Management of research degrees

Research degrees are governed by a number of committees and departments. Find out how decisions are made and how your voice is heard.

The Graduate Board


The Graduate Board formulates and implements policies and procedures for all research degrees. It also monitors and reviews all arrangements for research degrees. The Board is chaired by the Dean of the Doctoral College and is responsible for implementing policy and regulations via Doctoral College Operations, faculty Graduate School Committees and Directors of Postgraduate Research Studies.

Admission, progress, examination and decisions regarding the award of research degrees also fall within the remit of the Graduate Board. Postgraduate researchers are represented on the Board and on faculty Graduate School Committees.

Doctoral College Operations has responsibility for providing the Graduate Board with the information which the Board requires both in a routine way and for any special circumstances that may develop.

Doctoral College Operations and Scholarships

 Doctoral College Operations is based within the Student Services Centre and issues official letters of admission, manages registration, and maintains records for every postgraduate researcher in the University.

Location: Student Services Centre, Level 9, Marjorie and Arnold Ziff Building

Normal opening hours: Weekdays 9am-5pm (Wednesday 10am-5pm)

Registration: (0113) 343 5057

Progress (suspensions and transfers): (0113) 343 5571

Thesis submissions and examinations: (0113) 343 4003

Scholarships: (0113) 343 4007

Faculty Graduate Schools

Each faculty has a Graduate School, led by the Head of Graduate School, to strengthen research degree arrangements and provide a consistent experience for all postgraduate researchers. The Graduate Schools provide opportunities for postgraduate researchers to interact academically and socially through the organisation of conferences, seminars and social events. 

You will find that most of your interaction (and a varying amount of your academic contacts) will be with the staff of the faculty Graduate School or the school where you are registered. Most Graduate School administrators have an unrivalled understanding of how your area works and how to help solve various problems. Asking their advice first may save you both time and trouble


All postgraduate researchers belong to an academic school/institute or to one of a number of units which have been set up to provide the help and guidance which schools give to their students when it is needed.

Each school/institute is part of a faculty. As part of the Code of Practice for Research Degrees, each faculty has its own supplementary protocol which provides details of how the code is implemented within a local context and individual faculty organisational structures.


Director of Postgraduate Research Studies

The Director of Postgraduate Research Studies (DPGRS) has responsibility for coordinating:


  • admissions
  • registration
  • appointment of supervisors
  • the transfer process for assessment for full degree registration
  • recording and monitoring progress and attendance of postgraduate researchers
  • examination arrangements
  • pastoral care 
  • liaison with Doctoral College Operations

There is at least one DPGRS in every school and they must meet University-agreed eligibility criteria


Postgraduate researcher representation, feedback and channels of communication

Postgraduate researchers are represented on faculty Graduate School Committees by representatives recruited by their faculty/school. These representatives participate in discussions and meetings to enhance the postgraduate research experience and are encouraged to consult fellow students. They are also asked to make sure a wide variety of opinions are represented at the committee meetings. Having representatives ensures that postgraduate researchers have a platform to raise and discuss issues affecting them, and to influence future University policy for research degree programmes.

Leeds University Union (LUU)

Leeds University Union provides additional training and support for these representatives. Postgraduate researchers are also represented on the Graduate Board and other relevant groups of the Board by the LUU Education Officer and a PGR representative appointed by LUU. To find out more about these and other opportunities to have your voice heard, please contact Kath Owen

LUU also consults with PGRs about their satisfaction levels throughout the year. PGRs are able to mandate the Student Executive Officers by submitting ideas that then become policy at the Better Forums

Student Advice Centre

The Student Advice Centre at LUU provides confidential and independent information, support and advice to postgraduate researchers contemplating appeals, complaints or other difficulties associated with their research degree. They also offer independent advice on a range of issues including academic and money issues.