Research Student Handbook

University Services, Support and Facilities

University Services, Support and Facilities

The library is here to support you and your research; facilitating access to the information sources you need and providing training and guidance to help you make the most of these resources. The library will form an integral part of your research experience here at the university, whether you are using the physical print resources and study spaces or accessing the e-collections and library support online.

We offer an ever-expanding library collection. We prioritise provision of materials in digital format wherever possible to ensure maximum access to our materials. We can advise you on where to look and how to search, as well as provide more tailored support in accessing research databases and content. 

For further information about the services the Library provides please use the following links: 

LibGuides covers all library-related information
PGR LibGuide information specific to Postgraduate researchers
Subject Guide gateway to Library Resources and support containing the key databases and information sources for your subject plus essential library skills
Online tutorials training on using resources
1 to 1 consultations  allow in-depth tailored support

If you have any questions about library services or would like to know more about how we can support you on your research journey, or if you are finding it difficult to access a particular resource, click here to contact us.

Interlibrary loans

The Business School provides each research student with an allowance of 20 free interlibrary loans per year for full-time students,  10 free interlibrary loans per year for part-time students (1 August to 31 July) and 5 free interlibrary loans once on continuation status.  We are aware however that some students will have need for a greater number of interlibrary loans and we will consider applications for an increase to this allowance on a case by case basis. If you have used your full allowance and would like to apply for an increase to this allowance please email the Library Team at ill@exeter.ac.uk who will be able to provide you with a token. 

Interlibrary loans are requested online on the Forum Library’s website and the Library will have details of the number of interlibrary loans you have in your allowance. You can request books for purchase using the Student Book Suggestion Scheme.

Students registered at the Penryn campus can request interlibrary loans from the Help Desk at Penryn or Woodlane libraries. Details about how to make a request can be found here.

It is of vital importance that you have a good level of English in order to complete your studies. The University only requires a minimum level of English for admittance, and it is often important that non-native speakers continue to improve their English language skills while doing their research. You are eligible to receive a number of hours of tuition as part of your registration as a research student, but may have to pay for any further training.

Guided Independent Learning Sharepoint Site has been developed, provided as part of the Insessional English Language Skills Development programme for international students at the university. Students can work through the site at their own pace and according to specific needs.

It is a requirement of the University that your thesis is written to a good standard of English. The University does not normally accept theses in any other language. Supervisors are not expected to make major corrections to a student's written work; it is the responsibility of students to make sure that work is presented in good English. Students whose first language is not English are encouraged to have their work proofread or copy edited in order to correct the English, though not to have it corrected for ideas or academic content. INTO maintains a register of approved Academic Copy Editors if you need to find one. Any arrangements to employ and pay a copy editor are solely the responsibility of the student. 

You may want to put some of your research student's allowance aside to cover some of the costs of proof-reading before you submit your thesis. You should discuss with your supervisor whether or not they feel that your thesis will need proof-reading prior to submission, as additional funding will not be made available for proof reading once the research allowance has been spent. 

 If you need help with academic writing in general then you can book an appointment with one of the Royal Literary Fund Fellows. The Fellows are available by office appointment to help all members of the University – undergraduates and postgraduates alike – with queries and problems relating to the practical aspects of writing.

 Further support is also available from:

The International Student Support Office offers advice and services to international students on the following issues:

  • Pre arrival information
  • Orientation programmes
  • Immigration, Visa Extensions, Post Study Work visas
  • Supporting diversity events on campus
  • Free English Language classes for spouses and families
  • International eNewsletter
  • Working with student societies and events
  • Workshops 

If you are an international student, or in the UK on any visa type, you are advised to seek specialist advise and support from the International Student Support Office if you have any questions or concerns about your visa status. If you need to make any changes to your programme (such as interruption, mode of attendance etc) it is vital that you speak to the International team before proceeding with any changes that may affect your visa status.

At the University of Exeter you are part of an exciting, diverse and global community. As a community, we believe everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. We want to ensure we nurture a positive environment for all, and one where no form of discrimination or harassment is tolerated. If you do experience, or witness, any behaviour which isn’t inclusive we encourage you to report it and to get the support you might need. You can report it (anonymously if you wish to) via our Exeter Speaks Out webpages for Exeter and Cornwall They contain a wealth of information, advice and guidance about equality and diversity and information about our complaints policies.

The University also has an Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Team who support and promote work in this areas and run a variety of staff and student networks.

The College follows the University's policies on help for students with disabilities and health and safety issues. In addition the University also offers a wide range of wellbeing support services for students.

Students with a Disability or Injury

AccessAbility is a team of disability specialists dedicated to supporting students with a disability or long-term health condition including Specific Learning Difficulties and Autism Spectrum Conditions. 

Students who feel they require special assistance should be assessed by AccessAbility and may be eligible for help for their specific need. If you have a disability or debilitating illness, it is in your interest to tell your supervisor/pastoral tutor. They can advise and help you so that you are not disadvantaged and do not experience unreasonable difficulties.

