A PhD degree involves specialist study, postgraduate training and original and independent research on a specific topic under the supervision of academic members of staff in the school. Additional supervisors consisting of at least one other experienced member of staff (up to a maximum of three staff members) will also be carried out in the school or in collaboration with industrial partners, other university departments in Nottingham or other universities and private or publicly funded research institutes. In some cases students will spend time at international academic establishments or research institutes. Students undertaking the three year PhD complete a structured training programme in the first year of study. Progression through the period of study is closely monitored through regular meetings with the students' supervisory committee and by reviews with an international progress committee in years one and two.
The school has evolved a number of educational development research projects which capitalise on the opportunities offered by developing a new curriculum. These projects assess the impact of the curriculum and its delivery on behaviours and skills at the point of graduation, and will inform the process of development, improvement, evaluation and dissemination of innovations within veterinary education internationally.
Areas of particular focus currently include the tracking of traditional subjects like microbiology which are 'hidden' within the integrated curriculum (Hammond, Jones), an assessment of effectiveness of the unique admissions process in identifying the most appropriate students of the course (Braithwaite, Kydd, Tötemeyer), the effectiveness of the delivery and integration of personal and professional skills (Mossop), evaluating student learning within the new curriculum (Freeman, K Cobb, Mossop), practical teaching which integrates basic and clinical science (Freeman, Roshier) and the impact of the use of a dispersed model for delivery of clinical experience in facilities not owned by the school (M Cobb, Green).
The school has established links with the Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (IRLTHE), the School of Education, within the University of Nottingham, and is developing collaborative links with educational research units at other UK veterinary schools.