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Learning and development

As a research student, you will be aiming to produce a high-quality thesis that presents the outcomes of your project and, at the same time, to develop as an independent, professional researcher.

With advice from your supervisors, you will establish a plan for your training, with the aims of acquiring the research skills you need to undertake your project and of supporting your personal and professional development.

Our programme offers a comprehensive package of interdisciplinary learning events and development opportunities which are available to all postgraduate research students and free to attend. These sessions are designed to complement the discipline-specific training that you will receive at school level, and present exceptional opportunities for you to develop your research, personal and professional skills.

Each event brings the opportunity to meet researchers from outside your school and to gain from their experiences, skills, and approaches to research.

Research plan

In the first formal supervision meeting, you will complete a Training Needs Analysis as part of your Research Plan. This will be reviewed and discussed as part of the Research Student Progress Monitoring Procedure.

Just as you plan the research project itself, you will form a plan for your personal and professional development.

Graduate Attributes

Our programme is mapped against the University’s Graduate Attributes. These are a set of six skills categories valued by industry and most wanted by employers:

  • Collaborative
  • Effective communicators
  • Ethically, socially and environmentally aware
  • Independent and critical thinkers
  • Innovative, enterprising and commercially aware
  • Reflective and resilient

Each of the graduate attributes consist of multiple skills that are consistently requested by employers seeking employees. The attributes have been designed to enhance your learning experience so that you develop, identify, evidence and articulate these skills.

The Researcher Development Framework

Our programme is also mapped to the four domains of the Researcher Development Framework (RDF), which you may be asked to reflect on in your training plan:

  • knowledge and intellectual abilities
  • personal effectiveness
  • research, governance and organisation
  • engagement, influence and impact.

The RDF, endorsed by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and other higher education bodies and institutions, outlines the knowledge, skills, behaviours and personal qualities of effective research professionals.

Find further information about the RDF on the Vitae website.

In addition, all of our learning events are mapped to the relevant stage in the student journey.

Additional online resources

We have a range of ‘on-demand’ resources, allowing flexibility and convenience for self-directed learning. These include: