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Durham University

Learning and Teaching Handbook

8.1.1: Institutional Arrangements

1. The University will regularly review the quality and standards of its Postgraduate Research Programmes through:

  • an annual review of its Code of Practice on Research Degree programmes by the Education Committee;
  • the Annual Review of Research Degree Provision;
  • an annual review, at institutional level, of appropriate indicators and targets as listed in section 2 by the Education Committee with specific departmental issues of concern raised with academic departments through the Annual Review process;
  • the six year cycle of the University Review process which includes external reviewers;
  • the postgraduate research student annual reporting exercise;
  • the administration of questionnaires completed by postgraduate research students.

2. As part of the Annual Review process, the Academic Office will provide academic departments with appropriate indicators and targets as follows:

  • submission and completion times and rates;
  • pass, referral and fail rates;
  • withdrawal rates;
  • the number of appeals and official complaints, the reasons for them, and how many are allowed;
  • analysis of any issues raised in the examiners reports;
  • recruitment profiles;
  • feedback from research students, supervisors, sponsors and other external funders;
  • information on employment destinations taken from publicly available information taken from the UK GRAD first destination survey;
  • an analysis of completion rates as supplied to the institution by HEFCE.

3. The Education Committee requires academic departments to consider the information provided and to submit an Annual Review of Research Degree Provision report.

4. The Chairs of Postgraduate Faculty Education Committees are responsible for reviewing the Annual Reports and for taking up with Boards of Studies any questions arising from the documentation. The Chairs are responsible for providing a summary on the outcome of the review of the Annual Reports to their Postgraduate Faculty Education Committees during the Epiphany Term.