Section 3. Induction

3.1 Responsibility for induction

The University’s Education Committee is responsible for the maintenance of a timetable for Week 0 of Michaelmas Term determining the days on which departments and colleges shall provide an induction programme for graduate students. The current timetable is as follows:

 9am - 1pm1pm - 5pm5pm onwards
Monday Dept/Fac Dept/Fac College
Tuesday Dept/Fac Dept/Fac Dept/Fac
Wednesday College College College
Thursday College Dept/Fac (until 6pm) College
Friday Dept/Fac* College College

*from MT14

It is the responsibility of the responsible board to provide a programme of induction for its students, which will sit alongside the induction provided to students by their colleges. During Week 0 of Michaelmas Term this programme must be delivered in accordance with the agreed timetable with colleges, but the programme may extend beyond Week 0 over the course of the first term.

The programme of induction should enable students to begin their studies with an understanding of the academic and social environment within which they will be working and must include (but is not confined to) all essential aspects of induction as listed in subsection 3.2. The board is responsible for determining who delivers each element of induction, e.g. the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), research group leader, or the individual supervisor. Responsible boards should ensure that the induction programme takes into account the diverse backgrounds of a typical student cohort, and the multiple adjustments that students are making at this time, especially those who have recently arrived from overseas.

3.2 Content of induction

Responsible boards should ensure that the programme of induction includes the following:

  1. facilities available for students within the department or faculty;
  2. relevant health and safety practices within the group and department or faculty;
  3. introduction to staff and their roles and an opportunity to meet socially and informally with other students and staff in the department, especially the DGS;
  4. orientation to the degree programme i.e. transfer of status, methods of assessment and examination, regulations and other requirements, as well as general processes such as annual registration;
  5. supervision arrangements, including establishing appropriate working patterns, the minimum frequency of supervision meetings and the purpose of such meetings, evaluation, monitoring and reporting procedures;
  6. wider academic opportunities (seminars, journal clubs, research networks) including opportunities for meeting other research students and staff and opportunities to present research to peers;
  7. teaching opportunities (where appropriate);
  8. skills training available within and outside the subject (see Section 6 of this policy);
  9. student welfare (in the departmental or faculty context);
  10. academic expectations of students and responsibilities of students (see Section 5 of this policy);
  11. typical challenges which may face the research student and sources of support and guidance including support for developing academic skills for research;
  12. integrity in research, intellectual property rights, and guidance on good academic practice and the avoidance of plagiarism;
  13. ethical research review processes (where appropriate);
  14. English language provision available via the Language Centre (where appropriate);
  15. how to raise concerns and/or make a complaint.

Examples of good practice in graduate induction may be found at Annex A.

3.3 Disabled students

Where students are admitted who have disclosed a disability, the responsible board should ensure that any special requirements to support the student on course are understood, put in place and communicated as necessary. The board should discuss these requirements with the student and take advice from the Disability Advisory Service.

Additionally, induction is a good opportunity to inform students who have not yet disclosed a disability that it is in their own interests to do so for their better support.