PG Students and Supervisors

  • Welcome to the research degrees programme and to the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences. We want you to enjoy your time with us and to be successful in your studies.

    The Faculty's Research Student Handbook (updated each year) explains the procedures and timelines that you need to follow as you progress through your studies. It also tells you who are your key contacts and includes information on training and development opportunities.

    Your Director of Studies and supervisory team provide the mainstay of guidance and support for your research programme.

    Also there to help and support you is the Faculty’s Postgraduate Research Tutor team. The tutors monitor and keep records of your progress, liaise between supervisors, students and the University Research Degrees Committee (RDC), and can also provide information on regulations and training. They are available to talk about any problems that cannot be dealt with by your supervisor.

    The Faculty’s Research Administrator supports the Postgraduate Research Tutor team and can be contacted for anything relating to the administration of our progress throughout your programme. You will also hear from her regularly about events and issues that you need to be aware of.

    I hope you have an excellent time here and wish you success with your research.

    Professor Susan Brooks
    Senior Faculty Postgraduate Tutor
    T: 01865 483285

  • Senior Postgraduate Tutor

    Department of Biological and Medical Sciences

    Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development

    Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work

    Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery

    The Faculty’s Research Student Handbook details a range of important elements contributing to your experience as a research student and is an important guide throughout your programme. It includes details on the forms and reports that have to be completed, the deadlines you need to work to, and useful information including opportunities for training and skills development.

    • The structure of the Doctoral Training Programmes at Brookes
    • Key contacts
    • Training available
    • Timelines for research degrees
    • Registration
    • Transfer from MPhil to PhD
    • Annual Reports and Progress Monitoring
    • Appointment of examiners
    • Summary of regulations applying to all research students
    • Annual postgraduate symposium
    • Seminar series
    • Societies, conferences, meetings and publications
    • Other support and facilities available to you
    • Research Degrees Sub-Committees
    • Ethics Approval
    • Confidentiality agreements
    • At the end of your programme


    Please enrol here.

    All research students are required to enrol as students of the University at the start of their research degree programme and again at the beginning of each of the subsequent September enrolment periods until the conferment of the degree.


    It is expected that new PhD students register their programme of research with the Graduate Office within 3 to 6 months of commencing their studies.

    Research Ethics: Ethics approval is required before work involving human participants can begin. The Faculty research ethics site provides details of the processes to be followed, key contacts and links to relevant policies.

    Annual Reports and Progress Monitoring

    All students submit an annual report at the beginning of June for each year of their programme. Writing the report should be viewed as an on-going activity during the year. Two members of the Postgraduate Team will meet with you to discuss your progress, having read your report and that of your supervisors.

    Please note that this review process is particularly important at the end of the First Year for full-time students or at the end of the Second Year for part-time students to ensure that progress is as expected.

    Transfer, if Studying for an MPhil/PhD

    This normally happens at around 18-24 months and involves a report and an interview, establishing whether a student is ready to go forward to PhD. Candidates are assessed on whether they:

    • have adequate background knowledge and understanding of the literature
    • are using appropriate techniques
    • can understand questions, discuss their work and argue rationally
    • have a clear programme of work to PhD, demonstrating an original contribution to knowledge
    • will be able to complete in a timely manner.

    Writing-up Schedule

    All students ending their third-year full-time, or fourth-year part-time, must produce a Writing-Up Schedule, agreed with their Director of Studies, indicating how they plan to complete within four years full-time or five years part-time. This is assessed by the relevant Postgraduate Tutor for the Department and recommendations made to student and supervisor (including an interview if necessary) if problems are identified.


    HLS Doctoral Programme Training Events Calendar 2018 - To be issued shortly.

    Graduate College Research Student Training

    Bench Fees

    All students who are paying a Bench Fee or who are funded for this by the Faculty or an external body can claim up to £150 per year for conference attendance (pro-rata for part-time students). This should be discussed with your supervisor who holds the Bench Fee account.

    Travel Insurance 

    If you plan to travel within the UK or abroad – for example, to a conference or for fieldwork- as part of your studies, please discuss this with your supervisor and request authorisation from the university. Contact the Faculty Research Administrator for the relevant forms. You must ensure that you allow adequate time to obtain all appropriate signatures and authorisation. You will be covered by University travel insurance as long as you are travelling on a sanctioned research trip. For private/voluntary travel, you must provide your own insurance cover. Research Students are responsible for obtaining their own visa clearance for travel to overseas destinations (if appropriate). Please ensure that you obtain such visas before incurring the cost of trips or paying out on such matters as conference registrations.You should therefore carefully plan the timing of your application for a visa checking with the appropriate embassy on timings and documentation required.

    If you are interested in applying for a place on a Postgraduate Degree course, please visit our Degree Opportunities site detailing current opportunities, our entry requirements, and course pathways. 

    Please note that the definition of a “Visiting Research Student” is any student currently registered at another institution, whether it be on an undergraduate or postgraduate programme, who wishes to come to OBU for a specified period during that programme to carry out unpaid research. This includes visiting students on work placement schemes (such as ERASMUS) or other unpaid internships. The Research Administrator will need to see evidence of the student’s registration at another institution, which runs the duration of the proposed visit, before any letter confirming the visit to OBU can be issued.

    The Visiting Research Student should contact the academic that they wish to work with to outline the purpose of the visit and the work to be undertaken whilst at OBU. If the academic is supportive the prospective Visiting Research Student must submit a Research Degree Application form available on the Faculty website.

    For further information on the application process, rules and regulations please see the: Procedure for accepting Visiting Researchers in the Faculty.

    The Faculty’s Research Student Handbook describes the processes and requisite forms and reports that your student will follow under your guidance and support over the course of their research studies programme.

    Should you have questions as they relate to one or more of your students, please speak in the first instance with one of your departmental Postgraduate Tutors for clarification.

    If you wish to advertise a Studentship or post an advert for the attention of self-funded students, please complete this form and email to