How to be an Effective Supervisor

Best practice in research student supervision

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May 1, 2009


Paperback, 200 pages

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0335222951 / 9780335222957


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Main description

This timely new book is based on the precepts of the Quality Assurance Agency's recent Code of Practice for the management of Postgraduate Research Programmes. It presents practical information on the QAA Code of Practice, to serve both as a ready reference source for supervisors and as a manual for research supervisor training.

Examples of problems and suggested solutions, reflecting both supervisor and student perspectives, guide supervisors through issues they may face. There are also recommendations for further reading. Key areas the book explores include:

  • Selection and admission of students
  • Supervision arrangements
  • Training in research and generic skills
  • Monitoring and review arrangements
  • Feedback
  • Examination practice
  • Complaints and appeals procedures
How to be an Effective Supervisor is essential reading for all postgraduate research supervisors including those involved in supervising Professional Doctorates and Masters degrees, plus Graduate Deans and Associate Deans, together with programme managers and postgraduate administrative staff. Case studies also make this a key text for supervisor development programmes.

Table of contents


Institutional environment
Selection and admission of students
Supervision arrangements
Monitoring and review arrangements
Induction and training in research and generic skills
Feedback mechanisms
Good examination practice
Complaints and appeals procedures
Features of other research degrees
Future directions and conclusions

Appendix 1: Training and Accreditation Programme for Postgraduate Supervisors (TAPPS) as a National Accreditation Scheme/Bologna Process/EU Charter
Appendix 2: Case studies for supervisor development programmes
Appendix 3: Precepts and explanations

Author comments

Adrian Eley is Senior Lecturer in Medical Microbiology and a former Sub-Dean in Postgraduate Affairs at the University of Sheffield, UK. He is a former Professor of Bacteriology at the United Arab Emirates University and has successfully supervised postgraduate research students since 1987. He is co-author, with Roy Jennings of Effective Postgraduate Supervision, published by Open University Press.

Rowena Murray is Associate Dean (Research) in the Educational and Professional Studies Department, University of Strathclyde, UK. She has written a number of other books for Open University Press including How to Write a Thesis, Writing for Academic Journals, The Handbook of Academic Writing (with Sarah Moore) and is editor of The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.


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