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When you arrive

When you arrive

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. 

Due to COVID 19 discussions are currently taking place regarding the safest method for the distribution of your Unicard. Once the decision has been made we will update this page with details. 

Exeter Campus: All students

Further information on how to get your unicard will follow soon. 

Penryn Campus: All students

Further information on how to get your unicard will follow soon. 

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 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. You can access the Training Needs Analysis (TNA) here online. 

It is important that you undertake appropriate research training to help you complete your thesis successfully and in good time. The College is fully committed to research training that is relevant, useful and which contributes to positive outcomes for its students, not least in enhancing their post-thesis employability.

Training and professional development should be tailored to the individual student and be appropriate for the path of the individual research project. We don’t consider the development of skills to be a separate process from your research practice – it should support and enhance it.

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. If there are any training needs that cannot be met through the Researcher Development provision or within your discipline, you must notify the your College as soon as possible.

Training for PGR students is provided both within your College and through the University’s Researcher Development Programme. The Researcher Development team have listed recommended training for each year of study; this is only indicative and should be used as a guide for discussion.

All students are required to complete the Training Needs Analysis Form following their discussion with their supervisory team and upload it to MyPGR within the first 6 weeks of study and then annually thereafter. When you have completed the form, you will be given the option to 'Print or save as pdf'. Click this, and a printing dialog box will load. Change the printer name to 'Save ad pdf', then save your responses and upload them to MyPGR.

Access the Training Needs Analysis Form here. 

All research students work closely with their academic supervisors. This requires regular meetings between you and your supervisors to plan and discuss your research, and the writing of your thesis. You need to produce written work at regular intervals and it is in your interests to start writing as early as possible, even the roughest of drafts. Producing a successful thesis is a methodical task, not something that can be done to a high standard in a hurry. Your supervisors are there to offer advice and guidance, and to provide help and critical comment upon your writing.

The relationship between students and supervisors is of crucial importance for the successful completion of a research degree. There needs to be good communication, co-operation and agreement, and a relationship of trust. The University recognises the need for a set of ground rules that outline the nature of this relationship. This general framework can be found in the Code of Good Practice - Supervision of Postgraduate Research Students. This document provides the background rules, policies and practices to which the College, supervisors, pastoral tutors and students have to adhere, and sets out both the rights and responsibilities of all parties. Research students are required to meet with their full supervision team within three weeks of their initial registration with the University. At this meeting you and your supervisors are required to complete a Supervision Agreement, reflecting on their relationship, frequency of contact, submission of written work, authorship of papers and so on.

The form should be discussed, completed and signed off at the first meeting of the full supervisory team, including your  PGR pastoral tutor and then reviewed annually and if circumstances change (e.g. change of supervisory team, change of student status). It is the responsibility of the student to ensure this form is completed and uploaded to MyPGR within the first 6 weeks of study and then annually thereafter.


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

This is the iTrent Self Service PGR User guide. iTrent is a tool that allows PGR students to record holiday, sickness and other absence.   

To log in to the iTrent Self Service system, click here. Use your Student username and password to log in.

iTrent Self Service is available on all mobile devices.


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:

  • Working with your supervisors
  • Project Managing Your Thesis
  • Conducting a literature review: searching, reading and note-taking
  • Conducting a literature review: critiquing, structuring and writing

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

For recordings and presentation slides from previous training courses, please check out ELE.

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. 

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 (St Luke's and Streatham) and the SU (Penryn and Truro) are your student 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:

There will be welcome events organised by the Students’ Guild, as well as by societies, when you arrive in Exeter. You can find out more about these here.


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  

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.