Postgraduate students at the University of Portsmouth have one of the best research experiences in the country, according to the annual national Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES).

Dr Darren Van Laar, Director of the Graduate School at the University of Portsmouth said: “This is the first time, we have been allowed to show how our university compares to others and we are extremely proud to say we are in the top 25 per cent of universities overall and our students are significantly more satisfied overall than the sector average.”The PRES results showed that 86 per cent of Portsmouth postgraduate research students agreed or strongly agreed that they were satisfied with their research degree experience – which is four per cent higher than the national average. Portsmouth also had significantly higher performance compared to the whole UK higher education sector in four of the seven core areas.

The PRES survey and findings are led by the Higher Education Academy (HEA), and are based on over 57,000 PhD and other postgraduate research students from more than 100 UK universities. It assesses the satisfaction of students across a number of factors including their supervision, how they are progressing on their degrees, their professional development and even their experience of ‘research culture’.

The PRES survey asks students about their experience across seven core areas – supervision; resources, research culture, progress and assessment, responsibilities, research skills, professional development – as well as providing an overall satisfaction score.

Responding to the results, Dr Van Laar said: “We are especially pleased that our result was based on a response rate of over 65 per cent of our research students, which shows that our exceptional performance is university wide.”

Professor Pal Ahluwalia, Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation, said: “These results, combined with the recent Teaching and Excellence Gold rating, demonstrate that we have excellence embedded in our teaching all the way from undergraduate through to research programmes.  Our research students are really the engine of research within any university and so it is essential to us that they are happy and well looked after.”

If you want to find out more about how you can register for a research degree at the University of Portsmouth, contact the Graduate School at