UCL PRES 2015 – Results

PRES (Postgraduate Research Experience Survey) is a biennial national survey, co-ordinated by the national body for improving teaching and learning in Universities, the Higher Education Academy.

The survey is the chance for our research student community to provide us with feedback on their experience and allows UCL to benchmark against the wider HE sector. We need to know what postgraduate researchers think so we can address issues and keep doing what is valued.

PRES was open from early March until Thursday mid May 2015. 2015 is the first time that UCL has run the national PRES survey. In previous years we have run in-house graduate surveys.

• • •

UCL's headline results compared to the Sector are below, followed by a closer analysis of each question by Faculty. At the end you can also look at the responses analysed by some key demographic data (i.e. gender, mode of study etc.)

The PRES 2015 national report is also available on the HEA website.

What happens now?

UCL's 11 Faculties have been tasked with discussing their own data (as it stands independently, and in comparison to UCL as a whole) and identifying three key improvements in relation to the feedback. These three improvements/actions will be reported to the Doctoral School at the annual meetings to discuss Faculty Strategies in December/January and thereafter published on this website to provide the student and staff community with information on the actions that UCL is taking in relation to the PRES feedback. Faculties will be asked to update the Doctoral School on progress in the following year's Doctoral Planning Process (Sept 2016); again this update will be posted on this webpage to allow everyone to follow progress.

Results will be shared with key operational departments in Professional Services (for example, the Library, ISD, Organisational Development) who will be asked to discuss their results internally and report on their intended actions in light of feedback.

The Doctoral School will discuss the results with the PG Sabbatical Officer of the Students' Union and ask for their view on priorities, and review the institutional level Doctoral Strategy in light of the results.

2015 Response rates

UCL36%
Sector40%
Russel Group41%
London36%

This compares to:

ISBN – UCL research student responses:

Autumn 201424%
Summer 201422%
Autumn 201328%
Summer 201324%

 

Previous Graduate School research student surveys:

201224%
201018%
200825%
Response by Faculty
PRES 2015 responses by Faculty

2015 Headline results

UCL's headline results, shown by broad topic.

Overall satisfaction with course chart
 UCL  Sector

Overall satisfaction with course

UCL to Sector chart
UCL to Sector Weighted to UCL benchmark
Comparing UCL to the Sector Weighted to UCL benchmark, the most positive statements were:% agreeDifference
1. I have access to the specialist resources necessary for my research (n = 2631)84%4.5%
2. There is adequate provision of library facilities (including physical and online resources) (n = 2683)88%1.6%
3. My department provides a good seminar programme (n = 2654)77%1.3%
   
Comparing UCL to the Sector Weighted to UCL benchmark, the most negative statements were:% agreeDifference
1. There is adequate provision of computing resources and facilities (n = 2644)74%-5.4%
2. I have a suitable working space (n = 2609)72%-5.2%
3. My institution values and responds to feedback from research degree students (n = 2596)57%-4.9%

Detailed results for each question, by Faculty

For each question students were asked to agree or disagree (on a scale of one to five) with statements, or indicate how often a learning style or behaviour is encouraged.

The colour code indicates the range of values, from the highest (dark green) to the lowest (dark grey) for each statement, highlighting the relative areas of good practice and areas for improvement. For example in 'Supervision', the first statement had a highest score of 94% and a lowest of 86%.

