Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES)

Share your views on the postgraduate research experience at Lancaster

What is the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey?

The Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) is an online survey open to all UK universities that enables them to collect students' feedback about their university experience. All Lancaster research students are eligible to take part and are encouraged to do so. PRES is carried out every two years, with the next survey running this year (2017).  All eligible research students will be emailed a link to take part when the survey opens in early March 2017. The 2017 survey will close on 18th May. 

How does it work?

PRES takes the form of an online questionnaire, using the Bristol Online Survey (BOS) system. The PRES questionnaire template is provided by the Higher Education Academy (HEA). The survey takes around 15-20 minutes to complete and comprises a range of questions covering different aspects of the postgraduate research experience.

The University’s survey results will be analysed and considered by the relevant committees. The HEA publishes a summary report on the PRES website. This report will be based on aggregate scores for the sector as a whole and identifiable institutional results will not be published. PRES enables participating institutions to compare their performance to others in the sector. 

What topics are covered in the survey?

Questions cover a range of areas from quality of teaching, skills and personal development to questions for specific groups such as distance learners and international students. They also explore your motivation for undertaking research study at Lancaster.

How will it be used?

The University values the feedback received via PRES. The results will be analysed and considered by University, faculty and department postgraduate committees. They will also be considered by Lancaster University Students’ Union (LUSU). The feedback participants provide will be used to identify areas where the delivery of our research programmes might be developed or improved in order to better meet the needs and expectations of our research students. In 2017, the University’s review of postgraduate research provision will conclude and feedback from PRES will help inform the review’s implementation plan.

Why should I participate

PRES enables the University to capture valuable feedback directly from research students on the quality of your current experiences here at Lancaster. The anonymous nature of the survey means that you should feel free to be honest about your experiences. Your feedback will help us identify what we are doing well and where we might improve, thereby informing decisions on how best to support our research students. 


The contact here at Lancaster is James Heard in the Student Registry.