Quality assurance of provision for PGR students

The PGR 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 PGR 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. 


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

From 2016/17 this has been a biennial process:

  • Statement of Compliance/Reflection forms are sent 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 PGR students on their experiences of doing a postgraduate research degree at the University of Sheffield (PRES survey).

Outputs of the process

  • 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.

Essential practices, and examples of good practice, in PGR provision

Who to contact

Queries regarding the QA process should be directed to Charley Williams (Charlotte.Williams@sheffield.ac.uk, 21432) in the first instance.

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