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2. Find a supervisor

03 November 2023

Find a supervisor you can work closely with, who shares your area of interest.


Find a supervisor

When you undertake a research-based qualification, it is important not only that you work in an area of interest to you, but also that you identify and meet your supervisor prior to any commitment to the qualification.

Your supervisor is an individual who will work closely with you for the period of your research (three to four years), so it is worthwhile finding out if you will feel comfortable working with them.


Identify supervisors who share your research interests

The research interests of UC’s academic staff are listed on the web pages of the relevant academic programmes and departments. You can also search the UC Research Profiles for current research projects at UC.

Senior supervisors are usually continuing academic staff and must have an appropriate doctorial qualification or research experience to support you.

A good place to start the search for a potential supervisor is by looking at the relevant subjects you wish to study.

You can also use the Graduate School Search to find a supervisor or project. 


Find out about your potential supervisor's expectations

It is important to clarify what your potential supervisors expectations are. What workload are they expecting from you? What important milestones do they expect you to be meeting and how do they expect the supervisor-student relationship to work? A clear understanding on both sides at the start of the relationship can help it work more smoothly, rather than unclear expectations which have a possibility for someone to be let down.


Consider what you need from a supervisor

Once you have gathered some of the information above, it is important that you consider what is important and necessary to you. Do you want to be left to work primarily independently, or do you require someone who will meet with you regularly to keep you on track? Think about how you like to be managed.


Meet with your proposed supervisor

It is important to get a sense of how well you and your proposed supervisor will be able to work together. The supervisory relationship is an important determinant of a successful and enjoyable research experience, it is important that both parties feel they will be able to have a productive relationship. It is therefore recommended that you meet with your proposed supervisor - either in person or virtually, if at all possible.

If there are any concerns about the ability to work together, these should be addressed before you start your research or consider alternative supervisory arrangements.


Find out what their current students say about them

Current students are a great benchmark to get some real information about your potential supervisor. Make a point of meeting with them if possible.


Get confirmation from your supervisor

Once you've found a supervisor you will need to get written confirmation from them that they are willing to supervise your research and are available to supervise you. 

This evidence of supervision must be included in your application in myUC for your application to be assessed. 

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