Skip to content Accessibility statement

Distance learners in our research school

We want you to get the most out of your research experience with the University of York, no matter where you are based. Being a research student can be challenging - and being a distance learner can add to that challenge. Our aim is that you feel supported and can access any help you need. 

Where should I start?

Download your 2020/21 handbook - it's your essential reference guide to life as a research student.

You can also find advice in our PHD survival pack. Or if you’re looking for tips on managing work around your life, take a look at our skills guide for time management.

A great resource for all research students is the Wellbeing Thesis - it provides detailed advice, tips, videos and downloadable action plans to help you make the most of your time as a research student. 

Who can help if I’m struggling?

There are many people you can contact who may be able to help:

  • your supervisor 
  • a member of your Thesis Advisory Panel (TAP)
  • the Graduate Administrator in your department 
  • the Postgraduate Research Student Director/Chair in your department
  • your college team at Wentworth College

If you’re experiencing psychological or mental health difficulties, our support service Open Door offers appointments via Skype and is open to all students. The appointments are a confidential space to talk about issues that are concerning you. Simply fill in the form and you’ll be contacted to make an appointment. 

Careers advice

Careers and Placements provide advice, information and guidance for distance learners. They offer online resources, feedback on CV and job applications and one-to-one support via phone or Skype. They can help you explore your options beyond your research programme, whatever your chosen career path.

Where else can I find support?


Contact the Library 24/7 through the Library and IT Helpdesk and Library chat service. Find out about accessing online resources, how to use the Scan and Send service, and borrowing resources from libraries near you. Find the Academic Liaison Librarian for your subject area, who can help access materials relevant to your research.

Open Research Team

Contact the team for help with Open Access, research data management, copyright legislation and citation analysis.

IT Services

IT Services can help you connect to the University network and your filestore, obtain free or discounted software to install on your own computer, and access eduroam wifi when visiting other universities. You can also access online IT training guides.

Maths Skills Centre

The Centre provides access to online resources. Book a 60-minute appointment for maths and statistics advice and learning support via web conference.


Writing and Language Skills Centre

Access support from the Writing and Language Skills Centre via email or Google Meet. Send an example of your writing and receive feedback within five working days.

Skills training

Browse our skills resources, get help developing your Personal Development Plan, and access workshops designed to equip you with the skills, attributes and knowledge you need to thrive as an independent researcher.