Show/hide main menu

PhD Handbook

Getting started

Despite the great wealth of experience gained through your taught masters degree, you will experience considerable changes as you become a postgraduate researcher and transition to a research degree.

As a research student, you will receive the guidance of knowledgeable senior colleagues (your supervisors and others in your research group and the whole research field) who will be able to advise you on where to start and on a line of enquiry which in their experience is likely to lead to a sustainable project. 

Some lines of research can prove to be too difficult, some too trivial, but most raise many interesting problems which were barely anticipated at the start and provide plenty of scope for development. As you progress and with the appropriate effort on your part, you should gain enough experience to be able to suggest your own ideas to your supervisor and perhaps develop the project along your own lines. 


Although you are allowed some flexibility, you are expected to attend University regularly and make use of your desk and PC. If you are absent for more than one or two days, due to illness or because you are travelling to a conference or Summer School then you should always inform your supervisor.

You must maintain regular contact with your supervisor and make satisfactory progress, as judged by your supervisors, the Post Graduate Tutor and the Head of Department.

Desks will be allocated to all full time research students in a PhD office of your assigned department.

Computer equipment is usually supplied by the Department. Research students are contacted about their IT needs at the beginning of their studies.


Under EPSRC regulations, research students may take up to eight weeks holiday in each year (pro-rata for shorter periods), inclusive of public holidays. 

Students receiving industrial sponsorship are expected to bear in mind their obligations to the sponsor in planning their leave.

Holiday dates must be agreed with the supervisors.

Useful Links


Sitemap Site help Terms and conditions  Privacy policy  Accessibility  Modern slavery statement  Contact us

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454