Student support and facilities (including personal allowances and study space)

The aim of the College is to provide research students with well-rounded academic and career-based training that supports:

  • Full research training and support with thesis writing,
  • An opportunity to present a paper at a major conference in your area of research, with possible publication of papers in proceedings,
  • Opportunities to gain lecturing experience

Personal research allowance

Full- and part-time research students (not continuation status or interrupted students) have access to a personal research allowance each academic year. This is £200 per annum for full-time students and £100 for part-time students. Please note that this allowance is for use per academic year and cannot be carried over to the next period

You are permitted to use your research allowance for expenses such as attending conferences, travel to libraries and other archives, conference registration fees, library fees or other archive access, photocopying, accommodation and subsistence (within standard limits). 

Please note however that you are not permitted to reclaim the costs of equipment or goods used as research or teaching resources, including IT equipment and software, books and stationery; nor are you permitted to claim for travel to and from the University if you are based outside Exeter and are visiting for supervisions, research seminars or any other activity normally required of our research students. 

Students studying at the Penryn Campus, however, may claim for travel expenses incurred in travelling to the Streatham Campus in order to attend seminars held as part of the College Research Training programme. These expenses will be funded from a separate budget and will not be taken from your personal research allowance. 

To access your personal research allowance you must first incur the expense and then submit a claim to the PGR Support Team for reimbursement. Expense claims should be fully supported by itemised receipts; failure to provide full receipts will result in the claim being reduced accordingly. Credit or debit card receipts alone are not acceptable, nor are scans or photocopies of receipts. If you have not been able to retain your ticket (e.g. rail tickets retained at station barriers), then an email copy of your confirmation of payment will be accepted as a proof of purchase. 

Expense claim forms can be obtained from the PGR Support Team and should be submitted to the PGR Support Team promptly – if possible within one month of incurring the expense – in signed hardcopy and with all original receipts.Claims can be made as soon as expenditure has been incurred. 

Claims must be received and processed within 3 months of the activity taking place; however at year end, 31st July, claims must be received before August 5th to be included in the previous financial year. Claims received after this date will not be paid. Claims will be allocated to the personal research allowance in the financial year that the activity takes place. The financial year 2017/18 runs from 1st August 2017-July 31st 2018. 

Please note that allowances cannot be carried forward into the next financial year. 

Please note that this allowance is not available to students on continuation status or interruption, or who have submitted their thesis for examination.

Inter-library loans

The College of Humanities provides each research student with an allowance of 20 free interlibrary loans per year for full-time students and 10 free interlibrary loans per year for part-time students (1 August to 31 July).  

We are aware however that some students will have need for a greater number of interlibrary loans and we will consider applications for an increase to this allowance on a case by case basis. 

If you have used your full allowance and would like to apply for an increase to this allowance please email the PGR Support Teaml ( initially, explaining the reasons for your request and giving details of the number of extra loans you will require.  You will also need to ask your first supervisor to email the Humanities Graduate School to support your request. Please note that applications for an increase to your allowance cannot be considered without a supporting statement from your first supervisor. 

Interlibrary loans are requested online on the Forum Library’s website and the Library will have details of the number of interlibrary loans you have in your allowance. 

Students registered at the Penryn campus can request Inter-Library Loans from the Help Desk at Penryn or Woodlane libraries. Details about how to make a request can be found here

Please note that this allowance is not available to students on continuation status or interruption, or who have submitted their thesis for examination.


The College of Humanities provides free printing, photocopying and scanning for all postgraduate research students on any of the student print stations across the University. 

While this will be free at source please be aware that the College will be charged for your printing, photocopying and scanning and we therefore expect you to be sensible with your use of these facilities, for both economic and environmental reasons. Usage will be monitored and if your printing is deemed to be excessive then you may be asked to cover some of these costs.

For details of services please consult the library website

The Forum Library offers a range of services for research postgraduates. These include help with finding resources for your literature review, details of current awareness services, help with managing your references, and a personalised desk-side training service. 

The library has an ELE module available that will help you get started in your research and use of the library, which can be accessed at There is also a team of liaison librarians who can provide help with more in depth enquiries. Further information and contact details can be found via the Library’s Subject Guides web pages. 

