Finding your Postgraduate community: social events and support services

Written by: UPSU

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Final semester lunch for Postgraduate students


Ahmed Hammad, a third year PhD Researcher and Associate Lecturer in Plymouth Business School, and Postgraduate Research Officer, organised a final semester lunch for postgraduate students to come together as a community and enjoy a social afternoon.


“Our final semester lunch day was a big success due to the amazing people who joined us that day; lots of PhD students from several schools at the University joined us along with some amazing speakers.” - Ahmed Hammad


Guest speakers in attendance included:




The role of a PGR Officer


Part of Ahmed’s role as a PGR Officer is to engage with PGR students from a diversity of different Schools within the University of Plymouth. Throughout his role, Ahmed has worked hard to help postgraduate students come together and support one another during their academic studies and form lasting friendships. By reaching out to student groups, course representatives and postgraduate students at the University and discussing ideas and gathering feedback, Ahmed has created a sense of community for postgraduate students by organising social events and relevant academic seminars to help improve the student experience.

As a PGR Officer, Ahmed prides himself on being a friendly face to all and aims to listen and support any postgraduate student who reaches out to him, or to signpost them to appropriate services available from the University or the University of Plymouth Students’ Union. 

Ahmed has recently won the Part-time Office of the Year Award in the 2023 SSTAR Awards (Student Staff Teaching and Representative Awards) on the 10th of May 2023. Ahmed won this award for his dedication to making time for students and by using appropriate and tailored methods to proactively collect student feedback and feeding the outcome back to the students he represents.



Support for postgraduate students during term time and over the summer:


The University of Plymouth offers career guidance, application advice and wellbeing services for all postgraduate students studying at the University and support beyond your graduation. Click on any of the following for more information on the available support:



University core wellbeing resources and partnerships:


Togetherall Partnership: The University of Plymouth has partnered with Togetherall—a safe, online, peer-to-peer 24/7 global community moderated by clinical professionals to help individuals take control of their mental health through a wealth of resources and self-help courses for free. Find out more about the Togetherall Partnership here.

Student Portal Wellbeing Resources: Check out a range of wellbeing resources including self-help guides and additional information to support your emotional, physical, social and financial wellbeing. Access the Student Portal Wellbeing resources here.


The Doctoral College 


The Doctoral College works with staff and students across the University of Plymouth to create a diverse community of postgraduate and postdoctoral early career researchers.

Its primary purpose is to support excellence and employability by facilitating and providing first-class training and excellent supervision, cohort development, networking opportunities and mentoring. The Doctoral College acts as a centre of expertise in postgraduate research and is responsible for the quality assurance and enhancement of the University's .

Doctoral College staff are available to answer your questions about any aspect of postgraduate research, from eligibility to applying to funding opportunities to examination:


The Student Hub


The Student Hub is the University’s first point of contact for all non-academic student queries. They can support postgraduate students through one-to-one appointments in person or online or through support groups. They also there to answer any questions to help you through any issues you may be facing. The Student Hub exists to help you with…



University of Plymouth Alumni 


You are always part of the University of Plymouth family, even once you have graduated. Stay connected with the alumni community.


SU (Students’ Union) Advice


If you need support or advice during your postgraduate studies, our advisors are available to help you with whatever issue or question you have, between 10:00-16:00, Monday-Friday. You can contact the SU Advice team by emailing

Our team of friendly advisors have experience in dealing with all types of student enquiries, including academic, mental wellbeing and finance, so you can rest assured that you will get the right information.

Most importantly the Advice Centre is not part of the University, we can, therefore, provide free, independent, and confidential advice, so you can talk to us in confidence, knowing that nothing will be shared with anyone if you don't want it to be.



Cost of living crisis support


We know that the cost of living is impacting on many in society at the moment and students are being hit hard by rising costs and even tighter budgets.

Remember, we also offer free non-perishable, in date dried, packet or tinned food items for those in need throughout community larder, and free basic toiletries. We also offer microwaves that are free for students to use inside the SU, as well as warm spaces that you can use throughout the day to relax and study.

We have put together several resources and activities that will you to help you have the best student experience possible whilst on a tightening budget. Please read more here.


External mental wellbeing services: 


Qwell provides anonymous support options from UK professionals, including online messaging, community support, personal development tools and therapeutic content. Anyone over the age of 18 years old living in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay can access support from Qwell. You do not need a referral from a health professional, simply complete a short registrations process.

Shout is a free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling and needs in-the-moment support.

Samaritans—a volunteer-led organisation in the UK—are available to contact 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, offering confidential, emotional support to anyone who needs it.

Remember: If you or someone is in immediate danger, your local police force will be able to help you 24/7, 365 days a year.