Postgraduate taught courses: induction

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The University’s Education Committee is responsible for the maintenance of a timetable for Week 0 of Michaelmas Term determining the days on which departments and colleges shall provide an induction programme for full-time graduate students. The current timetable is as follows:

  9 am- 1 pm 1 pm- 5 pm 5 pm onwards
Monday Dept/fac Dept/fac College
Tuesday Dept/fac Dept/fac Dept/fac
Wednesday College College College
Thursday College Dept/fac (until 6 pm) College
Friday  Dept/fac College College


It is the responsibility of the department to provide a programme of induction for its students, which will sit alongside the induction provided to students by their colleges. During Week 0 of Michaelmas Term this programme must be delivered in accordance with the agreed timetable with colleges, but the programme may begin before, or extend beyond Week 0 over the course of the first term.

The programme of induction should enable students to begin their studies with an understanding of the academic and social environment within which they will be working and must include (but is not confined to) all essential aspects of induction as listed in subsection 4.2. The responsible body should determine who delivers each element of induction, e.g. the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or course director. The responsible body should also ensure that the induction programme takes into account the diverse backgrounds of a typical student cohort, and the multiple adjustments that students are making at this time, especially those who have recently arrived from overseas.

The responsible body should ensure that the programme of induction includes the following:

  1. facilities available for students within the department
  2. relevant health and safety practices within the group and department
  3. guidance on good academic practice and the avoidance of plagiarism
  4. introduction to staff and their roles and an opportunity to meet socially and informally with other students and staff in the department, especially the DGS
  5. orientation to the course, i.e. methods of assessment and examination, regulations and other requirements, as well as general processes such as annual registration
  6. dissertation supervision arrangements, including establishing appropriate working patterns, the minimum frequency of supervision meetings and the purpose of such meetings, evaluation, monitoring and reporting procedures
  7. wider academic opportunities (seminars, journal clubs, research networks) including opportunities for meeting other students and staff and opportunities to present research to peers;
  8. student welfare (in the departmental context)
  9. academic expectations of students and responsibilities of students (see Section 6 of this policy)
  10. typical challenges which may face the graduate student and sources of support and guidance including support for developing study skills
  11. English language provision available via the Language Centre (where appropriate)
  12. how to raise concerns and/or make a complaint, and opportunities to provide feedback (e.g. through a Joint Consultative Committee)

A document giving fuller guidance on the content of induction, including examples of good practice, is attached to this Policy and Guidance at Annex A.

Where students are admitted who have disclosed a disability, the responsible body should ensure that any special requirements to support the student on course are understood, put in place and communicated as necessary as early as possible. The responsible body should discuss these requirements with the student and take advice from the Disability Advisory Service.

Additionally, induction is a good opportunity to inform students who have not yet disclosed a disability that it is in their own interests to do so for their better support.

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Education Policy Support
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Tel: 01865 270091