green highest value white midpoint grey lowest value

% agreeing: "Mostly agree" + "Definitely agree" unless otherwise stated

 SUPERVISION Sector UCL ART BRN BEN ENG IOE LAW LIF MAP MED PHS SHS
My supervisor/s have the skills and subject knowledge to support my research 92% 91% 91% 93% 90% 86% 92% 89% 91% 92% 94% 90% 94%
I have regular contact with my supervisor/s, appropriate for my needs 88% 86% 81% 88% 82% 86% 89% 83% 85% 84% 88% 90% 84%
My supervisor/s provide feedback that helps me direct my research activities 88% 86% 85% 89% 85% 84% 91% 83% 84% 84% 89% 87% 86%
My supervisor/s help me to identify my training and development needs as a researcher 74% 70% 71% 72% 61% 70% 76% 61% 63% 74% 67% 73% 68%
Overall I am satisfied with the supervision I have received * 82% 83% 83% 79% 82% 87% 89% 77% 84% 82% 85% 82%
 RESOURCES
I have a suitable working space 78% 72% 34% 81% 62% 73% 62% 44% 86% 72% 81% 84% 63%
There is adequate provision of computing resources and facilities 79% 74% 43% 81% 58% 75% 69% 53% 83% 78% 80% 86% 60%
There is adequate provision of library facilities (including physical and online resources) 86% 88% 74% 92% 92% 88% 87% 78% 91% 83% 92% 94% 81%
I have access to the specialist resources necessary for my research 80% 84% 82% 89% 81% 82% 80% 82% 91% 83% 88% 89% 80%
 RESEARCH CULTURE
My department provides a good seminar programme 75% 77% 69% 82% 76% 73% 71% 83% 79% 78% 77% 77% 79%
I have frequent opportunities to discuss my research with other research students 66% 64% 54% 68% 72% 64% 58% 89% 62% 67% 64% 64% 64%
The research ambience in my department or faculty stimulates my work 65% 65% 55% 75% 69% 62% 58% 72% 63% 66% 64% 67% 65%
I have opportunities to become involved in the wider research community, beyond my department 61% 62% 65% 61% 63% 61% 55% 67% 58% 66% 54% 67% 65%
 PROGRESSION
I received an appropriate induction to my research degree programme 75% 71% 69% 75% 66% 65% 80% 83% 79% 66% 67% 69% 68%
I understand the requirements and deadlines for formal monitoring of my progress 85% 82% 81% 85% 82% 77% 87% 94% 83% 82% 83% 87% 80%
I understand the required standard for my thesis 78% 74% 80% 74% 76% 70% 80% 89% 69% 73% 73% 70% 79%
The final assessment procedures for my degree are clear to me 74% 70% 74% 71% 69% 66% 76% 83% 67% 69% 69% 68% 71%
 RESPONSIBILITIES
My institution values and responds to feedback from research degree students 62% 57% 51% 65% 67% 56% 61% 78% 54% 53% 59% 59% 46%
I understand my responsibilities as a research degree student 89% 86% 91% 86% 89% 82% 89% 100% 86% 85% 87% 87% 85%
I am aware of my supervisors' responsibilities towards me as a research degree student 86% 83% 87% 80% 86% 79% 88% 89% 81% 83% 81% 87% 84%
Other than my supervisor/s, I know who to approach if I am concerned about any aspect of my degree programme 78% 76% 71% 80% 78% 67% 70% 100% 78% 78% 72% 84% 81%
 RESEARCH SKILLS
My skills in applying appropriate research methodologies, tools and techniques have developed during my programme 90% 90% 90% 91% 88% 87% 89% 94% 91% 92% 91% 94% 88%
My skills in critically analysing and evaluating findings and results have developed during my programme 88% 88% 84% 90% 88% 86% 88% 94% 92% 89% 87% 90% 86%
My confidence to be creative or innovative has developed during my programme 79% 77% 74% 76% 77% 75% 76% 89% 75% 82% 79% 76% 76%
My understanding of 'research integrity' (e.g. rigour, ethics, transparency, attributing the contribution of others) has developed during my programme 85% 83% 70% 88% 86% 81% 89% 94% 85% 79% 87% 88% 80%
 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
My ability to manage projects has developed during my programme 81% 79% 70% 83% 70% 77% 71% 67% 88% 83% 88% 85% 69%
My ability to communicate information effectively to diverse audiences has developed during my programme 79% 77% 77% 80% 79% 76% 67% 78% 81% 84% 78% 78% 71%
