Academic Manual

Departmental/Divisional Graduate Tutors


Departmental/Divisional Graduate Tutors

Contact: Ben Colvill, Senior Executive Officer (Doctoral School)



Each department/division shall have a Departmental/Divisional Graduate Tutor, as appropriate, appointed by the Head of Department/Division with the agreement of the Faculty Graduate Tutor. The Departmental/Divisional Graduate Tutor shall:

  • i) be an experienced member of the academic staff of UCL;
  • ii) have satisfactorily completed any probationary period attached to his/her appointment;
  • iii) have had previous experience of doctoral supervision as Principal Supervisor (defined as having taken a student all the way through to award);

Honorary members of staff are not permitted to hold the role of DGT.  In instances where a member of staff retires during their time as DGT, the Head of Department and FGT will arrange for the role to pass to a suitably qualified colleague.

The Departmental/Divisional Graduate Tutor will report to the Head of Department/Division and liaise closely with the Faculty Graduate Tutor concerning graduate matters.

The role and responsibilities of the Departmental/Divisional Graduate Tutor shall be undertaken in consultation with the Head of Department and may be undertaken by a single individual or shared, with one individual taking responsibility for research students and another one (or two) for taught degree students.

The role and responsibilities described herein shall be discharged by the Departmental/Divisional Graduate Tutor, except where certain areas have been delegated by the Head of Department to another member of staff (e.g. an Admissions or Examinations Tutor).

Roles and Responsibilities

1. To exercise general academic and pastoral oversight of graduate students in the department/division.

2. To be conversant with UCL policies, Codes of Practice and procedures.

3. To oversee admission, induction, supervision, progression and examination of graduate students in the Department/Division and generally ensure that the Code of Practice for Graduate Research Degrees is implemented and its use monitored.

4. To advise graduate students who are experiencing any difficulties (personal, financial, medical or academic) affecting their studies.

5. To assist as appropriate, in the promotion and monitoring of quality assurance for graduate students in the department/division.

6. To liaise with the UCL Student Disability Services on all issues relating to the admission and progress of graduate students with disabilities, and ensure that Departmental/Divisional staff are aware of and comply with current legislation in this area.

7. To communicate with the Faculty Graduate Tutor regarding issues affecting graduate students, and be informed by the Faculty Graduate Tutor and the Faculty Tutor of such matters that may arise in key UCL and faculty committees.

8. To serve on the Faculty Graduate Teaching committee and where appropriate, chair the Departmental/Divisional Graduate Committee.

9. To serve as a source of information for both students and staff about graduate regulations and resources for both students and staff.

10. To liaise regularly with Departmental/Divisional staff to keep them informed of Doctoral School and Research Degrees Committee issues; and issues relating to UCL’s taught graduate community.

11. To ensure that part-time graduate students, and those working in more than one department, and students primarily working in another institution or organisation are integrated into each department/division and that they receive adequate supervision and monitoring.

12. To promote and manage the professional development of research students through the Doctoral Skills Development Programme; manage the Departmental/Divisional training portfolio and return Departmental/Divisional Skills Registers to the Doctoral Skills Development Programme Manager.

13. To promote timely submission and completion by research students.

14. To monitor research student progress, ensuring use of the Research Student Log by all research students; approve upgrade from MPhil to PhD; oversee graduate examination arrangements; liaise with Student and Registry Services as appropriate.

15. To monitor:

(i) compliance with the Code of Practice for Graduate Research Degrees;

(ii) numbers of registered graduate students in the Department

(iii) research student progress, including use of the Research Student Log

(iv) the professional development of research students through the Doctoral Skills Development Programme and faculty/departmental provision

(v) upgrade rates from MPhil to PhD

(vi) research degree submission rates for the department

(vii) external Examiners’ reports for graduate taught programmes

(viii) external Examiners’ reports on PhD and Professional Doctorate students

and notify the Faculty Graduate Tutor, the Doctoral School and Student and Registry Services, as appropriate, of any action required.

16. To carry out administrative tasks in relation to graduate admissions and induction (except where this responsibility has been delegated to another), including the production of appropriate graduate recruitment literature.

17. To recommend Research Degree Examiners for approval by the Faculty Graduate Tutor on behalf of the Faculty Graduate Teaching Committee.

18. To oversee the management of UCL graduate scholarship applications.

19. To consider and approve Research Student Additional Fee Element Requests below £10,000.

September 2017