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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – support and guidance

QAA publishes new guidance on supporting PGR students in response to COVID-19

Date: June 8 - 2021

QAA has published the latest in its series of COVID-19 advice and guidance for the UK higher education sector. Learning from the Experience of Postgraduate Research Students and their Supervisors During COVID-19 identifies future approaches to supporting and supervising postgraduate research (PGR) students, drawing on practices developed during the pandemic.

The paper focuses on three main headings: supervision, student wellbeing and support, and assessment and the viva process. It has been informed by forums held with providers from across the UK. It provides examples of the steps taken by providers to maintain quality and standards in adverse circumstances, and to build the types of resilience that will help research degree communities shape their future practices. It is designed to be read alongside Advice on Doctoral Standards for Research Students and Supervisors, published by QAA in March 2021.

The paper considers several questions relating to PGR students such as how the pandemic affected PGR supervision, whether the academic standards of awarded PhDs have been affected, and how the assessment and viva processes have been modified in response to the pandemic. While recognising that no single solution will be suitable for all providers, this paper offers an indication of the practices that have supported robust student outcomes.

Learning from the Experience of Postgraduate Research Students and their Supervisors During COVID-19 

Publication Date: 08 Jun 2021