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Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES)

The Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) provides robust, benchmark data from a large number of institutions across the UK and beyond to drive enhancement of the Postgraduate Research Experience.

No matter where your higher education institution is located in the world, this survey can benefit your institution with:

  • valuable data to inform enhancements to the experience of postgraduate researchers
  • confidential benchmarking against other institutions
  • the addition of tailored questions

In 2016 we conducted a sector-wide consultation on possible changes to the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey. The consultation covered topics such as the relevance of the survey for Doctoral Training Partnerships, Professional Doctorates and the publication of results. More information on the results of the consultation for PRES 2017 and beyond can be found here.

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Why participate in PRES?

Provides national, institutional and subject/discipline benchmarking 

Data from the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) allows you to compare your institution’s postgraduate provision against others in the sector at a national, institution and discipline level. This information can be used to identify areas of strength, as well as to address how teaching may be changed to improve student outcomes and the appeal of programmes to prospective students.

We have designed and tested the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) in conjunction with experts from across the higher education sector.

PRES allows you to:

  • gain valuable data to inform enhancements to the experience of postgraduate researchers
  • benchmark your provision against others, while your results remain confidential
  • tailor your survey by adding your own questions

Final Reports

These reports present the sector findings of the PRES, aggregating results from all participating institutions – providing the most comprehensive picture of the postgraduate taught experience.

The information in PRES reports can be used to provide an indication of where national priorities for enhancing learning and teaching may lie. The reports also analyse results by discipline and student group, suggesting where support may need to be targeted and helping higher education institutions to interpret their own results.

Speak to us if you’d like assistance in interpreting them and using them to your advantage.  

These final reports are rich in useful insights and you can download them here.



University of Glasgow

PRES allows us to identify what students are satisfied with, and what areas need to be developed, which is really important in helping engage with the Postgraduate community.

Stef Black, Postgraduate Development Officer, Students’ Representative Council, University of Glasgow


Without PRES I would not have had the evidence base to argue for the deployment of additional resources for PGR workspace. These data, set within the context of excellent levels of satisfaction on most other criteria, were a powerful tool to mobilise awareness, support and resources.

Professor Vaughan Robinson, Director of the Graduate School, King's College London

Other surveys

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Working with the Insights team

Advance HE’s Insights team is made up of experienced mixed-method researchers and experts in implementing surveys and other techniques for data collection. Our expert team can provide, qualitative, quantitative or mixed-methods offers, underpinned by sector-wide datasets from our student surveys and our sector leading higher education statistical reports. Whether you’re a sector agency, institute, university or another organisation with a higher education offer we will work with you to help higher education be the best that it can be. 

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Ethnicity and the Postgraduate Student Experience Report

Advance HE’s Postgraduate Research and Postgraduate Taught Experience surveys provide some of the largest survey-based datasets in the sector. This report provides deeper analysis of how the Postgraduate Research (PGR) and Postgraduate Taught (PGT) experiences may differ among students of different ethnicities. 

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cover of ethnicity and the postgraduate experience report