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The University of Southampton
Doctoral CollegePostgraduate Research Handbook

Support and Welfare

Where to get help

Graduate School Office

The Graduate School Office team is your first point of contact once you have commenced your programme and responsible for maintaining your student records, ensuring that you are on track for your studies and they are there if you need a helping hand! They deal with most issues from progression queries to finance issues to graduation and award processes. If you have any sort of problems, be it personal, supervisory, financial, PGR tracker (WSA) or needing to suspend, the Graduate School Office team can guide you to what options are available to you and help you through the process. They provide different types of administrative support for PGR students i.e. letter production and if you are not sure of any processes or procedures then they will guide you. You will also find an array of useful information on this website.

Gradnet and Social Media

Subject Social Media Links


  1.  Students will be added to the department mailing list re reading groups, conferences, workshops, invited speakers and events like the PGR forum, the PGR social and the staff/students pub quiz
  3. The undergraduate PhilSoc has Facebook page. This changes from year to year but by searching 'soton philsoc' on Facebook it will come up.


Student Representatives




SUSU Faculty PGR Rep

Yuren Li

School of Humanities

Zack White

Winchester School of Art



Lucy-Anne Taylor


Alastair Dawson


Xiaoge Li


Zack White


Amina Lechkhab


Anisha Netto


Teresa Baron

Distance Students


Find out more about Postgraduate Representation through SUSU here

Health and Safety

Visit the Faculty of Arts and Humanities Health and Safety Intranet for the full Policy.


The discipline Doctoral Programme Director (DPD) and Faculty Graduate School Director will allocate students to a supervisory team. The supervisory team will consist of at least two members, one of whom is called the 'main supervisor'. The main supervisor has overall responsibility for the supervision of the design and progress of the research project and for providing academic advice. A member of the supervisory team is also responsible for ensuring that the administrative processes are completed in a timely manner throughout the student's candidature. This role is normally performed by the main supervisor but in certain cases it is the responsibility of a separate co-ordinating supervisor.

A supervisory team will be chosen to provide suitable academic expertise and in line with the University's Supervisory Loading Guidance. Where a project requires further expertise, an additional supervisor (who may be external to the University) can be appointed to provide the required specialist advice. As well as providing academic support and advice, the supervisory team reports to the Faculty on the student's work and progress according to the milestones in the School-specific section of this handbook.

The Code of Practice for Research Candidature and Supervision gives more details on how the Regulations are implemented and details the expected duties and responsibilities of students and staff in paragraphs 41 to 48.

At the beginning of your candidature, the Graduate School Office will contact your discipline DPD to confirm the supervisory team details and percentages using the Supervisory Team Form. DPDs will discuss any issues with the relevant supervisors. This must be completed within 1 month of the student commencing their studies. If a supervisor external to the University is required, once the external supervisor has been approved by the Director of the Graduate School, the Graduate School Office wil request the relevant internal supervisor asks the external supervisor to complete and return a Visitor Registration (HR7) form.

Supervisor Responsibilities

When supervising a doctoral student, there are key administrative tasks which must be completed. It is also vital supervisory staff are aware of and are adhering to the more general responsibilities of supervising a doctoral student.

As well as providing academic support and advice, the supervisory team reports to the Faculty on the student's work and progress according to the milestones, details of which can be found in the Progression Milestones page. Supervisors must ensure that their students are aware of the progression milestones and any associated tasks and deadlines. Supervisors are responsible for checking that their students are on track for completing milestones.

Although there are some tasks which are to be completed by all members of the supervisory team, most administrative tasks should be completed by the main supervisor. However, in some instances, there may be a co-ordinating supervisor in addition to the main supervisor, who will take on the administrative role. In such cases, the tasks should be completed by the co-ordinating supervisor. The co-ordinating supervisor must be a permanent academic member of staff at the University of Southampton. 

If the student needs to undertake any taught modules, the supervisor must ensure the student emails the Graduate School Office so that these can be added to their Banner record.

All supervisors, whether new or those that have been supervising for some time should be aware of and understand the Regulations and Code of Practice, and know which regulations apply to their student(s). In particular, they should note the regulations around funding which their student may receive, and the administrative tasks associated with this funding.

Important note: Supervisors should be aware that as part of the annual re-enrolment process, students agree to adhere to the regulations for the coming academic year. Please therefore be aware that the applicable regulations may have changed since the student initially registered. The most up-to-date regulations can be viewed in section V of the University's calendar.


As well as providing academic support during a student's studies, their supervisory team is also responsible for providing pastoral support and/or advice. This may involve referring students to other sources of support, independent mentors and other student support services and checking with students about the effectiveness of any support they are receiving from the University services, and responding to any on-going or acute difficulties.

A supervisor may also refer a student to the Faculty Senior Tutor, Julia Kelly.

The Supervisory Relationship

It is essential that a good working relationship is established between you and your supervisory team, and that responsibilities on both sides are clearly defined and understood. Clear and regular communication between you and your supervisors is a key ingredient to the completion of a successful and productive PhD.

Supervisor/Student Contact

Clear two-way communication between supervisor and student is key. It is important supervisors regularly check their university email account ( and carry out supervisory meetings as appropriate. The regulations state that supervisory meetings should take place at least once a month. In addition please read the Supervisory Meetings Policy.


Unsatisfactory Progress/Non-Engagement

Supervisors should inform students of unsatisfactory progress as soon as it becomes apparent. The supervisor should discuss this with the student and put in place steps to resolve the issue. If there is continued unsatisfactory progress, the Faculty will follow the procedures as laid out in the Procedures for Circumstances that may lead to Withdrawal or Termination. At this point the supervisor should highlight this to the discipline DPD and Faculty Graduate School Director as soon as possible. Supervisors should not wait until the student has lost contact or failed a milestone.

If a student has been out of touch for two months, supervisors should contact the Faculty Graduate School immediately, they should not wait for the student to get in touch. The Faculty Graduate School will then send a letter to the student regarding non-engagement.

Changes to Supervisory Team

A change to supervision can be initiated by either the student or a member of the supervisory team. To request a change in the supervision, a member of the current supervisory team must complete the Change to Supervisory Team Form, obtain the DPD signature and return it to the Graduate School Office. Changes to the main supervisor and/or the supervisory team must be approved by the Director of the Faculty Graduate School. Suitable handover arrangements should be implemented and the new supervisory relationship monitored by the Graduate School. The regulations around a change in supervision can be found in paragraph 48 the Code of Practice.

Paragraphs 106-107 of the Code of Practice addresses the issue of conflict arising within a supervisory team and the appropriate course of action towards resolution. Please see the University's Regulations Governing Student Complaints which details the procedure of making a complaint. Students can also receive free, independent and confidential advice from the SUSU - Advice Centre

Important Note: If a supervisor is on study leave, they must continue supervisory meetings in whatever format is appropriate and ensure that administration tasks are carried out as necessary.

If a supervisor is on sick/maternity leave or retiring, they should contact the Faculty Graduate School Office and DPD for their discipline as soon as possible in order for a replacement supervisor to be appointed. In collaboration with the DPD they will need to complete the Change to Supervisory Team Form (see link above) and return it to the Graduate School Office for approval by the Faculty Director of Graduate School. 

Enabling Services

Find our more about Enabling Services here.


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