Research Degrees Office

The Research Degrees Office provides services to PhD research degree students and supervisors across all three Faculties.

About us

The team in our Research Degrees Office at Surrey are dedicated to supporting our research students and supervisors across the three Faculties, ensuring you receive consistent and accurate advice on all of the stages of your Doctoral programme from registration to award. They are responsible for your initial induction to the University, managing progression milestones and the examinations process, working with student finance and student records to answer student data and funding queries.

Prior to your arrival the team liaise with various departments to ensure that the start of your programme is as smooth and efficient as it can be. They work with admissions to provide induction information to all new PGRs over each of the entry points, and liaise with supervisors and studentship finance to ensure funding offers are issued in good time and arrangements are in place to pay stipends to those in receipt of funding.

They are a student facing team, located on the 2nd floor of the AC building (02AC02), and post induction they are there to support you to complete your doctoral programme in good time, ensuring administrative processes are managed efficiently, helping you to progress and supporting mechanisms to help you get back on track if there are any problems. The Research Degrees team work closely with the Associate Deans (Doctoral College) and support the work of APESC, the sub-committee of the Doctoral College Board, through which they process requests on:

  • Temporary Withdrawal
  • Change of mode of attendance
  • Change in supervisory team
  • Change to completing status
  • Exam entry form.

The team are responsible for managing the progress review, which is conducted every six months – interim and end of year. This is submitted March-May and September-November each year. The progress review is an opportunity for you and your supervisory team to evaluate progress on your project over the past six months and to set objectives and goals for the six months ahead. It can be used as a mechanism to put in place measures for getting you back on track if progress has stalled.

In addition, PGRs are expected to log monthly supervisory meetings.  A new system has been developed to help Postgraduate Researchers and their supervisors manage supervisions more easily. The anticipated benefits of the system include:

  • Automated process for recording supervisory meetings
  • PGR-led approach facilitates their ownership of the process
  • Facilitates monitoring to help identify and deal with any issues early on
  • Provides easy access to catalogue of previous supervisory meetings, including access to objectives and actions
  • Helps to ensure both students and supervisors are fulfilling their responsibilities under the Code of Practice

PGRs will be sent an email at the start of each month to log their supervision for that month. The first email will go out on Monday 3 September 2018. After the PGR has submitted the log, supervisors will be sent a notification to check and approve the record.

Guidance documents on how to navigate the workflow are available on SurreyNet.

The Research Degrees Office (3rd floor of Learning Centre) is the location where all students will go to submit their thesis. Following submission and approval of the exam entry form, which confirms your examination panel, the team will ensure that each of your examiners is sent a soft copy of your thesis. For all faculties, excluding the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, the Research Degrees team will help arrange the viva and once the viva has taken place, they will process the examination paperwork and send you official confirmation of the examiners’ recommendation.  

Once you have made any necessary corrections to your thesis and you are ready to be awarded, the team will send you details of how to upload your thesis to the repository in the library. The team receives confirmation when you have successfully uploaded your thesis, and will then ask fees and funding to carry out a final debt check so you can be put forward for award.  PGR awards are made monthly, and as soon as the monthly awards have been confirmed the team will contact you to inform you of the good news.

The Research Degrees Office is organised into faculty teams.  This ensures that the administrators, of which there are two per faculty, can provide dedicated support for the research requirements specific to the subject areas in each of the departments/schools within a faculty. They work very closely with the school PGR Directors and faculty Associate Deans, Doctoral College.

In addition to the above services, the Research Degrees team process APESC paperwork and manage the monthly awards for the EngD and PsychD programmes.

Useful links:

Key information for students and supervisors
Useful documents

The team has the following aims:  

  1. To provide current research students and supervisors with consistent and accurate advice on all stages of undertaking a PhD from registration to graduation;
  2. To liaise with student finance to ensure that accurate financial studentship data is maintained internally and externally with funders;
  3. To manage an efficient and timely examinations process for research degree students;
  4. To monitor and report on the academic progress of research students to ensure timely submission and completion rates;
  5. To review existing processes and implement process improvements through the exploitation of systems in the development of the Doctoral College. 

The specific responsibilities for the Research Degrees Office are: 

  • Welcome and induction programmes
  • Monitoring and reporting of progression, suspension, transfers and withdrawals
  • Advice to students and staff on progression and research degree processes
  • Liaison with Directors of PGR and supervisors
  • Ensuring accurate funding records maintained with student Finance
  • Coordinating the organisation of vivas, with Faculty staff as appropriate
  • Secretariat of Admission, Progression and Examinations Sub-Committee (APESC).
  • UKVI monitoring, working closely with Visa Compliance Manager
  • Referring students to other support services accordingly
  • Systems development and enhancement

Contact us

Julie Davies

Research Degrees Manager

T: 01483 68 2358
Room number: 02 AC 02

Joanna Sharp

Administrative Officer 

T: 01483 686164  
Room number: 02 AC 02 

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Karen Short

Senior Administrative Officer

Research Degrees - FASS: all schools/departments except School of Arts

T: 01483 68 9447
Room number: 02 AC 02

Julia Woolhouse

Administrative Officer

Research Degrees - FASS

T: 01483 68 4081
Room number: 02 AC 02

Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Jackie Gallagher

Senior Administrative Officer

Research Degrees - FEPS: Civil and Environmental Engineering, Mathematics, Institute for Communication Systems, Advanced Technology Institute, Computer Science, Physics, Centre for Environment and Sustainability

T: 01483 68 6070
Room number: 02 AC 02

Louise Davies

Administrative Officer

Research Degrees - FEPS: Chemical and Process Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Sciences, Centre for Vision Speech and Signal Processing, Chemistry, Surrey Space Centre

T: 01483 68 3086
Room number: 02 AC 02


Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Alexia Smith

Senior Administrative Officer

Research Degrees - FHMS: all schools except Psychology

T: 01483 68 6143
Room number: 02 AC 02

Renata Richardson

Administrative Officer

Research Degrees - FHMS: Psychology

T: 01483 68 6243
Room number: 02 AC 02

Opening Hours

09:00 - 17:00 (Semester Time)

Find Us

2nd floor of AC Building (02 AC 02)

Useful links

Contact us

Find us

Map of the University of Surrey
Doctoral College
Fifth Floor, University Library
University of Surrey