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Research Student Handbook

Postgraduate Research Support Office

The Postgraduate Research Support Office

The Postgraduate Research Support Office takes primary responsibility for the administration and progress of your studies. PGR matters are overseen by the College Director of PGR and STEMM PGR Manager. The PGR Support Office is available to provide administrative support for both prospective postgraduate research students and current postgraduate research students across all three campuses. We are always willing to answer queries and provide help wherever possible.

For students on the Streatham campus and St Luke’s campus, the PGR Office can be found in the PGR Hub located in the Old Library, Streatham campus.

For students at the Penryn campus, the PGR Office can be found in the Postgraduate Suite.

Streatham: Mondays to Fridays 10:00 – 15:00

Penryn: Mondays to Fridays 10:00 – 15:00 





PGR Manager

Helen Pisarska

+44 (0) 1392 726295

PGR Support Officer (Exeter)

Laura Yeves-Gonzalez

+44 (0) 1392 726295

PGR Support Officer (Cornwall)

Jo Shepherd

+44 (0) 13262 18853

PGR Support Officer (CEDAR)

Dr Magdalena Katomeri

+44 (0) 1392 726295

PGR Administrator (Exeter)

Joe Levy

+44 (0) 1392 726295

PGR Administrator (Cornwall)

Monique Clark

+44 (0) 13262 55944

PGR Administrator (Exeter)

Lizzie Hustwayte

+44 (0) 1392 726295

PGR Administrator (Exeter)

Amber Crook

+44 (0) 1392 726295

PGR Administrator (Exeter)

Vanessa Moseley

+44 (0) 1392 726295


Your College Administrator can help out with issues related to your local physical environment such as desk space.

Geography in the Amory Building

Isabel Castle 

Bev Bradford

+44 (0) 1392 726212

+44 (0) 1392 727661

Geography in the Laver Building

Anne Nicholls (Global Systems Institue)

Jessica Thorn

+44 (0) 1392 722633

+44 (0) 1392 725324


Lindsey Beasley

Joy Richards

+44 (0) 1392 725298

+44 (0) 1392 725155


Karen Swanston

Monica Hitt

+44 (0) 1392 724625

+44 (0) 1392 727692

Sport and Health Sciences Clare Fogarty  +44 (0) 1392 722807
CLES Cornwall

Sally Bennett

Amy Lloyd-Foster (BIO)

Keleigh Burgess (GEO)

+44 (0) 1326 255986

+44 (0) 1326 259160

+44 (0) 1326 255527


Living Systems Institute Karina Scholpp +44 (0) 1392 722726

Each discipline within the College has a designated Director of Postgraduate Research, who is responsible for promoting a rich academic environment for postgraduate research students (PGRs) within their discipline, and to ensure that appropriate supervisory arrangements are in place for students.

College Prof Jon Blount
+44 (0) 1326 371877
Biosciences (Exeter) Dr Clive Butler +44 (0) 1392 724675

Biosciences (Penryn)

Geography (Penryn)

Dr Nick Royle

Dr Jamie Shutler

+44 (0) 1326 371825

+44 (0) 1326 259212

Human Geography (Exeter) Dr Louisa Evans
+44 (0) 1392 724407
Physical Geography (Exeter) Dr Lina Mercado +44 (0) 1392 725074
Psychology (job share)

Dr Anna Adlam

Dr Andrew Livingstone

+44 (0) 1392 722209

+44 (0) 1392 724618

Sport and Health Sciences Dr Alan Barker +44 (0) 1392 722766
Psychology Professional Doctorates Prof Ken Laidlaw +44 (0) 1392 724621

For a full list of academic, research and technical staff please visit the discipline staff pages using the links below:

There are many different means of communication between you and University staff.  You must ensure that the University has up-to-date information about your whereabouts and the best means to contact you if necessary, for example if you are away on fieldwork.  It is vital that you update any changes to your address and contact details via iexeterPrimary responsibility for ensuring that your contact details are up-to-date lies with you. Communication and meetings with your supervisory team are recorded through the MyPGR system, although other forms of communication, such as email and telephone, are also used. 

Staff make every effort to reply quickly to enquires, and we expect that students will,, in turn make sure that they check their University emails regularly. Information about University email addresses will be given to you when you register.  Please see these pages detailing information about your email.

There are different types of research degree awarded by the University of Exeter and which are delivered by the College: Master of Science by Research (MbyRes), Master of Philosophy (MPhil), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Professional Doctorate programmes (DClinPrac, DClinPsy and DClinRes) and PhD by Publication.

MSc by Research

MSc by Research lets you obtain a research degree without the commitment of a longer-term PhD. Not to be confused with the taught MRes degree, it’s ideal for people interested in pursuing a specific shorter-term research project. You will have the option to apply to transfer to an MPhil or PhD.


The MPhil, although a qualification in its own right, is often used as a route to the longer PhD.

You will undertake a research project and write a thesis on which you will be examined.


The PhD is an independent research project by a candidate registered at a higher education institution. It is supervised over 3-4 years by an established academic or team of academics, and the candidate is expected to work under their guidance towards an original contribution to knowledge. The end-product of the project is the doctoral thesis (max word count of 100,000). The examination of the research degree focuses on the quality of the thesis and the defence of it by the candidate at the viva voce examination.

Professional Doctorates

Within the College professional doctorates are available only within Psychology. Here we offer the Doctorate in Clinical Research (DClinRes), the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy) and the Doctorate in Clinical Research (DClinPrac).  Professional doctorates are offered for professionals at different stages of their careers, and are more structured than the PhD. They include a modularised pre-thesis phase in addition to writing a thesis.  Students must successfully complete the pre-thesis phase which is assessed via assignment submissions, before moving on to the thesis phase which is assessed by a written doctoral thesis. The examination of the thesis focuses on the quality of the research and the defence of it by the candidate at the viva voce examination.

Please note that because the Professional Doctorates in the College have very specific structures and requirements there are dedicated Handbooks for the DClinRes (Found on the Exeter Learning Environment – ELE), DClinPsy and the DClinPrac (on ELE).

MPhil/PhD by Publication

This type of doctoral degree is awarded on the basis of a series of peer-reviewed papers which have been accepted for publication, gathered together, and accompanied by a substantial chapter explaining how the work forms a coherent whole. At Exeter, this route is applicable to those candidates who already have a portfolio of published work prior to registration as a student.   Assessment is by the same means as a normal MPhil/PhD. See the Exeter regulations for further details.