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Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES)

Launched in 2007, the HEA's biennial Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) is the only sector-wide survey to gather insight from postgraduate research students about their learning and supervision experience.

PRES enables your organisation to gather information about the experience of any research student on a doctoral or research Master’s course.

Consultation on PRES 2017 and beyond

Following feedback from the sector, and discussion with the Surveys Steering Group, we are carrying out a consultation on possible changes to PRES. Topics include the relevance for Doctoral Training Partnerships, Professional Doctorates, and the publication of results. Feedback on any aspect of PRES is also welcome. You can see the results to 18 April in the PRES Consultation webinar slides.

The consultation is open until the end of May. To respond, or download the consultation document, please follow this link.

PRES 2015 is now closed. If you would like to receive general information about PRES you can email:

Read the PRES 2015: the research student journey report here.

To find out more about the survey you can browse the survey web pages here or download the PRES FAQs.

The survey focuses on students’ experiences of:

  • supervision
  • resources
  • research community
  • progress and assessment
  • skills and professional development

It also considers students’ motivations for taking their programme.

We developed PRES in consultation with the sector and robustly tested the survey across many disciplines, in several institutions and students to ensure it produces valid results.

Find out more about why you should participate in PRES

Benchmarking performance

PRES results can be used to benchmark your institution’s postgraduate provision against others in the sector. Results can be broken down by discipline, gender, mode of study and home/EU/international domiciles, helping you target enhancement where it is most needed.

In the UK, the results are used to inform sector bodies and policy makers about the experience students can expect across the country. The survey is also available internationally and international benchmarks will be provided as participation increases.

Growing numbers

The number of participating organisations and students has grown with every survey since PRES was launched in 2007. In 2015, 53,348 students responded from 123 institutions.

The list of participating institutions for PRES 2015 can be found here.

PRES final reports

Useful resources

- Engagement for enhancement

- Surveys of student engagement in the UK

- Using PRES

- Lessons from PRES


- PRES Consultation webinar slides