Department for Curriculum and Quality Enhancement

Postgraduate Experience Project (PEP)

In the academic years 2013–2014 and 2014–2015, the University of Portsmouth contributed to the Postgraduate Experience Project (PEP) which was funded by the HEFCE Postgraduate Support Scheme.

The PEP entitled: 'Investigating the expectations and attitudes towards postgraduate taught (PGT) STEM study, and post study outcomes from the perspective of students, universities and employers to support and sustain PGT growth in the UK' is a collaborative project between eleven universities in the UK. It reported the majority of its findings at the Institutional Dialogical Conferences and a National Dialogical Conference at Kingston University 14–15 July 2015. The University of Portsmouth organised their PEP institutional conference 'Symposium. The HEFCE PEP Project – Conversations on how to encourage Master’s students in STEM areas' on 2 June 2015.

During the academic year 2014–2015, various research methods were used to collect data related to STEM postgraduate students’ experiences and expectations, including a variety of surveys and focus groups. The surveys included:

  • entry to study survey
  • entry to study survey feedback
  • non-completers survey
  • non-attendance surveys for:
    • enquirers
    • applicants offered a place but who subsequently declined
    • applicants offered a place who accepted, but then notified the University of their non-attendance
    • applicants offered a place who accepted, but did not turn up
    • withdrawals
  • integrated masters survey
  • finance survey

The report also described and analysed the findings from the entry to study survey, the allocation of scholarships, the focus groups, as well as practical initiatives undertaken by the University of Portsmouth. Some outcomes are available here.