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Aston's Research Programmes are offered through the Schools

Are you thinking of doctoral research?

  • A Vitae resource to help you decide whether a doctorate is for you. 

The UK doctorate: a guide for current and prospective doctoral candidates

  • A Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and National Union of Students (NUS) publication.

The Graduate School's main objective is to provide a supportive environment for all research students across the University, whatever their mode of study and wherever they are located, with a view to widening and enriching their experience during their research studies.The Graduate School is also responsible for maintaining the quality of research degree programmes and the development of training in core research and transferable skills, thus enabling all research students studying for an Aston degree to realise their full potential, whichever pathway they choose.

Subject-specific postgraduate training and development 

Your School is the main centre for the delivery of subject-specific postgraduate training and development. Complementing this, the Graduate School provides a focus for the sharing of ideas and best practice between the Schools.  The Graduate School supports and promotes cross-institutional work and studies and, together with the Aston Postgraduate Research Society (APRS), which is sponsored by Schools, promotes both academic and social events.  These will provide many research students with the opportunity to interact with other research students across the academic disciplines.

Your Journey

There is no doubt that the journey from enrolment to graduation will be a challenging one, but it should also be an enjoyable one. Both the Graduate School team and your School are here to give you full support and advice whenever you need it. 

Information you will need during your study is contained in the Student Handbook or can be found in these Graduate School webpages which contain links to Support, Regulations, Training & Development and other opportunities which you may wish to embark upon. 

During your studies, you will also be supported by a Graduate Development Team, with experts in different areas (for example, Library Services, Career Development,
Research & Knowledge Exchange) who collectively provide a range of training and development opportunities for research students and research staff.  Engagement in these opportunities provides an excellent forum for the exchange of ideas and information across discipline boundaries, and is an important part of your research development.

Graduate School Rooms

The Graduate School Rooms are located on the sixth floor of the Main Building and include a Postgraduate Student Common Room (MB652C), a place for you to discuss, work or simply relax.    

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Your School will provide a range of training and development opportunities.  In addition, the University offers a wide range of other opportunities delivered by a number of central services which have specific expertise and experience in the areas that they cover. 

These Departments coordinate their activities through a Graduate Development Team which comprises:

The training courses that these Departments offer cover a broad range of generic skills that support your ability to succeed on your programme and skills that will prepare you for future employment.  The course provision is mapped against the national Vitae Researcher Development Statement and in broad terms the courses cover:

  • Research Methods
  • Research Skills
  • Personal Skills and Effectiveness
  • Professional and Career Development Skills
  • Working with Others
  • Teaching
  • Communication Skills
  • Business Skills

Access to these courses is an inclusive part of your learning experience at Aston, and we encourage you to talk to your Supervisor about which courses you should do and how you can schedule them over your period of research. 

In addition to the courses, each Department in the Graduate Development Team offers other opportunities that are more personalised and often one-to-one. 

There are also 'Vitae' resources available to research students and staff.

There is an active postgraduate community at Aston and plenty of opportunity to get involved: 

International students

The International Student Support Unit provides help and advice to students from overseas, both before you join Aston and once you've arrived. The team organise social events, but can also give advice on practical issues, such as opening a bank account and visa applications. There are also several international student societies.

Student societies

There are many societies at Aston and a full list is available on the Students' Union societies page. There are several faith societies and the Chaplaincy is a welcoming place for all students of any faith or background. 

Students' Union

As an Aston student you're also a member of the Students' Union, which gives you access to a range of benefits, support, entertainment and services. 

Committee Representation

There is a student member on each School Research Committee and these students usually also sit on the University's Graduate School Management Committee, which has a student member from each School.  Elections to these committees are notified to students by the School Research Office.  For further information, contact staff in the School Research Office or current student members:

  • to be elected, Engineering & Applied Science 
  • Luke John Davies, Languages & Social Sciences - email Luke John 
  • to be elected, Aston Business School 
  • Hoor Ayub, Life & Health Sciences  - email Hoor  

Volunteering opportunities

Help out at Aston and in the local community:

Your student handbook contains essential information you will need throughout your studies, including assessment and progression requirements. To access the handbooks please login.

PRES is a biennial survey of the research student experience

  • To access Supervisor Handbooks and other useful information for Supervisors, please login.

Download for more information on our Management Committee:

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The Graduate School Management Committee considers and makes recommendations concerning the regulation, assurance and enhancement of the quality and standards of research degree programmes, including the supervision, training and examination of postgraduate research students.

