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Support for postgraduate research students

We want all of our postgraduate research students to have a personalised experience while at BU, ensuring you graduate with all of the skills and knowledge required to get ahead in your chosen field. We have a range of programmes, resources and events to give you the support you need while conducting your research and developing your academic and professional skills. 


Postgraduate researchers have a dedicated support team at BU – the Doctoral College. The Doctoral College oversees postgraduate research degrees, with links to the Faculty Deputy Deans for Research and Professional Practice, the Supervisory teams and Postgraduate Research Reps.

Doctoral College

Meet the Doctoral College team.

Deputy Deans for Research and Professional Practice

Find out more about the Faculty Deputy Deans – Research and Professional Practice:


Supervisors provide an important role in supporting postgraduate researchers at BU. To find out more information and explore our supervisors visit the staff profiles page. 

PGR Reps

PGR Reps are elected by their department cohort – to collect feedback, share it with the university and Students’ Union, and work with staff to create change, making the PGR experience the best it can be.

You can find a full list of PGR department reps on the Doctoral College Brightspace community. You can also visit the Students’ Union webpage for more information about the Student Rep role at BU.

Policies and procedures

Code of Practice for Research Degrees

The Code of Practice for Research Degrees (pdf, 1.6mb) contains a variety of information necessary for both postgraduate research students and staff, from the point of registration and induction through to the point of being awarded. This code is updated annually, so it’s important that staff and students refer to the current version only as it supersedes all previous versions.

Research ethics

All independent research conducted by research students or staff requires ethical approval. All postgraduate research students must consult the Research Ethics Code of Practice (pdf 559kb) and gain ethical approval before commencing any data collection.


The University's Research Degrees Committee (RDC) is the principal committee of the University with responsibility for the strategic direction, nature, quality, development and delivery of the University’s research degree provision across Bournemouth University. The RDC is a sub-committee of the University Research and Professional Practice Comittee (URPPC).

The RDC debates the planning, co-ordination, development and oversight of research degrees across BU. It also considers key aspects of PGR student experience, research degree policy and quality assurance. 


ResearchPAD is our online system designed specifically to help postgraduate researchers record their research degree progression and record their professional development.

Accessing ResearchPAD

If you are a BU postgraduate researcher or member of staff you need to log in via the following web address, regardless of whether you are at the university or elsewhere:

BU staff should use their normal login and password to access ResearchPAD.

BU postgraduate researchers (including BU staff undertaking a research degree) should log in using their student account and password.

If you are an external member of staff, you should access ResearchPAD via the following web address:

External supervisors will be emailed a unique username and password by their Research Administrator.

Please note: We recommend accessing ResearchPAD using either Firefox or Google Chrome, as there can be display issues in Internet Explorer.

ResearchPAD Support

There are manuals available for postgraduate researchers (1,253kb) and supervisors (1,191kb) (which includes an overview of the processes for Faculty Deputy Deans for Research & Professional Practice (DDRPP) and Research Administrators). These are designed to give an overview of the system and provide you with support and assistance if you need it.

If you need any technical support when accessing or using ResearchPAD, you should contact the IT Service Desk.

For enquiries relating to the research degree process, you should contact your Faculty Research Administrator.  For  all other queries, contact where a member of the Doctoral College will be able to assist.

Student experience

New PGR Introductory Day

The Doctoral College hosts a half-day introductory event following each intake of new PGRs. This half-day event include a variety of sessions aimed at welcoming new PGR to BU by providing essential information for undertaking a research degree. The introductory day also serves as an opportunity to meet fellow PGRs and the Doctoral College team.

New students will receive an email invitation to this leading up to their start date from the Research Administrators (Admissions & Conferments).

Researcher Development Programme

The Doctoral College Researcher Development Programme (RDP) offers over 50 workshops and masterclasses, online modules, video resources and interactive webinar series specifically for PGRs research and professional development. 

Postgraduate Researcher Development Steering Group

On behalf of the University’s Research Degree Committee, this steering group is the deliberative forum to advise on the strategic direction, nature, quality, development and delivery of postgraduate researcher skills development provisions at BU.

Some main responsibilities of this steering group are to: 

  • Develop and enrich the strategic direction, nature, quality, development and delivery of the University’s provision of researcher development for postgraduate research students (PGRs) which reflect the needs of all PGRs
  • Guide the centrally- and Faculty-provided researcher development provision promoting complementary support of both to increase the personalisation of support for PGR
  • Evaluate University-wide PGR researcher development provision, to ensure all programme content is maintained at a high standard and aligns with the University strategic priorities under BU2025
  • Enhance the overall PGR student experience at BU.

View full Terms of Reference.

Student Stories

Hear from our PGRs in our student stories 'life in research' series.

Health, wellbeing, faith and sport

We have a wide range of services available to support your health and wellbeing while at BU. Here you can find information about:


About the Doctoral College

Learn how the Doctoral College can support you and find out more about our role in postgraduate student life.

Student using ipad

How to apply

Learn how to apply for a postgraduate research degree and read more about entry requirements.

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Researcher development

Find out more about the opportunities available to postgraduate research students, including the Researcher Development Programme.