Within UCL there are a number of key institutional bodies that govern the quality of Doctoral Education under the auspices of UCL's Pro-Vice-Provost of the Doctoral School.
The UCL Doctoral School is led by UCL's Pro-Vice-Provost of the Doctoral School, Professor David Bogle, and focuses on the development of institutional strategy (as above), evaluation of plans and delivery by other units, and liaison with external bodies including Research Councils and LERU. In order to ensure a linked approach to research students and research strategy, the Pro-Vice-Provost works closely with the Vice-Provost (Research). To ensure that the high quality of doctoral education at UCL is maintained and enhanced, and widely promoted both within the UK and internationally, the Pro-Vice-Provost of the Doctoral School also works closely with the Vice-Provost (Education and Student Affairs). The remit of the Doctoral School and its Pro-Vice-Provost covers all research degrees at UCL: PhD, MPhil, EngD, Professional Doctorates, MRes and MD(Res).
The full Role and Responsibilities of the Pro-Vice-Provost of the Doctoral School can be found in the Academic Manual.
Research Degrees Committee (RDC)
Research Degrees Committee, the UCL-level Committee directly concerned with all aspects of research degrees and their governance, is chaired by the Pro-Vice-Provost of the Doctoral School. RDC membership includes all Faculty Graduate Tutors, the UCLU Postgraduate Students' Officer, and other key UCL staff involved in doctoral education. RDC meets three times per year to consider business including reviewing matters that arise from Faculty Graduate Teaching Committees. Reporting to UCL Academic Committee, RDC formally oversees the regulations for research degrees in the Academic Manual.
Faculty Graduate Tutors and Key Faculty Committees
Each Faculty has a Faculty Graduate Tutor. The Faculty Graduate Tutor has overall responsibility for the general academic and pastoral oversight of graduate students in the Faculty and assists the Faculty Dean in all matters relating to quality management and enhancement. The Faculty Graduate Tutor chairs the Faculty Research Degrees Committee and reports on Faculty graduate matters to the Doctoral School. Faculty Graduate Tutors also approve applications from staff members to act as Supervisors ensuring that all Supervisors undertake UCL's mandatory Supervisor training. They also consider and approve nominations of examiners for all UCL research degree candidates registered in the Faculty on behalf of the Chair of Research Degrees Committee.
Departmental Graduate Tutors and Key Dept Committees
Every Department/Division has a Departmental Graduate Tutor who is an experienced member of the academic staff of UCL and liaises closely with the Faculty Graduate Tutor concerning graduate matters. The DGT has general academic and pastoral oversight of their Department/Division's graduate students, specifically overseeing admission, induction, supervision, progression and examination and generally ensures that the Code of Practice for Graduate Research Degrees is implemented and its use monitored. Most Departments have a Departmental Graduate Committee; this body complements and assists the role of the Departmental Graduate Tutor and, on behalf of the Head of Department, reviews the quality of research supervision.
Each Department also has a Staff-Student Consultative Committee, which meets at least twice per year. The membership of the SSCC includes at least one member of staff responsible for research students, and at least one graduate research student representative (unless there is a separate committee for graduate students). UCL's institutional level Student Experience Committee (incorporating Joint Staff-Student Committee), reporting to UCL Academic Committee, receives minutes of the Departmental Staff-Student Consultative Committees and take action where necessary.
The full Roles and Responsibilities of DGTs can be found in the Academic Manual, and a contact list for current DGTs on the Essential Information page of the Doctoral School website.
Students' Union, UCL
Each year, Sabbatical Officers are elected by students to lead the Student Union. The key representative for the doctoral student community is the Postgraduate Students' Officer. As Convenor of the UCLU Postgraduate Association and the lead representative of postgraduate UCLU members, the Postgraduate Students' Officer coordinates the PGA's activities, and is responsible for coordinating representation and campaigns regarding the needs of postgraduate students at all levels, and for ensuring the provision of an environment which supports and provides for the particular social and academic needs of postgraduate students. The Postgraduate Students' Officer meets regularly with the Pro-Vice-Provost of the Doctoral School to discuss matters relating to doctoral education and doctoral students.
Student Academic Representatives, including specifically for the PGR community, are elected to represent students' views to UCL. These representatives sit on various committees at a programme, Faculty and University level, at which they act as the voice of students, ensuring that UCL takes into account the needs of students in its decision making processes.
Student and Registry Services
The Doctoral School and Research Degrees Committee work closely with colleagues in Student and Registry Services to devise and implement policy and processes for research degrees, in particular:
UCL Academic Services which amongst their institutional roles:
- oversee UCL's academic governance framework, including maintenance of the Academic Manual (UCL's Academic Regulations, policies and procedures), the register of UCL's collaborative agreements, and the procedures for programme and module approval
- support the implementation of UCL's Research Governance Framework, including the investigation of allegations of research misconduct
- Have institutional oversight of external and internal quality management and enhancement policies and processes.
- Provide advice and support to students and staff across UCL on matters pertaining to the academic policy and regulations of UCL.
Research Degrees and Student Records Office which processes record amendments such as interruptions and withdrawals; and administers the research degree examinations process, providing advice on related regulatory issues and processes to research students, staff and examiners.
Student Funding Office which administers the main award schemes for prospective and current UCL Students. They also provide support and guidance on money matters for current UCL students.
UCL Graduate Admissions Team who process all graduate and affiliate applications received by UCL, and provides support, advice and guidance to all departments on matters regarding graduate admissions. They also lead on policy, strategy development and implementation of matters relating to the admission of graduate students.
UCL Student Support and Wellbeing Services (SSW) which provides information, advice and welfare support for all registered students and incorporates UCL Student Disability Services and UCL Student Psychological Services.