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New postgraduate research students

Welcome to the college

"Congratulations on gaining a place here at the University of Exeter on the PhD programme in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences. For those who did not do their first degree in Exeter, welcome to the University. For those who did do their first degree at Exeter, welcome back. As I am sure you are aware, PhD study is completely different from undergraduate study because of the focus on original research and on producing a thesis. We hope you will find research stimulating and we are sure you will find it challenging. Please take time to settle in and discuss your project with your supervisory team. Best of luck!"

Prof Gino Hrkac, Personal Chair in Applied theoretical and computational Solid-State Physics

As a research-intensive college we provide an excellent environment for postgraduate study. We offer postgraduates an outstanding research environment with state of the art technical facilities and laboratories.

As a postgraduate research student in the college you will be part of a diverse and friendly community and will enjoy a strong network of support for your academic endeavours.

The college PGR support team is committed to supporting our vibrant postgraduate community, and is available to answer any questions you may have before or after you commence your studies. Email us at

Please complete the essential tasks for new students before you start your research at the University of Exeter. 

You will need to:

  • Read your emails from the university
  • Apply for your UniCard
  • Activate your IT account
  • Complete online registration
  • Pay your tuition fees.

Visit the New students website to complete these tasks. 

There will be a mandatory induction day for all new on-campus postgraduate research students in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences. Induction is compulsory for all new students, and is a great way to meet your PGR support team, Director of Doctoral Studies and fellow researchers.

If you are based in Penryn (Cornwall), please attend on Wednesday 20 September.
If you are based in Streatham (Exeter), please attend on Thursday 21 September.

Induction day timetable


College workshop: Introduction to the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences. This will cover topics including:

  • What is a doctorate?
  • PhD Life-Cycle
  • Supervisor relations
  • Academic integrity
  • Research Training and workshops
  • Sources of information, procedures and requirements, PGR Intranet and Handbook
  • MyPGR
12:00-13:00 Lunch and chance to meet new and current researchers
13:00-15:00 Doctoral College Induction
15:00-16:00 Afternoon Tea

Please complete the Induction registration form to confirm your attendance and inform us of any dietary requirements.

More details can be found on the Doctoral College website.

Distance learning students

There will be alternative provision of the induction workshop for distance learning students, but you are welcome to attend in person if you are visiting us. If you plan to attend in person, please email us at so that we can have an idea of numbers.

Welcome week

Visit the New Students website for details of welcome week activities.

The College intranet includes a step-by-step guide on everything you need to do, from the start to the finish of your research. You will need to activate your IT account before you can access the intranet.

Every PGR student is expected to study and conduct research in line with the following requirements:

If you have any queries, please contact

Skills audit and research training requirements

Before you start your research, please download and complete the Training needs analysis form found in the Year 1 PGR Progression portfolio. This is designed to help you plan your personal and professional development as you start your degree. This form will direct you to the relevant modules, workshops and sessions for your research training, and you will then discuss the modules you would like to take with your supervisor to confirm that they are appropriate.

Meeting your supervisor

You should arrange to meet your supervisor as soon as possible after arriving. In this meeting you should discuss your training needs, based on the skills audit you will have completed. You should also discuss the frequency of supervisory meetings you will have and complete the Supervisor agreement form found in the Year 1 PGR Progression portfolio.

CDT, EngD, MByRes and MPhil students

If you are part of a CDT (Centre for Doctoral Training), an EngD, MbyRes, or MPhil programme there will be additional guidelines applying to your specific study degree. Visit the CDT, EngD, MByRes and MPhil intranet page for details of your programme.

The university has an International Student Support website which offers advice to new international students. Whether you are coming to the UK for the first time or you have visited before, the International Student Support Office can help you with your planning.

You may have concerns about adjusting to a new learning environment or different study techniques. The Academic Skills and Student Engagement team offers support with academic skills development through lectures, workshops and peer support sessions, and online skills.

Doctoral College

The University of Exeter Doctoral College brings together institution-wide support, training, and administration for all of our postgraduate and early career researchers. The Doctoral College works across all six Academic Colleges within the University as well as key Professional Services, to ensure that postgraduate and early career researchers have an outstanding start to their research careers.

Student services directory

Visit the directory webpage for support with all aspects of student life, including health and wellbeing, accessibility, IT, student finance and facilities on campus.

College intranet

You will need to have your IT account activated before you can access these pages.

The College intranet site for research includes the CEMPS PGR Handbook, a step-by-step guide to doctoral study, useful forms and documents, information about the Staff-Student Liaison Committee (SSLC), links to a wide variety of resources and support within the university, as well as specific support relating to international students.

CEMPS PGR Handbook

The PGR Handbook provides you with information about your next steps and codes of practice regarding your registration and status, your progress through your doctoral programme, supervision, research training, writing up your research and thesis requirements, submission and examination, as well as other important aspects of your life as a research student, such as participation in the College research community, where to find support, and what facilities are available to you.

Administrative support

The PGR Support team is responsible for the applications process for new PhD applicants. We liaise with the academic staff to ensure that the admissions process is followed and that when new students arrive they are fully equipped to start their research. Among other things, we monitor current students through the academic year, making sure they deliver the necessary reports for progression into the next year.

If you have any administrative queries please contact