Individual Learning Plans (ILPs)

An Individual Learning Plan (ILP) is a document that informs Colleges within the University of the recommended reasonable adjustments that may be put in place once you have declared a disability. To have an ILP put in place, you must have a health condition or disability which fits the criteria to be classified as a disability under the Equality Act 2010, (i.e. has or likely to last over a year). Reasonable adjustments are put in place using an ILP in order to remove barriers that may prevent you from participating at university, and to minimise the impact that your health condition or disability may have on your ability to study. You can update or review your ILP at any stage by contacting Wellbeing Services (AccessAbility/Mental Health Pathway) to arrange a discussion. 

Mental Health Policy

Education and work are key factors in mental health – both as a contributory cause to mental health problems but also as an important part of promoting a person’s sense of well-being, identity and self-worth. It is vital that all of us consider people with mental health needs, in order to provide an effective and timely response and to enable students to continue to participate in all aspects of student life. The University’s approach to mental health issues is set out on the Wellbeing website. Common sense advice as well as details of local medical facilities (including out of hours help and advice) and local organisations are available on this site. The College will endeavour to accommodate the needs of those with a mental illness. Alerting the College to any difficulties may be done via the medical or counselling services or where your academic work is being affected through a confidential discussion with your supervisors or mentor.

Student Health Centre

You should register with a doctor as soon as you arrive at the University – at the University Health Centre at Reed Mews on the Streatham campus, at the St. Luke's Health Centre, or with a local practice. 

Penryn Campus students are strongly recommended to register with the Penryn Medical Practice, Saracen Way, Penryn (Tel: 01326 372502). 

Further information is available on the website.

Wellbeing Services

Wellbeing Services are here to help students get the most out of their time at University. Health and wellbeing are crucial ingredients of effective study as well as a rich and fulfilling student experience, but staying well in body and mind isn’t always easy at University. For students with disabilities and long-term health conditions we understand that you may need support to manage your health and wellbeing, as well as your studies, whilst at University. We recognise that it’s much more difficult to learn and enjoy student life when practical and personal difficulties arise. Wellbeing Services can offer a range of services to support students personally and in their studies when difficulties occur. 

Wellbeing services provide workshops for PGR students in the following areas: Mindfulness, Perfectionism, Managing Stress, Confidence and Resilience, building resilience and maintaining a healthy sleeping pattern. Courses are bookable through My Career Zone.   

Wellbeing Services comprises three separate ‘pathways’: 

  • The Psychological Therapies pathway offers confidential support, provided by qualified practitioners, for students experiencing difficulties with their mental health/wellbeing.
  • The Mental Health pathway provides comprehensive, ongoing advice and guidance and support to students with a range of mental health difficulties.
  • The AccessAbility pathway is made up of a team of disability specialists dedicated to supporting students with a disability or long-term health condition including Specific Learning Difficulties and Autism Spectrum Conditions  

Wellbeing Services also includes the Exeter Access Centre. PGR students also have access to SilverCloud (online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy programmes tailored to specific needs).  

We support current students studying at our Exeter campuses (Streatham Campus and St Luke's Campus). If you are based at our Penryn campus, please visit FXU Wellbeing 

Full details about how to get in touch with the Wellbeing services are available at the Wellbeing webpages. 

Further wellbeing information, tools and support can be found on our COVID-19 wellbeing webpages

The University is committed to a policy of equality of opportunity and aims to provide a working and learning environment free from discrimination that enables staff and students to fulfil their personal potential. All individuals should be treated with dignity and respect whether at work or study; staff and students have an important role to play in creating an environment where harassment is unacceptable. 

The University's policy on the Protection of Dignity at Work and Study contains definitions of racial, sexual and personal harassment, and a list of Dignity and Respect Advisors

Exeter Speaks Out

The University of Exeter is an inclusive community, where everyone has the right to be treated with respect. Harassment, bullying, intimidation and discrimination (for example racism, homophobia, sexual discrimination) go against all we stand for and will not be tolerated. If you've experienced or witnessed any of the above we encourage you to report it and to get the support you might need.

The Business School is committed to delivering a high quality service and encourages students to tell us when there is cause for concern and a case for improvement. If problems do arise we encourage you to express them and we will respond to them. 

  • In the first instance you should talk to your supervisors, unless the problem involves them or you feel dissatisfied with their response.
  • Contact your PGR Pastoral Tutor. It is part of their role to ensure that you are happy with your studies and supervision. You can do this in confidence. It is part of the PGR pastoral tutor’s role to act as your advocate if they feel you have good cause for complaint.
  • Talk to your discipline’s DPGR. If you feel that you would benefit from a change of supervisor or PGR Pastoral Tutor, you should address this request to your DPGR. But please note that changes will only be made if there is good cause.
  • Contact the PGR Support team: uebs-pgrsupport@exeter.ac.uk or cornwall-pgr@exeter.ac.uk, as appropriate.
  • If you feel that the PGR Support team as a whole has failed to respond properly to you, please contact the College Director of Postgraduate Research, Dr Kim Peters.
  • You might also speak to a student representative on the PGR Liaison Forum, who can bring your concerns before that committee. 

Separate procedures apply depending on whether you are appealing against an academic decision or making a complaint:

Within the University there are many support services that can be called upon, including:

 Please also go to the Doctoral College pages for information on help and support.

Full details of all services and support available through the University of Exeter can be accessed at the A-Z Student Directory.