From Canterbury to Athens: The Dean of the Graduate School Welcomes new MA cohort

Paul Allain, Dean of the Graduate School, recently visited the University of Kent at Athens to welcome the new cohort of MA in Heritage Management students in Elefsina. In addition to extending a warm welcome to the students at their induction, the dean gave a lecture on his latest research, spoke with students about the specifics of their course and detailed the various means of support provided by the Graduate School to all Kent postgraduates.

“I was pleased to see what a diverse international cohort we have from a range of backgrounds and experiences…it was very helpful to see the centre and the facilities as well as the nearby historic excavation site and ruins.”

To find out more about what is offered by the University of Kent at Athens, please visit:

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Kent Leads the Way in Lifelong Learning

Congratulations go to Rev Norma Stewart, after successfully defending her thesis.  Full details of her achievement against the odds can be found here

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New Nature Trail Opens This Weekend, Saturday & Sunday, 7th & 8th October

The Kent Tree Ogham Trail, a Postgraduate Experience Award project led by Joana Canelas, will be opened this weekend.  This is a new nature trail around campus, inviting walkers to consider the ancient significance of the tree species we have around us.

The Tree Ogham is an ancient bardic alphabet where each letter is named after a tree.  During this open weekend the team will ask why trees are so important to us, walking through their stories, flavours and shapes to discover the ethnobotany, ecology and folklore of our Ogham trees.

Walks along the trail will start at 2pm on Saturday and Sunday, meeting at the Labyrinth beside Eliot on Saturday, and behind the School of Arts on Sunday.  Warm clothing and outdoor footwear is advisable.  Jams, teas and cordials will be available along the way.

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Congratulations to Deborah Molloy, winner of the Elsa Nettels Prize for a Beginning Scholar

Deborah Molloy, a member of the Graduate School team, has been awarded the Elsa Nettels Prize for a Beginning Scholar from the Edith Wharton Society. She won the prize for her paper entitled: “In the Cave of the Oracle: Feminine Tragedy in The House of Mirth and Mrs Manstey’s View.” In addition to winning the £250 prize, the essay will be considered for publication in the Edith Wharton Review. Deborah begins a part-time PhD in 20th Century American Women’s Literature in September 2017, and the Graduate School would like to congratulate Deborah on this incredible accomplishment as she continues her postgraduate education!

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Kent ESRC Student Wins Poster and Pecha Kucha Competition at Annual SEDTC Conference

Madeleine Hughes, a Kent ESRC student, recently won both the Poster Competition and the Pecha Kucha Competition at the annual South East DTC and SeNSS 2017 Conference on 13 July, 2017. The conference was the sixth SEDTC Conference and was held at CASS Business School (City University of London).

You can read more about the conference here.

Find out more about SeNSS here and specifically about ESRC SeNSS studentships at the University of Kent here.

Many congratulations from the Graduate School to Madeleine!

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A Message from the Dean of the Graduate School

The Dean of the Graduate School, Professor Paul Allain, is delighted that the university has been awarded Gold in the UK Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). He commented that he was very pleased to hear that although the TEF focused on undergraduate experience exclusively, postgraduate Master’s students are also being taught in such a positive well resourced environment by staff with excellent teaching abilities.

More on the story is available here.

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Congratulations to the Participants of the Graduate School Public Engagement Competition

Congratulations to Ruth Augur, the winner of the first Graduate School Prize for Public Engagement.  After a hotly-contested public vote, Ruth was awarded the £400 prize to carry out her project, which will involve working closely with the Canterbury-based charity, Catching Lives, to create and restore a garden plot for the homeless to nurture, develop, and enjoy.

Laura Thomas-Walters was joined by Prof Paul Allain, Dean of the Graduate School, in welcoming the public to the event.

Professor Paul Allain hosted the event on Thursday evening, which gave three University of Kent PhD students the opportunity to showcase their work.  They each identified a topical social issue and gave their proposed solution to the problem.  Forty members of the public attended to discuss the potential merits and difficulties of each solution with the students over coffee, tea and cake in the beautiful La Trappiste in central Canterbury.  They then had the opportunity to vote on which proposal they thought had the greatest potential to make an impact.

Hannah Newman (an interdisciplinary PhD in the Schools of Arts and Psychology)presented on autism and discussed how drama can be a powerful and positive tool in the growth and development of autistic children.  Surej Mouli (a PhD in the School of Computing) spoke about the uses of medical robotics. Ruth Augur (a PhD in the School of Anthropology and Conservation) discussed homelessness in Canterbury.  They all spoke very well about their research, but there could be only one winner.

One of the aims of the competition was to introduce the University of Kent to local residents, by demonstrating the real world impact of academic research and to empower the public to feel that they can influence the future of research.  The entire event was the brainchild of Kent PhD student Laura Thomas-Walters, who submitted her original idea to the Postgraduate Experience Award panel, and went on to plan the whole thing  – well done Laura!

From left to right: Laura Thomas-Walters (event organiser), Hannah Newman (presenter), Ruth Auger (presenter/winner), Surej Mouli (presenter), and Prof Paul Allain (Dean of the Graduate School).

Winner of the Public Engagement Competition, Ruth Auger, pictured with Laura Thomas-Walters and Prof Paul Allain.

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Congratulations to the new Kent Students of the Year

The winners of this year’s Kent Student Awards were announced at a Gala Dinner on Friday 5 May 2017.

The event, which was held at Darwin College on the University’s Canterbury campus, was attended by more than 130 students, staff and guests and celebrated the outstanding co-curricular achievements of Kent’s students.

The overall Student of the Year Award was awarded jointly to Rowena Bicknell, a second year PhD student in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, and Tom Ritchie, a second year PhD student in the School of History.

Rowena and Tom were chosen as Students of the Year for the exceptional contribution they have made to the postgraduate student experience in their roles as President and Vice-President of the Kent Graduate Student Association (KGSA).

Many congratulations from the Graduate School to Tom and Rowena!

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International Families Network lunch – Friday 26th May

The next networking lunch for the International Families Network will be held in the Gulbenkian on Friday 26th May.  This is a social event to support the families of our international students – small children are welcome to come along.

In order to help us with catering, please confirm if you/your family wish to attend by emailing Deborah Molloy at  We look forward to seeing you!


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Universities UK Update: Government confirms funding for EU students starting courses in 2018/19

The Department for Education released a statement on 21 April 2017 announcing that EU students  will continue to remain eligible for undergraduate, master’s, postgraduate and advanced learner financial support in academic year 2018 to 2019.

What this means:

  • EU students who apply for an undergraduate or master’s course at an English university (or further education institution) scheduled to start in the 2018-19 academic year will continue to have access to student loans and grants and home fee status (meaning they are charged the same tuition fees as UK students) for the duration of their course (regardless of when the UK fully exits the EU).
  • EU nationals will remain eligible to apply for Research Council PhD studentships at UK institutions for 2018 to 2019.


For further information and to read the full government announcement, visit the DfE website.


Universities UK’s response to the announcement can be read here.

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