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All the Graduate School's postgraduate research students are aligned with (at least) one of our four research themes. This means they are part of the community of active researchers within the University who are working across the spectrum of disciplines encompassed within that theme. As a result, they are included in all that his happening within the community - from seminars to coffee mornings - and can access all its avenues for communication and support.

Doctoral students at Solent are supported by staff from across the University's academic departments and schools, as well as learning and information services. Specialist advisers in the Student also ensure you are fully supported throughout your doctoral studies.

Doctoral students have access to hot-desk working spaces in the doctoral researchers area where IT resources are available, including:

  • the use of a PC,
  • standard software,
  • printing and photocopying.

In addition, the Research Launchpad is an inviting and informal space available to all researchers at the University. This space hosts many of the training sessions. Researchers are welcome to book the launchpad for meetings, planning sessions and workshops, or use it on a drop-in basis (when available) for informal meetings or catching up over lunch.

All Solent's doctoral students are also part of our research communities within the Graduate School and the faculty or school and research theme they are aligned to. This provides them with exciting, dynamic and supportive multi-disciplinary learning environment.

Doctoral students are also supported by the Graduate School team in the Research Office who are always happy to help and to answer questions about the research journey, processes and forms.

Contact details

Research Office, room A223
Solent University
East Park Terrace
Southampton SO14 0YN

Telephone: 023 8201 3207

Solent University research students can access specialist services for students through Student Support

The Student Hub is a centrally located student information area in the Andrews Building concourse which acts as a source of information and support.

Services range across all aspects of student life, from obtaining a council tax exemption certificate, to seeking advice on disability support from, and from accessing counselling services to getting guidance on visas from the team or speaking to a funding advisor.

Student welfare

Doctoral students are expected to participate fully and to take responsibility for planning their research - this includes following safety codes and advice scrupulously. All doctoral students are required to review health and safety aspects relating to their programme of study with their supervision team with their supervision team and report this at Annual Monitoring (see guidance note)

Doctoral students whose research necessitates they engage in periods of study offsite may be required to complete a risk assessment form and students whose research requires that they undertake periods of research outside the UK will need to contact the International Office for advice on completing an overseas risk assessment with the support of their supervision team.

In addition, UKVI regulations require international students to inform the University whenever they are not in the UK. Contact the Doctoral Support Team at for further guidance on this requirement.


All new doctoral students are required to attend an Induction event when they enrol, introducing them to the resources and services they can access at Solent.

Find out more about induction

Online resources

Detailed information about the Graduate School and its resources, and about the Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) in Research Methods course and its modules are on our Solent Online Learning (SOL) pages.

Researcher development programme

Solent’s Researcher Development Programme (RDP) offers a range of opportunities to develop research, professional and personal skills.

The programme is designed to be flexible and responsive, helping you to design a development route to suit your needs. With a range of subjects and delivery methods, you can choose the activities which are right for you at each stage of your researcher development.

In addition to face to face sessions, postgraduate researchers can also access our online training materials and webinars, supplied in partnership with the University of East Anglia and Angel Productions.

Find out more

Every doctoral student is entitled to apply for up to £500 in each academic financial year (1 August - 31 July) to undertake research development activities. Please talk to your supervisory team if you are considering applying and see the application form for further details.

Download the training and development application form

Library resources

Our librarians can support you with inter-library loans, arranging SCONUL access to other university libraries, using referencing software and many other enquiries.

Find out more

Research ethics

As a doctoral student you will need to consider whether there are any ethical implications of your research. In addition to receiving advice from your supervisory team, you can access guidance and links to the University's application processes for ethical review.

It is expected that research degree students (level 8) will have an advanced understanding of research integrity. They will demonstrate the highest standards in their acknowledgement of the work of others and in the presentation of their own research data. Work submitted for feedback from your supervision team, as well as at formal progression points along your research programme, will need to meet these standards. It is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with the referencing and research data conventions appropriate to your field of research. 

Find out more about good research practice in the Doctoral Student Handbook


Vitae is an organisation providing support for the professional development of researchers. Their website includes news and events of interest to researchers looking to improve their overall professional development.

