Every candidate must have a primary supervisor. However, the University believes that no PhD candidate should depend entirely on the advice and guidance of one supervisor only. Such a situation could place the student at some risk especially if the staff member concerned is absent for a period on leave or leaves the employment of the University.
It is therefore a requirements that the primary supervisor be supported in at least one of the following ways:
- the appointment of one or more co-supervisors
- the constitution of an advisory panel (also called a departmental advisory committee) to review progress regularly and play a part in the identification and resolution of any disputes which may arise between the student and the supervisor(s).
Some departments also operate a postgraduate committee within a department or school, charged with the responsibility of providing academic and practical support to PhD candidates.