Our training programme for postgraduate researchers is aligned to the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Postgraduate Training and Development Guidelines. There is a strong emphasis on innovation in research and training, and on interdisciplinary work and collaboration whenever possible.
With around half of postgraduate researchers in the social sciences choosing to pursue a career outside academia after the completion of their degree, we place considerable emphasis on professional skills training within our programme. We believe that at the end of their time with us, a postgraduate researcher will not just possess the research, methodological and writing skills required to complete their PhD, but will also possess the kind of professional skills that will appeal to a wide range of potential employers.
The first step in the programme is a personal development plan, discussed and agreed with your supervisor, which is structured according to your own individual needs. In line with the Economic and Social Research Council guidelines, you are then able to pick from a suite of short courses under the broad headings of Research Methods, Subject-Specific Theoretical Issues, Professional Skills (core training) and Advanced Training. Alongside the formal training sessions, we support you to engage in other development activities, such as conference attendance or organising your own conference. If you are a full time postgraduate researcher, you will be expected to complete the equivalent of 10 days training and development activities per year (5 days if you are part time). Some of the training takes place in your School, some is delivered through the Graduate School, and you also have the option to join sessions at other universities through the SeNSS Doctoral Training Partnership.