Support for Research Students

Support for Research Students

(Current students seeking information or support should go to the HELIOS page.)

With its small size and vibrant research community, Heythrop offers its research students an exciting and supportive environment in which to study.


You will meet your supervisor at least twice a term if you are full-time, or the equivalent for part time students. Your supervisor will discuss your work in progress, advise on your academic progress and agree a skills training plan with you. Most supervisors expect their students to hand in written work in progress before each meeting.

As a new research student, you will attend an induction programme, which will provide you with the skills you will need to succeed. Research Study Skills sessions are run from 18.00-20.00 on Mondays at the beginning of the Michaelmas and Lent Terms. Topics vary slightly from year to year in response to demand, but will include, for example:

  • Library; making intelligent use of HELIOS
  • Finding and collecting Research Data
  • Organising material and bibliography building
  • Project and time management
  • Academic Writing
  • Building a research project
  • Supervision
  • Getting to the Viva on time
  • Publishing

The College recognises the importance of personal development planning and each student completes a Self-assessed Progress Report incorporating a Skills Training Menu for each Annual Review. This consititutes a Personal Development Plan (more info below) and is reviewed, agreed with your supervisor, and updated at each Annual Review to ensure that your training needs are being addressed.

For further information on Research Study Skills training and the rich and varied array of seminars and events available to research students please see the annual list of scheduled Research Students' Events and keep an eye on the 'What's On' box on the Heythrop College home webpage.

The Research and Policy Administrator will email you regularly with updates on these and other events at Heythrop and across the University.

Though your main contact will be your supervisor, you are also welcome to contact the Dean of Research Students (Prof Michael Barnes, ) for guidance on academic questions, and the Research and Policy Administrator (Ms Frith Hooton,, for help with administrative and practical matters. You may also contact the Finance Office, who can help with fees queries, and the IT Team, for help with IT problems.


You will be part of Heythrop’s research community, and where appropriate you will be attached to one of the College’s Research Centres or Institutes. There may be an opportunity to act as a research assistant for a member of staff. A list of Heythrop College events and training sessions for research students can be found here: Events for Research Students.

Research students are expected to attend seminars and other research activities regularly. There are seminar series for Theology and Pastoral Studies, Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, Interreligious Dialogue, and Psychology in Dialogue, and some seminars explicitly for the presentation of students’ work. Philosophy students may also attend and contribute to research-level seminars and conferences organized by all five philosophy departments in the University of London (Birkbeck, Heythrop, King’s, LSE and UCL)  and the Institute of Philosophy, and can compete to take part in an annual exchange conference with students from the University of California, Berkeley. The annual Heythrop Postgraduate Research Conference brings together MA and Research Students as well as academics, mainly from the College, but also from other universities across the UK and Europe. Plenary papers are usually presented by world-famous academics.

Heythrop College is situated only 15 minutes' walk from Imperial College London, where there is a huge and lively international student community. Heythrop Students are entitled to use their Student Union Bar (where the beer is subsidised!) and join in other activities. Negotiations are currently under way to arrange for Heythrop Students to have access also to the Imperial College gym and swimming pool, and news about this will appear here in due course.

Also at Imperial College is an excellent Language centre at which you are entitled to attend classes in a wide variety of languages. Heythrop students are eligible for the lower-rate, internal tuition fee for language classes. Enquiries should be directed to Imperial College Centre for Co-Curricular Studies, phone: 020 7594 8756.

Additionally, there is a rich programme of seminars, colloquia, study days and conferences within University of London and in other Universities. Notifications about these are sent via research email list, normally once a week.

The School of Advanced Study of the University of London offers a range of generic training skills which Heythrop research students are warmly invited to attend. Their Research Training Calendar can be accessed here.

All students are expected to deliver papers during their course of study. You are particularly encouraged to present papers at conferences, and may apply for financial assistance to attend conferences at which you are making a presentation.

Wherever possible, the College offers senior research students the opportunity to assist with classes for undergraduate or MA Students or to act as tutorial assistants. All research students may attend the training on becoming a tutorial assistant.

An introductory/welcome back meeting is held on the first Wednesday in October each Michaelmas Term, which students are warmly encouraged to attend. There are also two Research Student Consultancy meetings per year, in the Lent and Summer Terms, to which all students are invited and at which they are encouraged to raise any issues of concern. In addition a Student Experience Questionnaire is issued in the Lent Term and contributions strongly encouraged.  Constructive criticism from students is welcomed by the College, and every effort is made to resolve problems and improve students' experience of studying for a research degree at Heythrop. A social event follows each of these meetings at which wine and refreshments are served, and students have the opportunity to discuss their research informally with one another and with members of staff.

Open Evenings for prospective research students are held after the Student Consultancy Meetings in the Lent and Summer Terms, and dates will be posted on the Heythrop home web page. If you are interested in coming to study at Heythrop please come along and meet us! There will be an introductory talk at 16.30 and you are then most warmly invited to join the current research students and staff at the party afterwards (wine and refreshments served), starting at 17.30. If you would like to attend please contact the Research and Policy Administrator at to ensure that you receive an invitation.


The Code of Practice for Research Degrees contains all the College’s current regulations and provisions for the acceptance of candidates, teaching, probationary period, transfer of status, and review processes and disciplinary aspects of the College’s research teaching. The appendices also give guidelines of expectations and requirements for; (1) students; (2) research supervisors; (3) other staff involved in supporting research students.

The Research Student Handbook contains practical information for research students.

The Heythrop Research Training Framework outlines the training on offer.

The Progress Report and Training Menu which you will review regularly with your supervisor and update at your Annual Reviews.

The above College publications embody policies which comply with and promulgate best practice as recommended in the QAA UK Quality Code for Higher Education, Part B, 'Chapter B11: Research Degrees'.

The List of Events for Research Students is regularly updated and is available for your perusal.

The Heythrop Regulations for Research Examinations give full details of examination requirements. In the case of queries over examiners' decisions there is an Appeals Procedure available to candidates.

The Heythrop Ethics Committee Code of Practice sets out College Policy regarding research involving live subjects, for example surveys conducted by questionnaire or work groups.

Page Updated: Friday, January 17 2014