Graduate School Management Committee Terms of Reference  

Membership 2017/18

 Role Member
Chair Professor Gertrud Reershemius, Dean of Graduate School   

Academic Representative from each School

Representative of professional doctorate programmes           

Dr Ann Davis, Aston Business School 
Professor Tim Meese, Life & Health Sciences and Aston Medical School  
Dr Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik, Languages & Social Sciences    
Dr Sotos Generalis, Engineering & Applied Science  

Dr Amy Sheppard, Life and Health Sciences


Research Student Representatives

To be elected, Aston Business School 

Hoor Ayub, Life & Health Sciences                

To be elected, Engineering & Applied Science 

Luke John Davies, Languages & Social Sciences 

President of Aston Postgraduate Research Society (APRS) Luke John Davies, Languages & Social Sciences 

Professional Development Advisor (Research) Dr Jeanette Lilley

Careers Consultant
Director of Research Strategy and Impact
Member of Centre for English Language and Communication at Aston (CELCA)
Member of Centre for Learning Innovation and Professional Practice (CLIPP)
Member of Library Services
Iwan Griffiths
Sally Puzey

Ania Bailey

Dr Julian Lamb
Angela Brady

Chair of Research Administration Forum Ray Timmins, Engineering & Applied Science 

Secretary Alison Birch, Student and Academic Services

Dean of Aston University Graduate School

  • Professor Gertrud Reershemius Contact via Alison Birch, Student and Academic Services

Graduate Development Team

For advice and support on research student training and development:

  • Jeanette Lilley           Professional Development Advisor (Research), Research and Knowledge Exchange
    Telephone:                  0121 204 4609 
  • Ellen Pope                 Head of the Learning Development Centre
    Telephone:                  0121 204 3311
  • Sally Puzey                Director of Research Strategy and Impact, Research and Knowledge Exchange
    Telephone:                  0121 204 4243
  • Angela Brady             Assistant Director, Library & Information Services
    Telephone:                   0121 204 4505

Student and Academic Services

For advice on regulatory matters relating to doctoral programmes (PhD, MPhil, Professional Doctorates)

  • Alison Birch               Student and Academic Services, Secretary to Graduate School Management Committee     Telephone:                   0121 204 4653


For Advice on Research Ethics:

  • John Walter                 Director of Governance, Secretary to Senate and Council
    Telephone:                    0121 204 4869

IT support for research

  • Trevor Bayliss             Network Services Manager - ISA
    Telephone:                    0121 204 4430
  • Elizabeth Bridges          Research Degrees Programme (RDP) Manager 
    Telephone:                       0121 204 4974
  • Jeanette Ikuomola         Research Degrees Officer 
    Telephone:                       0121 204 3219 
  • Ranjit Judge                   Research Degrees Administrator
    Telephone:                       0121 204 3354 
  • Dr Nathaniel Golden      Research and Knowledge Exchange (RKE)
    Telephone:                       0121 204 4565 
  • Stephen Baker              Postgraduate Admissions Officer
    Telephone:                       0121 204 5246 
  • Raymond Timmins       Research Administration Officer
    Telephone:                        0121 204 5019 
  • Sandra Mosley               Research Student Administrator - Student Support
    Telephone:                        0121 204 3513 
  • Helen Yard                      Academic Support Administrator - Team Leader
    Telephone:                        0121 204 3547 
  • Prof David Webb           Associate Dean for Research
    Telephone:                        0121 204 3541 
  • Dr Sotos Generalis       Director of Research Degree Programmes                                                                   Telephone:                       0121 204 3639                                      
  • Dan Thomson                 Research Manager, School of Languages and Social Sciences
    Telephone:                        0121 204 3972
  • Dr Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik  Director of Research Degree Programmes
    Telephone:                        0121 204 5168
  • Dr Anton Popov              Chair of the School Research Ethics Committee                                                  
    Telephone:                        0121 204 4990 
  • Dr Nathaniel Golden       Research and Knowledge Exchange (RKE)       
    Telephone:                        0121 204 4565 
  • Gill Pilfold                        Senior Research Administrator 
    Telephone:                        0121 204 3880 
  • Julie Taylor                      Research Admissions Administrator
  • Caroline Brocklebank     Research Administrator (Student Support)          
  • Dr Karen Woodhall          Research and Knowledge Exchange (RKE) 
  • Professor Leon Davies   Chair of the School Research Ethics Committee  
Midland Graduate School