Postgraduate Research Experience Survey


PRES is a national online survey, co-ordinated by Advance HE, and conducted by institutions across the UK and globally. 

The survey launched at the University of Wolverhampton on 15 February, and closed on 17 May 2021.

The University is promoting the survey to encourage as many eligible students as possible to complete it online and to give their feedback. The more students who complete, the more representative it will be.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’re keen to make sure research students have the best possible experience while studying at the University of Wolverhampton. To do that we need to know what you think we are doing well and what we can do better. If you’re thinking about taking part this year, these are the answers to some of the questions students often ask:

Why should I take part?

PRES is your chance to tell us your thoughts about your course. The results help us compare how we are doing with other institutions, to make changes that will improve what we do in future and to keep doing the things that you value. This will help improve the experience of students like you in the future. 

How will PRES be carried out?

The survey is carried out by the Doctoral College and the questionnaire hosted by Jisc Online Surveys (OS). On 15 February, all eligible research students (including those on Professional Doctorate & PhD by Published work programmes) will receive a personalised email from OS asking them to complete the survey via their own unique link. 

Please note that emails from the OS software will be sent to university student email addresses and additional emails from the Doctoral College will be sent to your registered contact email. 

If you do not complete the survey within the first couple of weeks you will receive reminders from OS, the Doctoral College and your Faculty/Research Institute, until the survey closes. Once you have completed the survey, your particpation is recorded and the reminders stop.

What do I need to do?

When you receive an email from OS, simply follow the instructions, click on your own personal link and complete the online form. Your personal survey link is recorded against your anonymised demographic information therefore please do not send your personal link to other students.

How long does it take?

The survey takes no more than 15 minutes to complete. As a thank you for your time, you will be entered into a prize draw to win one of 10 x £10 Amazon Vouchers.

What does it cover?

PRES concentrates on your course and includes:

  • Supervision
  • Resources
  • research culture
  • progress and assessment
  • responsibilities
  • support
  • research skills and professional development
  • opportunities
  • overall experience
  • motivations
  • Covid-19 pandemic

Within these categories, you are asked to agree or disagree with statements, or indicate how often a learning style or behaviour is encouraged. You are encouraged to take an overview of your experience of the whole course and take into account the balance of what constitutes a ‘better’ and ‘worse’ experience. 

Is it anonymous?

Your survey resonse is confidential to the Doctoral College and only anonymous aggregate data will be supplied to Faculties so no-one will be able to identify you from any results. The survey asks that any comments you make should not identify yourself or any specific members of staff.

Before you start the survey, please read the PRES Privacy Notice which tells you how any personal data you submit with your response to this survey will be utilised and protected, and the rights you have in relation to it.

What happens to the results?

Your feedback is important.  Over one hundred universities and colleges take part in PRES. This means we can compare your experience against similar postgraduates at other institutions to see if we are supporting your learning as we should. We use the findings to improve our courses and the experience for future students. 

How will I see the results?

The results of institutions aggregated together are published by Advance HE. Institutions own their results and can decide whether to make them public. Detailed results will be made available to Faculties by the Doctoral College.

National results

The AdvanceHE PRES 2021 Report and PRES 2021 Key Findings present data from the 2021 survey, exploring the PGR journey, their personal outlook and presenting recommendaitons and implications for enhancing the PGR experience.

Archive Results:

More information?

For more information please contact Jill Morgan, Research Policy Unit by email: