When you arrive

Before completing these tasks make sure you complete those in Before you arrive.

First week

Your UniCard is a vital part of your university life. See applying for your UniCard if you haven't yet applied. You can collect your UniCard from SiD, if you would prefer to have your card posted please mention this when applying for your UniCard. 

Exeter campuses: International students

You will be given your UniCard once you have completed International Student Clearance.

All new postgraduate researchers are required to attend induction. Inductions run twice a year in September and January on both the Streatham and Cornwall campus. Our dedicated Induction webpages provide full details of the dates, time, location and how to book onto induction. 

As you commence your studies, you will be required to undertake some mandatory training in line with University policy. This training will be online, and includes:

  • Information Governance and Security
  • Research Integrity
  • Health and Safety
  • Equality and Diversity

Depending on your research area, you may also be required to attend our face-to-face healthy and safety training. You can access the online mandatory training on our ELE page.

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, and you should also discuss the frequency of supervisory meetings you will have and complete the supervisor agreement form and training needs analysis form. Details of both these forms will be sent to you before you arrive.

Prior to your arrival you will be sent the training needs analysis form designed to help you plan your personal and professional development as you start your research degree. This form will direct you to the appropriate 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.

Each new student should discuss and agree their training needs at the first supervisory team meeting. It is important to identify with your supervisor any specific research training modules which you should follow, and whether any language training is necessary for your research at an early stage. Training for PGR students is provided both within colleges and through the University’s Researcher Development Programme.

The purpose of the supervisory agreement is to encourage students and supervisors to have a conversation about the nature of supervision, the frequency of meetings and the relationship between the supervisory team. It is important for all members of the team to be aware of their core responsibilities, as set out in the Code of Good Practice – Supervision of Postgraduate Research Students[1]. The supervisory agreement should be completed with the first couple of weeks of the academic year. 

As a Postgraduate Researcher at the University of Exeter, if you are involved in teaching, demonstrating in a lab, or assessing students’ work, you will need to attend our LTHE course. The LTHE Programme introduces the principles of effective learning, teaching and assessment in higher education (HE). LTHE Stage 1 forms the minimum requirement for Postgraduate Researchers who teach or support students at the University. This one day course is offered in both the autumn and spring terms each year. Please see the LTHE Stage 1 website for information on dates and how to book a place. 

Before you start university, it is important to consider the advice, information and support available to you if you experience any of the following:

  • Specific learning difficulty
  • Mental Health difficulty for at least a year
  • Physical disability
  • A long-term medical condition

In some instances it is essential that we make arrangements for elements of your support before you arrive, i.e. if you require specific support and equipment to be in place when you start; or you need adjustments to your accommodation and/or exams.

Register for Penryn Services via the Accessibility and Dyslexia pages

You can contact the Wellbeing Services teams at any point during your studies. View further details and contact information on the Health and welfare page

If you have a disability, specific learning disability or a health condition and you have not already filled out Wellbeing Services’ Prospective Student online form to let us know about your support needs, please consider doing so. This will allow Wellbeing Services to discuss your support needs with you, in order to set up an Individual Learning Plan that may include exam adjustments. Please note, any previous exam adjustments you have had will not automatically continue at the University. If you have any questions, please contact Wellbeing Services.

First month and beyond

Here at University of Exeter we have a thriving research community, whether that be in your research group, discipline, college or wider within the university. This dedicated webpage lists just some of the research events taking place on campus.

We have a wide range of training courses and professional development opportunities available to postgraduate researchers across the University of Exeter to enable to build your own professional development programme. In your first year, we would recommend that you take the following training:

  • An Introduction to Being an Effective Researcher
  • Career Planning: Where Your Doctorate Can Lead
  • Efficient Reading and Preparing for Your Literature Review
  • Project Managing Your Thesis
  • Making the Most of the Relationship with Your Supervisors

All of these courses are available as workshops and webinars. The full list of Researcher Development courses can be found on the training and development website

The University of Exeter's library has set up a pre-arrival library guide to help you prepare for your time with us and how to get the most out of the library while with us. The pre-arrival library guide can be viewed here.

The Students Guild The Students Guild (St Luke's and Streatham) and the SU (Penryn and Truro) are your students unions and are here to represent your voice. 

In your first couple of weeks you may wish to familiarise yourself with the Students' Guild. Your Postgraduate Officer can be contacted on: VPPostgraduate@exeter.ac.uk 


The Postgraduate Society is here to ensure your postgraduate experience at the University of Exeter is fun and rewarding, and is dedicated to representing postgraduate students’ social and recreational needs. Run by a committee of students, it can help you make the most of your time at Exeter.

The Society organises socials, trips to other cities and places of interest, and provides everyone with opportunities to meet other postgraduates, celebrate successes and gives the chance to relax from studying. The Society will help you to make memories and friendships that last into your professional life and beyond.

Connect with the Postgraduate Society on Facebook.

Talk to the Postgraduate Society on Twitter.

Email at postgraduatesoc@groups.exeterguild.com  

The Postgraduate Research Liaison Forums* are made up of both student and staff representatives and chaired by a student member. It is an opportunity to come together as a department and discuss all matters relating to postgraduate research students. Forums are held in each discipline in the College and at College level.

*please note you will only be able to access the PGR LF sharepoint once you have received your university log in details. 

Our Postgraduate Researchers are based over four campuses: Streatham (Exeter), St Luke's (Exeter), Penryn (Cornwall) and Truro Hospital (Cornwall). 

Get to know your campus with these helpful drone tours:

- Streatham

- Penryn

Further information:


St Luke's:



Many UK banks do not let you open a bank account until you are in the UK and have registered on a programme of full-time study. It can take up to 2 weeks to open a bank account. Find out how to do this here.