The Doctoral Researcher Experience at King’s

A summary of the 2013 Postgraduate Research Experience Survey results

Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) is the national survey of doctoral (PGR) candidates organised biennially by the Higher Education Academy. The survey offers students the opportunity to feedback on important factors influencing their educational experience and levels of satisfaction, thus allowing us to identify areas of strengths and good practice and areas where improvements can be made. Responses are submitted anonymously so that participants can express themselves freely and honestly.

What you said:

The key message is that more than 80% of respondents were satisfied with their experience at King’s College London

  • All aspects of supervision were thought to be very good with satisfaction scores well above the national and Russell Group averages. Since supervision is at the core of the doctoral experience this is excellent news;
  • 84% of respondents felt confident that they would complete their thesis on time, which was well above benchmark averages;
  • Doctoral researchers were also satisfied that their progress was being monitored and that they are being assessed well.

Some areas for improvement:

  • Workspace on the Strand campus has been identified as an issue by some students;
  • There is a feeling that not all departments and divisions offer sufficient teaching opportunities to allow those seeking an academic career to learn their craft.

The College and Graduate School take the feedback submitted via PRES very seriously and have put in place a plan to respond to areas highlighted as concerns for research students.

NEXT STEPS

The results of the survey have been discussed by the Principal’s Central Team, the local data have been sent to academic Schools/Institutes for consideration and response. Thematic reports on workspace, IT and Libraries will be sent to the relevant College directors for their consideration.

Workspace issues at the Strand Campus will improve as some departments move into the new Virginia Woolf building on Kingsway. The new space was designed following consultation with PGR students by the Graduate School, Estates and relevant academic departments and will reduce pressure on the limited space available at Strand Campus.

The Graduate School has recently expanded the teaching opportunities available to students through our work with the ‘Brilliant Club’, ‘Realising Opportunities’, the ‘King’s Awards’ project and ‘King’s Summer Schools’. Information about all of these opportunities can be found on the Graduate School’s internal web pages at: https://internal.kcl.ac.uk/student/grad-school/pgr/support/teaching.aspx

We would like to thank all who took part in this year’s survey. The College will reflect on what you have told us and work towards improvements for a better future.