I have developed contacts or professional networks during my programme 70% 71% 72% 74% 75% 68% 67% 72% 67% 69% 70% 75% 74%
I have increasingly managed my own professional development during my programme 82% 79% 76% 81% 80% 78% 78% 89% 76% 77% 80% 87% 79%
 SKILLS TRAINING & ADVICE
Agreeing a personal training or development plan 45% 33% 27% 37% 30% 37% 41% 17% 27% 29% 42% 45% 30%
Receiving training to develop my research skills 78% 78% 73% 83% 86% 76% 90% 72% 77% 75% 80% 90% 80%
Receiving training to develop my transferable skills 50% 47% 41% 48% 51% 51% 31% 50% 52% 55% 50% 63% 34%
Receiving advice on career options 30% 32% 28% 42% 33% 31% 13% 39% 41% 34% 30% 43% 25%
 DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Taking part in a placement or internship 11% 12% 5% 21% 10% 16% 10% 0% 15% 12% 4% 10% 8%
Attending an academic research conference 72% 74% 85% 78% 72% 70% 66% 78% 78% 80% 75% 76% 83%
Presenting a paper or poster at an academic research conference 59% 59% 66% 63% 56% 62% 50% 72% 62% 61% 60% 63% 66%
Submitting a paper for publication in an academic journal or book 37% 40% 42% 40% 47% 40% 29% 67% 39% 43% 40% 50% 41%
Communicating your research to a non-academic audience 36% 35% 35% 39% 46% 39% 32% 22% 32% 31% 28% 34% 41%
 TEACHING
Taught (or demonstrated) during research degree programme (Key: % agree for "Yes") 50% 45% 47% 38% 35% 55% 22% 50% 49% 49% 38% 41% 52%
Given appropriate support and guidance for your teaching 57% 54% 63% 53% 57% 51% 60% 33% 57% 60% 58% 31% 55%
Received formal training for your teaching (Key: % agree for "Yes") 57% 48% 63% 33% 53% 44% 28% 44% 55% 52% 29% 29% 63%
 OVERALL EXPERIENCE
Overall, I am satisfied with the experience of my research degree programme 82% 81% 83% 87% 82% 77% 81% 83% 81% 83% 79% 81% 81%
I am confident that I will complete my research degree programme within my institution's expected timescale 81% 81% 83% 82% 75% 75% 87% 94% 81% 80% 84% 82% 83%
 MAIN MOTIVATION
Main motivation for pursuing a research degree programme (Key: % agree for: My interest in the subject) 38% 38% 48% 39% 34% 33% 36% 50% 39% 48% 33% 25% 47%
 ENGLISH LANGUAGE SUPPORT
English fluency (Key: % agree for "Yes") 89% 91% 91% 94% 82% 84% 88% 89% 90% 91% 87% 95% 93%
Received appropriate support for English language needs. (Key: % agree for Definitely agree + Mostly agree + Neither agree nor disagree) 86% 82% 84% 84% 76% 82% 83% 100% 84% 81% 91% 84% 72%
 CODE OF PRACTICE
I am aware of the UCL Doctoral School Code of Practice for Research Degrees * 60% 60% 59% 62% 51% 63% 83% 60% 62% 62% 71% 64%
 INTERNSHIP / PLACEMENT
I am interested in undertaking an internship or placement. (Key: % agree for "Yes") * 66% 59% 62% 69% 75% 54% 53% 76% 71% 58% 61% 59%
(Key for statements below: % of "Very interested" + "Somewhat interested")
Research internship/placement related to my doctoral research project * 96% 100% 96% 98% 96% 96% 90% 96% 97% 93% 97% 98%
Research internship/placement unrelated to my doctoral research project * 72% 76% 73% 71% 75% 70% 50% 69% 76% 66% 67% 70%
A non-research internship/placement * 68% 71% 70% 72% 71% 62% 56% 71% 64% 67% 64% 66%
One to two weeks in duration * 77% 82% 81% 74% 74% 84% 63% 72% 81% 81% 76% 74%
Up to 3 months in duration * 90% 89% 87% 92% 93% 81% 100% 89% 92% 94% 89% 95%
Up to 6 months in duration * 68% 70% 66% 79% 73% 60% 78% 63% 70% 61% 58% 70%
During the first year of my research programme * 56% 53% 56% 51% 59% 55% 88% 51% 59% 52% 57% 53%
During the second year of my research programme * 82% 80% 82% 74% 85% 73% 100% 82% 85% 84% 86% 79%
During the last year of my research programme * 70% 74% 66% 70% 72% 74% 78% 63% 70% 60% 72% 73%
During CRS (Writing up stage) * 55% 59% 58% 61% 57% 69% 44% 40% 45% 58% 57% 58%
After Completion * 83% 91% 81% 87% 81% 87% 78% 83% 84% 83% 74% 88%

*  UCL only question

UCL Results analysed by key student demographics

Include: Qualification, Age, Gender, Disability, Study mode, Year, Fee status  downloadDownload MS Excel file