Some arrangements are necessarily different for distance and part-time research students. In such cases please check with your department to ensure that you understand what exactly applies to you.
Postgraduate (Research) Core Information
This web page contains important information that applies to you as a Lancaster University postgraduate research student. It should be read in conjunction with information given to you by your department.
University Principles and Students’ Charter
The University has a set of high-level principles which apply to all of its activities. In addition, the University and Lancaster University Students’ Union have worked together on a Students’ Charter to set out the standards to which the University and its students aspire.
You also need to be aware of the Student Discipline Regulations.
Postgraduate Research Code of Practice
The University’s Code of Practice for Research Students is an important document which contains a lot of useful information. This is a very important document which includes sections on the responsibilities of students and supervisors, student progress and development and other relevant issues, together with links to other web pages that may be useful to you. Please read it. You supervisor should also have read it.
While the University operates on a termly basis for its taught courses, please note that, if you are a full-time research student, you are expected to be in attendance on a full-time basis; terms are not relevant to research students. If you want to arrange time away on holiday, or for other personal reasons, it is important that you discuss this with your supervisor well in advance if possible.
Communication by Email
You have been allocated a Lancaster University email account. Once you have set up your IT account as part of registration, please check that you can access your email account. Your Lancaster email account will be used for all official correspondence from the University; you should check it on a daily basis. For details of your email address visit MyAccount.
Researcher Development Portal
Another very helpful source of information is the Researcher Development Portal, with links to all sorts of information about the University’s Research Training Programmes and other helpful advice.
Medical Conditions and Disabilities
You are admitted to the University on your academic record. The University welcomes all students and has an array of support services to ensure no student feels disadvantaged. We recognise that you may have long-term medical conditions or disabilities, which may significantly affect your ability to live and study at University. Please be reassured that we will not discriminate against you because of a disability or medical condition. Please declare your disability on your postgraduate application when you apply to University. The University Disability Service can then contact you before arrival to gather the appropriate evidence and information, in order to help to ensure that support is in place when you start.
The University Disabilities Service co-ordinate reasonable adjustments for your academic studies and offer specialist advice and guidance. Please contact the Service if you have any questions or specific requests.
Further details of the health services available at the University.
Student Representation and Feedback
As a research student, most of your contact will be with your supervisor or supervisory team. However, you are also part of a department, and it is important that your department supports you as well as it can. For this reason, one or more of your fellow research students will act as a research student representative within the department, helping to put forward issues and queries on behalf of all the research students within the department. You will have the opportunity to put yourself forward for election to this role if you wish. Your department will give you more details of this.
Student representatives are members of various formal committees of the University, ensuring that student opinion is voiced and heard. You can find out more about becoming an Academic Rep on the Lancaster University Student Union website.
Every other year, the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) takes place. This is a national survey which enables us to compare the effectiveness of Lancaster University’s provision for research students with that of other universities across the UK. Please do take part in this; we take your feedback very seriously and aim to act decisively in response to serious constructive feedback.
This information is for the academic year 2019-2020 and is provided as a guide only.
The University’s Careers and Employability Service exists to help you become as employable as possible and to be successful in obtaining placements, internships and graduate jobs. They have expertise specific to the course you are studying. We strongly advise you to visit Careers regularly so that you can use their expertise to ensure that by the start of your final year you have the necessary work experience, other extra-curricular activities and knowledge of the job market to put together a successful application for your first graduate job.
Your department will inform you of any extra careers support provided by your department or faculty.
Harassment and Bullying (including Sexual Harassment)
The University is committed to providing an educational and working environment that is responsive to the varied needs of its members. All members of staff and students should be able to work, study and live in a safe environment founded on mutual respect without feeling threatened or demeaned. You can use our Unisafe applet on iLancaster to report an incident either anonymously or with your details so we can offer support. Assistance and support can also be offered by our Counselling Service or the Disabilities Service.
Sometimes because of medical, financial or personal difficulties students feel they have no alternative but to apply to suspend their studies for a year. Whilst this option can be of benefit to some students, there are drawbacks: for example, you will still not be able to claim benefits for which full-time students are ineligible while you are intercalating.
Do ensure that you seek help early if you are experiencing any problems that may adversely affect your academic work. Do ensure that you seek help early if you are experiencing any problems that may adversely affect your academic work. Speak first to your programme director or programme administrator, or contact The Base, who will put you in touch with someone in the Student Registry if necessary. Don’t allow yourself to drift into a situation that ends with intercalation being the only option, because without some assured financial support – a guaranteed job or financial help from your family – you could be left with no source of income.
If personal circumstances mean that you are left with no alternative but to seek a period of intercalation, please contact The Base first to arrange to discuss your application.
If you feel uncertain about carrying on at Lancaster, it is important that you talk it through with your department or another source of support such as your personal College Adviser or an advisor in Student and Education Services, who can be contacted via The Base. It may be, for example, that you need time to adjust to a new and unfamiliar lifestyle. Further advice is available from our Withdraw from Lancaster University webpage.
Should you decide to leave, it is essential that you do not just walk out. You should contact an advisor via The Base who will discuss your plans with you and formally approve your withdrawal. The Student Registry will notify Student Finance England to have payment of your loan and tuition fees stopped, as appropriate. If you have any books on loan from the Library or are in possession of any university equipment or property, please make sure that you return these – it will save you and us a lot of unnecessary letters and telephone calls.
In order to safeguard your entitlement to funding for any future course you should seek advice as soon as possible. Full details on this, and information regarding a transfer to another course/college, may be obtained from The Base.
Complaints and appeals
We are committed to providing our students with a high quality learning experience. Where we fall short of this we want to be informed and to seek to rectify the failure. The vast majority of concerns raised by students are best answered or resolved quickly and informally by direct contact between the student and the relevant department/section, without the need for a formal complaint.
There may be occasions, however, where you feel the need to make an official complaint or to appeal against a decision affecting you. This will be treated very seriously and you should follow the procedures for complaints or appeals.
Depositing your Thesis
All research postgraduate students are required to deposit one electronic copy of the final version of thesis. Please see the guidance on thesis deposit.
Extracurricular Activities and the Lancaster Award
At Lancaster, we not only value your academic accomplishments but also recognise the importance of those activities you engage with outside your programme of study.
The student experience is enhanced by including extracurricular activities and, with more graduates than ever before and increasing competition for jobs upon leaving University, these are vital to your future prospects.
We want to encourage you to make the very most of your University experience and to leave Lancaster as a well-rounded graduate. We have a wealth of opportunities to get involved in with initiatives such as work placements, volunteering, extracurricular courses, societies and sports.
The Lancaster Award aims to encourage you to complete such activities, help you to pull them together in one place and then be recognised for your accomplishments. We want you to stand out from the crowd – the Lancaster Award will help you to do this.
We sincerely hope that you have a fruitful and enjoyable time here at Lancaster University and that any problems you may encounter are dealt with appropriately and to your satisfaction. If you have any questions, we encourage you to ask your supervisor(s), department, etc. as appropriate. Nobody will ever mind you asking a question!