Quality Assurance of Provision for Doctoral Research Students

The Doctoral Research Student Quality Assurance process aims to assure high levels of student satisfaction with doctoral research student provision and the delivery of the research outputs which the University expects from its doctoral research students (including timely submission of theses).  The biennial QA exercise: identifies scope for improvement and measures progress against it, facilitates the agreement of enhancement priorities at a number of levels, enables the sharing of good practices, and promotes student engagement with quality assurance. 

Process

Quality is assured through departments completing a form which requests information about their support and supervision of doctoral research students.  This process informs faculty-level conversations about PGR provision and departmental action planning to enhance provision.  

This is now a biennial process, starting from 2016/17.  Statement of Compliance/Reflection forms will be sent out to departments in December with a request that  these be returned in February.   Faculty discussions will occur in March/April and final reporting will take place in the May.

 In the year that this QA exercise does not take place, the University will survey its doctoral research students on their experiences of doing a postgraduate research degree at the University of Sheffield.  See the Quicklink on the right of this page.

Outputs

- Agreement of enhancement priorities (at department, faculty and university level)
- New good practices communicated across the University
- Where minimum essential requirements are not being met, further dialogue occurs with possible escalation through the Faculty PGR Lead and recourse for a departmental visit
- Where support or advice are requested, specific Faculty and Professional Service actions are disseminated and undertaken.

- Examples of implementation for essential requirements and examples of good practice can be found here:  Examples of implementation