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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 you require to get ahead in your chosen field. We have a range of programmes, resources and events to give you all of the support you need while you conduct your research and develop 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 academic Supervisory teams and Postgraduate Research Reps.

Doctoral College team and structure

Meet the Doctoral College team.

The Doctoral College structure gives a visual representation of how our department is organised. 

Deputy Deans for Research and Professional Practice

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

Academic supervisors

Academic supervisors provide an important role in supporting postgraduate researchers at BU. To find out more information about our supervisors visit the BU Academic Supervisory Teams page.

PGR Reps

PGR Reps are elected by their Faculty 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.

Email the PGR Reps at to request an up-to-date list of your faculty PGR representatives or 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 through the University Research Ethics Panels. All postgraduate research students must consult the Research Ethics Code of Practice (pdf 559kb) and gain ethical approval before commencing any data collection.


The Bournemouth University Research Degrees Committee (BURDC) 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. The BURDC is a sub-committee of the University Research and Knowledge Exchange Committee (URKEC).

The BURDC is responsible for the planning, co-ordination, development and oversight of research degrees across Bournemouth University. It also works with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation on key aspects of student experience, research degrees policy and quality assurance. The BURDC reviews its role and membership periodically.


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


The Doctoral College holds induction events throughout the year. Induction days include a wide variety of sessions which aim to welcome new postgraduate researchers to BU by providing essential information to help students whilst studying for a research degree. The induction also serves as a great opportunity to meet fellow postgraduate research students and the Doctoral College team.

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


The Doctoral College Researcher Development Programme offers over 150 workshops, online modules, video resources and interactive webinar series specifically for postgraduate research students (PGRs) professional, personal and research development. The Doctoral College supports PGRs development during their postgraduate research degree through the Researcher Development Programme, whilst the PGRs faculty will provide subject-specific support.

The Researcher Development Programme offers flexibility to PGRs to meet their development needs and long-term career development whilst at BU. The programme aims to ensure PGRs are fully equipped with the skills and knowledge they require to complete their research project and make a successful transition into their future career, whether in academia or further afield.

Student stories

Hear from our postgraduate research students 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:


Research blogs

You can keep appraised of current research taking place at BU via BU Research Blog, or visit the Postgraduate Blog to find out more about what it’s really like to be a postgraduate student at BU.


Doctoral College Quarterly Newsletters


Like and follow our Facebook page for regular Doctoral College updates, information on the Researcher Development Programme, and funding opportunities.


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.