Supervising Student Research

FacultyWestminster Business School

This module provides a framework in which participants may evaluate and develop their practice of research supervision – at any level of higher education but with a particular focus on their current or future supervision of students researching at doctoral level. Supervisory practice is examined in the context of current scholarship and debate about the changing nature of research supervision in today’s higher education, and is achieved through online activities, participants’ supervisory diaries and private study.

Module participants are normally expected to be engaged in the supervision of student research at some level (undergraduate, postgraduate, doctoral) on a regular basis for the duration of the module.

This module is available as a stand-alone CPD course or you can progress through the course to the full Higher Education MA by taking further modules relevant to your career development.

Courses no longer available
Start date Duration Day and time Price Apply
18 October 2017 2 semesters flexible £975 Already started

Course content

The indicative syllabus covers the following:

  • the range of doctorates: PhDs, professional doctorates, practice-based doctorates, doctorates by public and published work
  • the supervisory relationship: roles, responsibilities, boundaries
  • procedures, processes and regulations for research
  • the impact of changes to policy, funding and institutional structures on the processes of research supervision
  • research ethics, intellectual property and responsible research conduct: supervision issues
  • the supervisor’s role in research training: research methods and skills, and preparation for future careers
  • examining research: oral examinations and other approaches

How you will learn

This module is delivered through tutorials and online activities, which include guided reading and reflective documentation of current supervisory experience. You will be expected to maintain a supervisory journal of some form throughout the duration of the module, in which you capture your experience and reflective evaluations of your ongoing supervision practice. There is no prescribed form for the journal, but it will serve a crucial function within the assessment strategy as the prime source of recorded practice on which you will draw as you synthesise theory and practice in your written work. Complementary workshops on themes from the module will be available to you. These will give you the opportunity to share thoughts and network with colleagues interested in similar work.

Assessment methods

The practice-based and developmental quality of the module indicates the need for an approach to assessment that encourages regular consideration of the implications of ideas encountered in the module for the evaluation of practice, and that provides opportunities for regular feedback from tutors and fellow participants. It is for this reason that the assessment strategy for the module is organised around the writing of instalments at regular stages through the module. In these instalments, participants consider ideas they have met in the module so far in the context of their supervisory practice, and receive formative feedback from tutors and fellow participants. Themes for analysis will draw from reading and discussion, and from one-to-one tutorial guidance. This culminates in the submission of a final sustained assignment, consisting of a critical reflective overview.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • critically examine issues within current scholarship and debate about the changing nature of research practice, knowledge production and research supervision in today’s higher education
  • evaluate your current supervisor practice through a sustained process of critical reflection, integrating ideas from the study of research supervision with your own developing practice as a research supervisor
  • evaluate your experience of the module in relation to your future development as a supervisor of student research

Applicants should normally hold a first degree from a recognised institution (minimum Lower Second Class Honours or international equivalent), demonstrate interest and motivation in the subject area, and be teaching at least 72 hours per year at UK higher education level 4 or above, including in further education, private college settings and internationally (international qualification levels taught will be checked against UK equivalents).

Alternative professional qualifications with at least three years' relevant professional experience will also be considered.

If English is not your first language, you will need an IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum score of 6 in each element.

Guidance for internal applicants

If you are a University of Westminster employee or PhD student, we require less information from you as we already hold some of it in the HR systems. We have produced a document to take you through the UKPASS process and let you know what you need to fill in. Please download and refer to our UKPASS application guide (PDF).

Internal applicants (including PhD students) also need line manager approval to gain exemption from course fees. Please complete the fee exemption form (DOC) and upload it when applying through UKPASS.