Collections relevant to Humanities research students are held in the Forum Library and the Research Commons (Old Library) on the Streatham Campus and at the Learning Resource Centre on the Penryn Campus. Most of the electronic holdings of these libraries can also be accessed remotely online. More information about electronic resources can be found by following the link to the Electronic Library from the Library home page

Collections relevant to Humanities research students are held in the Forum Library and the Research Commons (Old Library) on the Streatham Campus, and at the Learning Resource Centre on the Penryn Campus. Many of the electronic holdings of these libraries can also be accessed remotely via the web. More information about electronic resources can be found on the Library website.

The College has a limited amount of desks available for postgraduate research students. Designated desks are only available to full-time, campus based students who do not have access to a desk in their discipline. Desks will be allocated first to students funded through the AHRC DTP who have Exeter as their lead institution, then to Year 3 and on continuation status, then to students in year 2 and then to students in year 1. If you do not require access to a desk full-time, please refer to section 14.5 for information on booking a desk for short-term usage. 

For students studying in departments based in the Amory building, these facilities are in room 402. 

If you wish to apply for a designated desk, then you will need to contact the Humanities Graduate School Office, stating that you will use the desk on a full-time basis. 

For students studying in departments based in the Queen’s Building, there are PGR study carrels in Room C on the ground floor and the postgraduate study room on the first floor. If you wish to apply for a designated carrel, then you need to email the Humanities Graduate School Office, stating that you will use the desk on a full-time basis.

Any student wishing to share their desk with another PGR student on a voluntary basis must inform the PGR SUpport Team, and the person with whom they wish to share should also complete an application for a desk. If confirmed, both students will be granted access to the study room in the usual way. Students sharing desks in this way should make their own arrangements for use of the desk and locker

Students are expected to vacate their desk after submitting their thesis and use the bookable desks in the Research Commons if they are subsequently required to make corrections to their thesis. Once a student has submitted their thesis they will be given two weeks’ notice to vacate their desk. 

Facilities for students are also available in Laver (Archaeology) and in Thornlea (Drama). In Cornwall, facilities are available within each department. Students should contact their Department to arrange access to these facilities. 

Postgraduate research students are welcome to use the Senior Common Rooms on the fourth floor of the Amory Building or on the ground floor of the West Wing of Queen’s Building. There is also a dedicated Postgraduate Common Room on the first floor of the East Wing and a cafe area on the ground floor in Queen’s Building. In Cornwall, students can use facilities within their discipline.

The Research Commons is based in the Old Library on Streatham Campus. It houses a number of special collections and the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum.  There is also a large reading room with bookable study desks, and lockers, multi-media seminar room, cafe-style break out space and outdoor terrace. 

These are large desks with associated lockers, which can be booked by Postgraduate Research Students who do not need to use a desk full-time. The desks are in the Main Reading Room of Research Commons (this is a silent study area). They are available during Research Commons opening hours. Check here for the current opening hours. 

Desks can be booked inadvance at: A desk can be booked for 1 day or for up to 5 consecutive days. You should collect your locker key from the Research Commons Reception Desk by 10.00am (weekdays) or 11.00am (weekends). If arriving after these times, please confirm that you still need the desk by phoning or emailing Research Commons. 

If you have any questions about these desks please contact library staff at the Research Commons Reception Desk (01392 724052) or email

It is of vital importance that you have a good level of English in order to complete your studies. The University only requires a minimum level of English for admittance, and it is often important that non-native speakers continue to improve their English language skills while doing their research. INTO offers a range of in-sessional courses and testing at various levels. You are eligible to receive a number of hours of tuition as part of your registration as a research student, but may have to pay for any further training. For postgraduate research students INTO offer writing workshops and one-to-one tutorial support, please see:

It is a requirement of the University that your thesis is written to a good standard of English. The University does not normally accept theses in any other language. Supervisors are not expected to make major corrections to a student's written work; it is the responsibility of students to make sure that work is presented in good English. Students whose first language is not English are encouraged to have their work proofread or copy edited in order to correct the English, though not to have it corrected for ideas or academic content. INTO maintains a register of approved Academic Copy Editors if you need to find one. Any arrangements to employ and pay a copy editor are solely the responsibility of the student. 

If you need help with academic writing in general then you can book an appointment with one of the Royal Literary Fund Fellows. The Fellows are available by office appointment to help all members of the University – undergraduates and postgraduates alike – with queries and problems relating to the practical aspects of writing.

