send it to the Repository will it be made public?

If you are submitting your initial thesis for examination or an amended version following your viva, this will be secure and confidential to the examining team and will not be made public.

If you wish for part or all of your thesis to remain confidential then you must apply to the Exam Board in the usual way. Please refer to the Graduate School Handbook Section 14 for advice and link to the relevant RD Form.

Will I be able to go to a graduation ceremony?

Please check the Awards Ceremonies for more information.

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