National Postgraduate Research Experience Survey


The survey is now closed

The UCL PRES (Postgraduate Research Experience Survey) ran this year from from 1 March to 21 April 2021. UCL has received 3892 responses, a response rate of 46%. Thank you to all who completed the survey.

Why is PRES important?

  1. To understand the UCL postgraduate research experience from a variety of institutional, Faculty, Departmental and demographic perspectives
  2. To compare UCL to other institutions and the sector, whilst also allowing UCL to ask institution specific questions
  3. Most importantly, to enhance provision by using a survey designed specifically for research postgraduates.

2021 is the fourth time that UCL has run the national PRES survey.
View UCL PRES 2019 Results.

On the launch day the Doctoral School emails each research student a unique link to take them directly to the survey.

We encourage everyone to give us their views: the more responses, the more meaningful the data and the more poweful the argument for changing things where they need to be changed. The survey is confidential and the results are made anonymous so that no individual can be identified.

Tell us about your research experience and plant a tree!

This year we have decided to plant a tree for every 10 students who participates in the survey. We will be sending the departments updates throughout the time the survey is open on the number of trees have been planted. For smaller departments, we will round up to the nearest 10. We have decided to use the World Land Trust as our chosen tree-planting charity. We hope you agree it's a worthy cause and a fun way to get everyone involved.

trees plantedTREES PLANTED
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Student Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

We're keen to make sure postgraduate students have the best possible experience while studying at UCL. To do that we need to know what you think we are doing well and what we can do better. If you're thinking about taking part this year, these are the answers to some of the questions students often ask:

What is it?

The Postgraduate Research Experience Survey is a national survey conducted by institutions across the UK and globally. The survey takes around 15 minutes to complete.

Why should I take part?

The Postgraduate Research Experience Survey is your chance to tell us your thoughts about your course. The results help us compare how we are doing with other institutions, to make changes that will improve what we do in future and to keep doing the things that you value. This will help improve the experience of students like you in the future.

What does it cover?

PRES concentrates on your course and includes:

  • Supervision
  • Resources
  • Research culture
  • progress and assessment
  • Responsibilities
  • Research skills and professional development
  • Opportunities
  • Covid-19 related questions
  • Overall experience

It will also include a few extra questions about issues that are particularly relevant to us and to students at UCL.

What happens to the results?

Your feedback is important. Over one hundred universities and colleges take part in the UK and globally. This means we can compare your experience against similar postgraduates at other institutions to see if we are supporting your learning as we should. We use the findings to improve our courses and the learning experience for future students.

Is it anonymous?

Your survey response is confidential to the team processing the results and no reporting outside of this team will identify any individual. Any results communicated to teaching staff will be anonymised. The survey asks that any comments you make should not identify yourself or any specific members of staff.

What do I need to do?

You will receive an email with your unique linkt to the questionnaire on 1 March. Simply click on the link and complete the online form. The survey is open until 16 April.

Where can I find out more?

If you are unsure about anything to do with the survey, or have any difficulty, please see your course or course leader, or contact Doctoral School by email: docschool@ucl.ac.uk or docschoolweb@ucl.ac.uk.