Widening Access to Taught Postgraduate Study

Over a year after the publication of the Taught Postgraduate Review Working Group final report, this event will consider progress so far and what more can be done to improve access to and uptake of postgraduate study.


The Event

In December 2015 the Taught Postgraduate Review Working Group published their final report. The group highlighted the many benefits of postgraduate study and proposed a series of options for reducing the barriers:

  • Provide a designated online portal providing comprehensive course and funding information.
  • A clear and universal entitlement for student loan support should be implemented.
  • Greater focus should be placed on widening access to postgraduate level study to those currently underrepresented within the student population
  • Promote closer working relationships between the higher education sector and industry 
  • Consider the feasibility of implementing an incentive system for students undertaking postgraduate study in Scotland.

Since the report’s publication the Scottish Government has widened the number of postgraduate diploma courses eligible for support and increased the maximum level of support to £10,000. At this event we will consider what more must be done to widen access to postgraduate study.

Key issues to be addressed:

  • Hear about progress so far on taking forward the findings of the review
  • Learn how different institutions are working to widen access to postgraduate study
  • Consider how we can improve access to underrepresented groups
  • Discuss how we can provide flexible learning to postgraduate students


09:15     Registration opens

09:55     Introduction from the Chair

Kate Connor, Kate Connor Consultancy

Session 1: The Taught Postgraduate Study Review

In this opening session we will revisit the findings and recommendations of the Taught Postgraduate Review and consider progress to date. In doing so we will hear from those at the heart of any changes to postgraduate study – the postgraduate students themselves. 

10:00    Taught Postgraduate Study Review 

Professor Bryan MacGregor, Chair, Taught Postgraduate Review Working Group and Vice-Principal for Research and Executive Dean of the Business School, University of Aberdeen

10:20    Changes to postgraduate funding

Alan Scott, Senior Policy Manager, ​Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS)​

10:40    Reflections from a postgraduate 

Charlie Beaumont​, Postgraduate Student, Glasgow Caledonian University

11:00    Questions and discussion

11:20    Refreshments

Session 2: HEIs making postgraduate study accessible

While work is ongoing nationally on the recommendations of the report, individual Higher Education Institutions continue to explore new ways to make postgraduate study more accessible. This session will look at just a few of these.

11:40    Universities leading action on widening access to postgraduate courses

Professor Malcolm MacLeod, Deputy Principal (Operational Strategy and External Affairs), University of Stirling

12:00    Distance postgraduate learning

Bronagh Power, Senior Lecturer in Management , Faculty of Business and Law, The Open University

12:20    Questions and discussion

12:30    Lunch

Session 3: Building on existing progress

In this final session we will consider what further action we can take at a local and national level that will improve access to and uptake of taught postgraduate study.

13:15    Utilising information portals to communicate with prospective students

Chris Rea, Higher Education Services Manager, Prospects

13:35    Learning Session

Facilitated discussion around each of the 5 implications of the 'Mature Entrants' Transitions to Postgraduate Taught Study' report. This will allow delegates to share what they have done in each of these areas and discuss further actions. 

13:55    Questions and discussion

14:05    Closing remarks from the chair

14:10    Close of event    

*Agenda subject to change

Venue and Costs


Crowne Plaza

18 Royal Terrace



Delegate Rates (excluding VAT): 

  • Discounted rate: £145 (Voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Reduced rate: 1 place £245 | 2+ places £195 (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, professional associations and voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
  • Full rate: 1 place £295 | 2+ places £245 (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For more information please email enquiries@holyrood.com or phone 0131 285 1635

25 April 2017
Crowne Plaza
Royal Terrace
United Kingdom



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