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Healthy student-supervisor relationship ultimate guide provide you tips on how to handle your project supervisor. To successfully complete your university programme, you are expected to complete at least one thesis project.

How fast you complete your project among other things depend on your relationship with your supervisor. If the relationship is going head wire you might be delayed and ultimately affect your grading.

This is very important in postgraduates study. Have you noticed how some people use one year to complete their master programme while it takes some of their classmates more than two years to complete same. The difference is a healthy student – supervisor relationship.

If you want to complete your postgraduates programme on time and ace very good grade, you got to pay attention to this student – supervisor relationship tips. In an academic setting, the student and the supervisor often have conflicts of interest. This conflict of interest can only be harmonized with a cordial student – supervisor relationship.

The conflict here is assumed nothing physical but any that might hinder or slow down the pace of work between both parties. The slow of work will eventually leads to delay in graduation and possibly low grade.


Possible Hindrance to Healthy Student – Supervisor Relationship


Supervisor prior knowledge of student: In most universities, supervisee is assigned to supervisor randomly. If the Supervisor has had contact with the student or heard about the students attitude or grade, this might lead to pre-formed notions about the student.

In this scenario a minor slip from the student could elicit into reactions of unimaginable proportions from the supervisor. If the student didn’t tread with caution here it might delay the student beyond the expected time length.

,,,,, The Solution: Student are advised to be of good attitude, as their reputation precedes them. Student should be able to correct this notion by presenting quality work, staying calm once with the supervisor. Also, effecting all the supervisor correction, helping the supervisor with some office work -cleaning table, carry bag, and others.


Student involves in Plagiarism: This is the most common hitch between professional supervisor and lazy supervisee. Some students even the postgraduate students are just lazy and copy online project  or project given to them by friends verbatim.

They failed to understand that their supervisor is aware of where they copy the work from. This will make the supervisor have negative impression about them, definitely hitching their relationship.


,,,,, The Solution: Students are advised to write project with their own grammar to avoid plagiarism. Internet work, except where you engage a professional service, should be edited and used as a guide. You may need to read Project and Research Writing Step by Step Guide.”

Very busy supervisor This one is common in Nigerian universities. Because of short of personnel in the university setting. The supervisor being always in one meeting or the other, working on one project or the other could also lead the student to developing certain issues with the supervisor as well. This will ultimately hitch student – supervisor relationship except if worked on.

In this scenario the supervisor will eventually have little time to scrutinized the student work and effect necessary correction. This will affect the student performance or the pace at which the work moves.


,,,,, The Solution: To maintain a healthy student – supervisor relationship, the student should move ahead of the supervisor. Let me explain, just go ahead and research and do excellent work on all the chapters. Fine even the supervisor eventually cancel any of the work, you can easily effect the correction with short space of time.

Try also to ask for help from other lecturers that are close to you, they might be of help. Be careful with this type of situation seek advice from some of your lecturers on what to do next. Any action taken hastily here might back fire. Also, choose a good project topic from our List of project topics and materials.

Student’s Lifestyle: Student lifestyle also determines how healthy the student – supervisor relationship will be. For instance, if a student is accustomed to disappointing on projects deliverables and not turning in drafts when agreed. This could provoke the supervisor. A student’s manner of speech, laziness and disobedience to rules is also included.

,,,,, The Solution: Keep to the time agreed with your supervisor. Ensure you effect all the correction made by your supervisor. Ask him for better clarification when you don’t understand any aspect of it. Seek professional advice from other people. Be sure not to argue too much with your supervisor but gently drive your point home.


Inefficient project supervisor: It is mostly common in postgraduate study. Where supervisor specialises in another sub-division on a department and is required to supervise a student/researcher in another. A case where a student in economics department is supervised by lecturer in banking and finance.

This could frustrate the student as the student would be left to do the bulk of the work. Here the supervisor might not be knowledgeable enough about the student work. This will delay the work in general.


,,,,, The Solution: To maintain healthy student – supervisor relationship. Student are advised to provide enough evidence to support their work. You must research enough and write quality work enough for your supervisor to trust your judgment. Also, try talking confidentially to other professor to help you.


Different ideologies: This is when the supervisor is thinking in one direction and the student in another. The supervisor could be taking the research into a deeper dimension, while the student would have loved surface work.

Some supervisor could have their ultimate direction about the project different from that of the student. The supervisor could be forced to develop an indifferent attitude to the plight of the student. This all end up in unhealthy student – supervisor relationship. And ultimately hindering the pace the work move.


,,,,, The Solution: Try and understand the your supervisor perspective about your project work. Be a little patient with your supervisor. Talk to him about his own ideology of the work, his reason and opinion.

We have been able to highlight some of the major hindrance to healthy student- supervisor relationship. The student should try stick to this advise. Try all of them and if it fail which I believe will not, should write to the department for change of supervisor. Change of supervisor should be the last option in either case.

Supervisor should treat their supervisee with love and respect. Take your time to read their work, explain what you want clearly to them for better clarification.

If you enjoy these tips, please share with others and drop your feedback below.


  1. Good, this is an eyes openers to the nitty-gritty of writing projects, dissertations and thesis and cultivating a healthier relationship with the supervisor. I doff my cap for you.

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