Supervisor Development

There is a new programme to support the training of those involved in the supervision of postgraduate research.

  • Previously, new supervisors were invited to take the Postgraduate Diploma in Higher and Professional Education: Research Supervision.
  • From now on there will be an annual programme of professional development seminars. This programme is not an award: there is no formal enrolment process, and no formal assessment.
  • The programme is intended to support everyone involved in the supervision of postgraduate research, including experienced supervisors. The regulatory framework for postgraduate research has changed substantially. In addition, the wider expectations around postgraduate research supervision are also changing, and we can all benefit from reviewing and refreshing our practice.

Those New to Supervision

In order to act as a Principal Supervisor, you must either have completed this programme of professional development, or have been part of a team that supervised a PhD student through to successful completion.

To complete this programme, you are required to:

  • register your intention to participate by booking on IRIS or emailing
  • attend four ‘core’ seminars on aspects of postgraduate research supervision
  • submit a short plan outlining how you would present a professional development seminar on an aspect of postgraduate research supervision of your own choosing.

More Experienced Supervisors

You are strongly encouraged to attend at least one of the seminars offered in each academic year. In 2015, the University introduced a new set of regulations for postgraduate research degrees. You may therefore find it useful to attend the seminar addressed to the regulations and procedures – most especially those regarding the stages of progression review.

All the seminars are open to all members of staff.

The Programme

The programme for 2017-18 is currently under development – precise details of the workshops below will be confirmed shortly

Core Seminars

What is PhD supervision and why should I do it?


Approaches to supervision

Regulations and procedures – what you need to know


The viva examination – preparation, on the day, and what happens next?  


 If you have any queries about this programme, please contact Prof David Webb (