Enhancing The Supervision Of Undergraduate Major Projects


  • Simon Pratt-Adams Anglia Ruskin University
  • Adam Longcroft St. Mary's University




undergraduate major project, supervision, student experience, case study


Most undergraduate students are still required to complete a project of some kind, often in their final year of study. However, levels of student satisfaction on project modules and student outcomes are subject to considerable variation. Project modules sometimes detract from rather than add value to the student experience. Published research in the sector focused on best practice in the supervision of undergraduate projects and dissertations is limited. Using a case study approach, this article considers recent academic staff development interventions focused on enhancing supervision practice from a series of workshops and webinars organised by the authors. The analysis draws from existing module evaluation data, an in-session e-voting tool and end of session written evaluations. It considers the nuances of undergraduate supervision, the challenges that stem from cultural differences between disciplines, and the kinds of challenges faced by students and their supervisors. It argues that supervision at UG level constitutes a separate and distinctive aspect of HE pedagogic practice, and involves inducting the student into a different and often ‘alien’ approach to learning. It provides what the authors hope are some useful reflections on practice and proposes opportunities for developing practice of supervision more widely within the sector at undergraduate level.

Author Biographies

Simon Pratt-Adams, Anglia Ruskin University

Dr Simon Pratt-Adams has substantial experience of researching in the field of pedagogic research and urban education as well as holding various leadership and management positions in university departments of education. He is currently Acting Director of the Centre for Innovation in Higher Education in Anglia Learning and Teaching and Principal Lecturer in Academic Development in the Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care at Anglia Ruskin University, where he continues to supervise undergraduate major projects. He is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Adam Longcroft, St. Mary's University

Dr Adam Longcroft is Dean of Learning & Teaching at St Mary's University, Twickenham. Prior to this he served as Deputy Head of Anglia Learning & Teaching at Anglia Ruskin University, and University Director of Taught Programmes at University of East Anglia. He has supervised student dissertations for 25 years. His academic background is as a landscape historian and historian of education.


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Case Studies