Find out more

Additionally Vitae has developed the online Researcher Development Framework planner app to which Solent subscribes. This app can help you to map your professional development as a researcher.

If you would like to explore the planner as part of your development programme contact and ask for an institutional log in.


The Electronic Thesis Online Service (eTHos) is hosted by the British Library and searches across over 300,000 theses for free. You can order full text quickly and easily using the eTHos website.

We value your feedback and are keen to learn from you where there are areas for enhancement that we can address and about the areas we do well.

Solent University’s Research Degrees Committee (RDC) is responsible to the Academic Board of the University for the effectiveness of the University’s postgraduate research provision. PGR students are represented on the RDC by a full-time and part-time student cohort representative.

Your representatives are:

If you have any ideas or questions relating to enhancing PGR student experience please let your representative know. You can also contact your School doctoral coordinator, and the Students’ Union offers a wide range of general support and representation.

Find out more about the RDC

You can also contact your doctoral coordinator

Visit the Solent’s Students’ Union website

Postgraduate research students are supported throughout their studies by a specialist supervision team formed of motivated, dedicated, and experienced academic staff. They will guide you through your research degree and ensure that your studies are underpinned by excellent pastoral and administrative support.

Supervision is a partnership between supervisor and student. Both partners have rights and responsibilities, which are outlined in the guidance notes.

Find out more

A supervisory team will be comprised of two to three supervisors. One of the supervisors will be appointed as the Director of Studies (DoS) who has overall responsibility for guiding the student through the various milestones of the doctoral student journey.

Find out more

In addition, all doctoral students are assigned to a doctoral coordinator, whose role is to maintain oversight of the quality of the PGR student experience in their area.

The doctoral students, supervision team, and doctoral coordinators are all supported by the doctoral support team.

Supervisory meetings

Students’ needs for supervision can vary depending on the rate of their progress, where they are in the life-cycle of their research project, and by the nature of their discipline. Based on regular review of these factors, there should be explicit agreement between supervisors and their doctoral students on the frequency of supervisory meetings. As a minimum, full-time students should meet with their supervisors at least nine times per year, and part-time students at least seven times per year.

A written record of each supervisory meeting must be kept. This record must be agreed between the student and the supervisors present at the meeting and must include the date, subjects discussed, and agreed outcomes and actions (including completion dates).

Copies of the supervisory meetings records must submitted by the doctoral student at the relevant monitoring points in each academic session. These form part of the annual monitoring process for doctoral student progression.

Supervisor development and resources

Supervisors are active researchers and are expected to be active in terms of their own Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

New supervisors are required to attend the University’s supervisor training provided through the Researcher Development Programme and all supervisors are required to regularly refresh their training and maintain currency on the University’s policies and regulations governing research degrees.

Find out more

Training sessions are run in both the Autumn and Spring on topics including:

  • Solent doctoral regulations and operational overview (mandatory)
  • Working with doctoral students to assess their training needs (optional)
  • The role of the doctoral review panel (optional)
  • Research integrity and PGR (mandatory)
  • Supervising the PhD by publication (optional)
  • Reflective practice for supervisors (optional)
  • The role of examiners and independent chairs (optional)

Supervisors are encouraged to join the UKCGE – Postgraduate Research Supervisors Network. This is a national network with links to online videos, blogs, events and other resources for doctoral supervisors.

Supervisors at Solent University have access to a dedicated online support area, and are encouraged to share good practice. This space also hosts training materials and other resources.

Training, support and materials for supervisors

Doctoral coordinators

The doctoral coordinators are experienced supervisors and oversee all aspects of the research student experience. This includes:

  • contributing to supervisor training and supporting the doctoral student learning experience through the Researcher Development Programme
  • ensuring that supervisory teams are suited to the student’s programme of studies
  • seeking suitable replacements should a member of staff leave the University
  • coordinating reviews of doctoral student progression with doctoral review panels
  • reporting to the Research Degrees Committee on doctoral student experience and progress in their area
  • initiating appropriate action to resolve issues for doctoral students and supervisors

Find out more

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