The results of the 2019 Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) are now available, and we are delighted at the very positive response for IALS.

PRES collects feedback from postgraduate research students (PRGs) about their experiences, which allows us insight into their learning and supervision experience. The 2019 PRES included 50,600 respondents, across 107 institutions.

The headline figure from PRES IS:
• 96% were satisfied with the overall experience at IALS (which is significantly higher than the national average of 81%)

Some other highlights from the PRES results for IALS include:
• 87% were satisfied with supervision (compared to 86% in the Russell Group)
• 87% were satisfied with resources (compared to 82% in the Russell Group)
• 66% were satisfied with research culture (compared to 65% in the Russell Group)
• 92% were satisfied with progression (compared to 78% in the Russell Group)
• 90% were satisfied with responsibilities (compared to 78% in the Russell Group)
• 96% were satisfied with research skills (compared to 86% in the Russell Group)

IALS received top marks (100%) in a number of areas, including:
• I understand the required standard for my thesis
• I understand my responsibilities as a research degree student
• I am aware of my supervisors’ responsibilities towards me as a research degree student
• My skills in applying appropriate research methodologies, tools and techniques have developed during my programme
• My skills in critically analysing and evaluating findings and results have developed during my programme

There are areas that we do want to improve further, however:
• While research culture is above the Russell Group average, we are determined to develop this further, including through our research centres, the PhD Masterclass series (in-person and podcasts), regular research events, and through regular informal discussions (eg our weekly coffee sessions);
• 74% were satisfied with professional development (which is lower than the Russell Group average of 79%). We are reviewing how we can enhance professional development opportunities and are liaising with current students in that regard.

Overall, we are delighted with the positive feedback from our PGRs, and we will continue to strive to offer excellent support and service going forward.

Responding to the PRES results, Professor Carl Stychin said:
‘As Director of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, I was very pleased to read the results of the latest Postgraduate Research Students Survey. It is gratifying to know that our students are reporting such high levels of satisfaction with their education. Of course, we are committed to the continuous enhancement of our programme and we will be reflecting on all areas in which we can improve further.’

The next PRES will be conducted in 2021.

Anyone interested in doing a PhD at IALS might like to read the blog post on ‘Five Reasons to Do Your PhD at IALS?’

Dr Colin King is Reader in Law and Director of Postgraduate Research Studies at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies. Dr King is the founding director of the Centre for Financial Law, Regulation and Compliance.