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 submission within the funded period). 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. 

Following analysis of the updated QAA Quality Code, alongside consultation with the Quality and Standards working parties and members of UPGRC, the QA activities will run on a biennial cycle as per the diagram below:-


Changes to be incorporated include:

1. Biennial review of collaborative programmes, the outcomes of which would be collated for discussion at UPGRC, available to the RS Programmes team to inform new programme developments and disseminated to other Professional Services (Academic Programmes Office, Student Recruitment and Admissions, and GE) as appropriate;

2. Reintroduction of departmental reflection activity via a meeting between the Departmental and Faculty PGR Leads to facilitate discussion of key metrics (recruitment, submission rate and survey feedback), to take place at least biennially and ideally annually. This should generate an approach for enhancement activities, with a summary of the discussion to be shared with RS for the purposes of identifying cross- Faculty issues. Faculty PGR Leads may choose to follow-up with Departments requiring additional support during Semester 2;

3. The opportunity to collate student feedback around topical issues prior to PGR Lead Best Practice Sharing sessions, where appropriate.

4. Review of Regulations, including programmes with taught elements e.g. EdD, CDTs and DEdCPsy. This process would be initiated in February, offsetting Departmental workload relative to the APO Regulatory review cycle, with a mid-March deadline for amendments in the next academic year.

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 Rachel Horner (r.horner@sheffield.ac.uk) in the first instance.

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