Supervision meetings

Supervision meetings allow you to receive guidance on your research, and help your supervisors to monitor your progress and how best to support you. 

It is important that you understand what counts as a supervision meeting, and what does not. As a minimum, a formal supervision meeting requires the academic engagement of both you and at least one of your supervisors, in a dedicated time and space, to discuss matters relating to your research.  

How often should supervision meetings happen?

You should meet with your supervisor regularly:

  • For full-time study, you must have a minimum of ten formal supervision meetings per year.
  • For part-time and split-site study, you must have six formal supervision meetings per year. 

The pattern and timing of your meetings will vary according to what stage you are at in your studies, and your subject area. However, meetings should occur regularly:

  • For full-time study, you should have gaps of no more than eight weeks between meetings.
  • For part-time study, you should have gaps of no more than 12 weeks between meetings.

GRAD records are checked by your Graduate Schools to ensure that you are attending supervision meetings regularly. This is part of the Attendance monitoring policy, available from the Policies and procedures page of the SES website

The responsibilities of the supervisors, the PGR and the school are outlined in the Code of Practice for Research Degrees, available from the Policies and procedures page of the SES website.

How are supervision meetings recorded?

Records must be kept of all formal supervision meetings in GRAD. It is your responsibility, in partnership with your supervisor, to keep these records.  An email is not acceptable as a meeting record.   Either you or your supervisor can create a supervision meeting record. After the meeting, you are both required to agree the supervision meeting record is accurate.  On GRAD you can review guides to how to share notes before a meeting and how to record notes after a meeting, these are available under the Guides section.  It is important to record any problems you encounter during your research in your supervision meetings, as they may be used as a record later on.

Can supervision meetings take place online?

Supervision meetings will normally take place in person; they may take place by other means, eg video streaming or Teams etc, when you or your supervisor is away from the University, including fieldwork or for split-site, distance-learning or other collaborative programmes. Online supervision meetings should not be considered a standard alternative to in-person meetings, except where when you or your supervisor is away from the University, or if agreed as part of a reasonable adjustment. Supervision meetings cannot take place over email. The only exception to this is when a PGR is on fieldwork with limited communication options, and emails ensure that supervision can still take place.

Supervision meetings during overtime

In order to keep the research on course for submission, it is expected that your supervisor will continue to monitor your progress during overtime. In this period, supervision meetings may be in the format of discussing draft chapters of the thesis. Full-time PGRs will continue to be entitled to no fewer than 10 supervision meetings per year, and part-time candidates no fewer than six per year. A written record of these meetings must be kept in GRAD. 

Supervision meetings between submission of the thesis and the viva

During the under examination period, it is still expected that PGRs will continue to have regular supervision meetings which need to be recorded in GRAD. This is in accordance with the Attendance and engagement monitoring policy for PGRs. If you are a PGR on a Student Visa, you must continue to engage with and record supervisions so that attendance monitoring can comply with the terms of your visa. 

Meeting with your DPGRS

You can meet with the DPGRS in your school at any time during the year to discuss any academic or personal issues. You should be offered a meeting with them (without your supervisor) at least once a year by your Graduate School. 

This meeting will give you an opportunity to comment on the supervision you receive and to raise any matters of concern. Your supervisory team is set up with the intention that it will remain in place throughout your research degree studies. In some cases, however, the supervisory team may need to change. For example, this may happen if the supervisor leaves the University or if the supervisor is on long term sick leave. Your school must ensure that appropriate arrangements are made so that your progress is not affected by the absence of your supervisor. If the absence of your supervisor exceeds two months, your school will identify alternative arrangements. You should talk to your Graduate School or DPGRS if you have concerns regarding this and make them aware.