Supporting your studies

Get information on the support available during your studies.

As a PhD Researcher at Ulster, you will have two main sources of support: Firstly, your Supervisors, Postgraduate Tutor and Research Director in your chosen area of study will provide subject expertise, specialist facilities and training and day-to-day guidance on your research. You will also belong to our Doctoral College and be supported by the Doctoral College Manager and their teams of administrators, your Campus-based Heads of Doctoral College and the Dean of Postgraduate Research.

The Doctoral College will support you through

  • a range of Researcher Development Courses
  • monitoring of your progress
  • assisting you in developing transferable and employability skills
  • encouraging you to interact with PhD researchers from other subject areas through
    • the provision of a bespoke PhD researcher social area on each campus
    • Annual Conferences, a Doctoral Forum and other initiatives designed to encourage interdisciplinary

The Docs

To facilitate interdisciplinary interactions and to help you engage with other researchers, the Doctoral College has established dedicated social spaces for your use on each campus:

The Doc @ Belfast Room BA-04-03
The Doc @ Jordanstown Commercial Block
The Doc @ Coleraine Room E008
The Doc @ Magee Room MC026

The Doctoral College Team

The Doctoral College Team is available to support you on all four campuses and has office locations at:

Campus Locations
Campus Doctoral College Main Office/Reception
Jordanstown Room 14G16
Coleraine Room L247
Magee Room MC127
Belfast Room BA-004-03

Faculty and Research Area Support

All supervisors and PhD Researchers in the University are located within one of our four faculties and, within this structure, you will also belong to a research area, headed up by a Research Director. Your Research Director, along with Postgraduate Tutors, where applicable, will manage your research needs in terms of induction and subject based training, monitoring and management of progress, providing appropriate resources and pastoral care and generally developing the research culture of your area.

Research Supervision

As researchers at Ulster, your main source of support will come from your team of supervisors.  Staff involved in supervision are expected to be able to advise PhD Researchers on aspects of their research projects including matters relating to University procedures. Supervisors are limited in the number of PhD Researchers they can supervise to twelve. A good working relationship with your supervisors will be a key factor in the success of your research project and the University provides guidance for both PhD researchers and supervisors to ensure this relationship is maximised (please see Role of Student and Supervisor).

During your studies, you are expected to meet with your supervisory team regularly, with a schedule to be discussed and agreed. It is required that certain meetings (e.g. monthly) between supervisors and students are designated as formal and that a record of these meetings is maintained.

If you are undertaking research on a collaborative project which requires you to spend a large amount of time at a collaborating organisation or if you are studying under the Framework for Distance Research, you may be allocated an External Supervisor to support you off campus.

You should also note that the University has a Code of Practice to provide safeguards for University staff and PhD researchers who are in close personal relationships to ensure progression is managed on a professional basis.

Researcher Development Programme

The Researcher Development Programme (RDP) is a suite of workshops, specialist skills sessions, online training and personal development planning activities designed for you to gain the experience and skills required to be a competent and professional researcher.

The sessions are delivered through the Doctoral College and individual Faculties by academics and external facilitators committed to delivering excellence in supporting postgraduate research.