Supervision information for students

Getting the right supervisory team together is obviously extremely important. You will be working with the Course Team in ensuring the nomination of your supervisors is suitable and relevant.

There are a few requirements that the team must fulfil in order to be approved.

  • The Director of Studies (sometimes known as the ‘1st Supervisor’) MUST be employed by either the UEL, the Tavistock or Associate Centre.
  • The overall team must have supervised at least three other students to successful completion (as a combined number)
  • The supervisors cannot be themselves studying on a doctoral programme. However, if someone does not fulfill the above requirements, they can be appointed additionally as an advisor.

For the full list of requirements, please go to the Trust-UEL Research Degree Regulations.

To change your supervisory arrangements, your Director of Studies should complete a Change in Approved Supervisory Arrangements (CSA) and submit the completed, signed form to the Secretary to the TSRDSC..

Supervision information for supervisors

The guidance throughout the Postgraduate Degrees webpages is useful information for both you and your supervisee and therefore should be referred to by you as part of your duties as a supervisor.

It is also your responsibility, as well as the student’s, to familiarise yourself with the Code of Practice, the Tavi-UEL Research Degree Regulations and other regulations.

Your duties comprise practical/pastoral and academic. If you are external to the Trust/UEL, you will be paid a fee which is arranged by the course team of the particular course that your student is enrolled on.

Supervisory training

As part of your contract, PGR supervisors are required to undertake supervisory training within the first six months of taking up the role of supervisor. For more information, please contact the Secretary of the TSRDSC. If you have previously undertaken supervisory training within the UEL or the Trust, it is not compulsory to undertake further training.

The Trust strongly recommends that supervisors keep their skills and knowledge up to date through training, peer review, sharing best practice and other activities. There may also, from time-to-time, be compulsory or non-compulsory training for all supervisors to update you on important regulatory, procedural or other developments.


The Trust expects supervisors to be in regular contact with their supervisees and the guideline amount is one hour per month. This need not be face to face, but can be a combination of Skype, email, phone and face-to-face. If your student is an International student, you must keep records of supervisions in case they are needed by the UK Border Agency. Failure to provide this information if requested has serious consequences. See part 12 of the above Code of Practice for more information.

Supervisors who are employed by the Trust or UEL can only supervise a maximum of nine (full time or part time) students at any one time – this is pro-rata for fractional staff.

Annual Reviews

Your supervisee, once their thesis is registered, must partake in an annual review every academic year. This is a progression point, and the student can, in exceptional circumstances, be withdrawn from the course if they do not complete this procedure satisfactorily.

It is your responsibility to ensure the student is supported and prepared for their annual review, and that you provide your report(s) in a timely fashion.

Examination arrangements

You are responsible for making the examination arrangements, in liaison with your supervisee. This means you must approach and secure examiners and complete the required forms. More information about the examination arrangements processes.

Please note that once the examination arrangements have been approved, neither you nor your student should have direct contact with the examiners – all communication around the examination and any documentation must go through the quality assurance office. Failure to do so may invalidate the examination.

Supervisor duties

Please see section 18 of the Code of Practice for more information about supervisory duties (particularly 18.8 a-w).