The College attracts a range of students from across the UK and the rest of the world and is keen to facilitate further diversity. It believes that studying with a wide range of people of differing backgrounds, beliefs, aptitudes and life experiences is an essential context for learning. The College wishes to accommodate the complex set of needs that this diversity brings even where this presents a challenge to established teaching practice. The College is aware that there are issues associated with disability, gender, religion, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, and class and a number of other personal and social characteristics, all of which may affect students' integration into the College community and their ability to achieve their full academic potential. In order to achieve its aspirations the College needs students to act in a positive manner with respect to our diversity and for students to let us know through their supervisors, mentors or their student representatives when they feel that there may be problems. Students may formally bring any equality or diversity concerns they may have to the attention of the College PGR Liaison Forum.

The College follows the University's policies on help for students with disabilities and health and safety issues. In addition the University also offers a wide range of support services for students.

Help for Students with Disability or Injury

The University's policies and support for people with disabilities can be found on the AccessAbility website. Students who feel that they require special assistance should be assessed by the Exeter Access Centre and may be eligible for help for their specific need. If you have a disability or a debilitating illness, it is in your interest to tell your supervisor/PGR Pastoral Tutor. These people can provide advice and help you so that you are not disadvantaged and do not experience unreasonable difficulties. 

Phone: + 44 (0) 1392 723880


AccessAbility is located on the first floor of the Student Services Centre of the University of Exeter Forum on the Streatham Campus. 

Penryn Campus-specific information can be found here

Mental Health Policy

Education and work are key factors in mental health – both as a contributory cause to mental health problems but also as an important part of promoting a person’s sense of well-being, identity and self-worth. It is vital that all of us consider people with mental health needs, in order to provide an effective and timely response and to enable students to continue to participate in all aspects of student life. The University’s approach to mental health issues is set out on the Wellbeing website. Common sense advice as well as details of local medical facilities (including out of hours help and advice) and local organisations are available on this site. The College will endeavour to accommodate the needs of those with a mental illness. Alerting the College to any difficulties may be done via the medical or counselling services or where your academic work is being affected through a confidential discussion with your supervisors or Pastoral Tutor.

Health and Safety

The University’s policy on health and safety can be found on the Human Resources website.

University Support Services

Details of the University’s support services (including information on counselling services, INTO, the Foreign Language Centre, study skills services, chaplaincy, the Students’ Guild Advice Unit, support for international students, careers) can be found on the University’s Student Services website.

Student Health Centre

You should register with a doctor as soon as you arrive at the University – at the University Health Centre at Reed Mews on the Streatham campus, at the St. Luke's Health Centre, or with a local practice. 

Penryn Campus students are strongly recommended to register with the Penryn Medical Practice, Saracen Way, Penryn (Tel: 01326 372502). 

Lists of health centres and NHS dentists are available from the Student Advice Centres based on the Streatham and Penryn Campuses.

International Student Support

The University has an International Student Support website which offers advice to new international students. Details regarding International Student Support on the Penryn Campus can be found here

Whether you are coming to the UK for the first time for a short period or you have visited before, the International Student Support Office can help you with your planning. You may have concerns about adjusting to a new learning environment and/or different study techniques. The Student Engagement and Skills team offers support with academic skills development through lectures, workshops and peer support sessions and online skills.

The College of Humanities is committed to delivering a high quality service and encourages students to tell us when there is cause for concern and a case for improvement. If problems do arise we encourage you to express them and we will respond to them. 

  • In the first instance you should talk to your supervisors, unless the problem involves them or you feel dissatisfied with their response.
  • Contact your PGR Pastoral Tutor. It is part of their role to ensure that you are happy with your studies and supervision. You can do this in confidence. It is part of the pastoral tutor’s role to act as your advocate if they feel you have good cause for complaint.
  • Talk to your discipline’s DPGR. If you feel that you would benefit from a change of supervisor or PGR Pastoral Tutor, you should address this request to your DPGR. But please note that changes will only be made if there is good cause.
  • Contact the PGR Support Team (
  • If you feel that thePGR Support team as a whole has failed to respond properly to you, please contact the College Director of Postgraduate Research, Professor Gert Vonhoff, or the Associate Dean for Research and Knowledge Transfer, Professor James Clark.
  • You might also speak to a student representative on the PGR Liaison Forum, who can bring your concerns before that committee. 

The University also has academic appeals and complaints procedures if you feel that you cannot get a satisfactory response from within the College. 

Separate procedures apply depending on whether you are appealing against an academic decision or making a complaint: 

If you do not have access to the web, you can obtain paper copies of any of these procedures from the Student Advice Unit in the Guild of Students, or the University’s Postgraduate Administration Office, Room 106, The Old Library.