Imperial College London

Research postgraduate students reveal priorities in 2019 Experience Survey


Postgraduate student studying

Imperial scores highly for resources and culture, as national survey of research postgraduates places the College in the top tier of universities.

The Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) is organised every two years by AdvanceHEinviting students to rate the quality of their experience. A similar survey is carried out for taught postgraduates on alternating years, with the next being carried out in 2020.

Compare and contrast

The experience of research postgraduate students at the College was benchmarked across three categories: Russell Group universities, London universities, and global universities.

Across all three categories the College scored above the benchmark, with 82% overall satisfaction based on 1936 responses.

Among the Russell Group, Imperial research postgraduates were positive that they had suitable working space, with 85% agreeing, 6% above the benchmark. However only 85% of respondents agreed that they had regular contact with their supervisor, 4% below the benchmark.

Comparing the College to other London universities, respondents scored their working space 16% above the benchmark.

Within a global context Imperial's research postgraduate community placed the College in the top 50% of universities, with particularly strong scores for  available resources (4th) and research culture (6th) compared to the other 103 participating universities.

Looking to the future

Professor Sue Gibson

Professor Sue Gibson (left), Director of the Graduate School, said: “This year’s Postgraduate Research Experience Survey results show good levels of satisfaction among our community. The College has higher overall satisfaction rates compared to global, Russell Group and London competitors.

“I’m pleased that research postgraduates are particularly satisfied with the resources available at the College, as well as feeling that they have suitable working space and are operating within a welcoming research culture. However, we’re aware there continues to be room for improvement regarding the quality of supervision that students feel they receive.

"Departments and research groups will be looking at these results carefully and taking forward action plans in the months to come.”


Murray MacKay

Murray MacKay
Communications and Public Affairs


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