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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – support and guidance

QAA publishes new paper on research degrees during COVID-19

Date: June 5 - 2020

How are institutions continuing to support research degree students and assure quality and standards of research degrees amidst the COVID-19 pandemic? QAA’s new paper, Supporting the assessment of postgraduate research students, provides an overview of the actions being taken by research degree providers in the UK.

The new publicly available paper summarises how, despite the many challenges posed by the pandemic, institutions are supporting research students and supervisors and ensuring the fair treatment of students who are being assessed.

Drawing on contributions from Durham University, the University of Essex, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Royal College of Art, Durham University, University of Glasgow, The Open University, and the University of Sheffield, the paper summarises how research degree providers have responded in key areas during COVID-19:  

  • How do institutions communicate with research students and staff?
  • How do institutions enable a supportive and inclusive research environment?
  • How can progression monitoring be adapted to support research students?
  • What choices and guidance are research students being offered for assessment?
  • How do vivas work for students in the current context?
  • How can chairs and examiners be supported with online vivas?

The full paper is available on the QAA website.

You can also access all of QAA's other pandemic advice and support on our dedicated COVID-19 page.