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Professional Development

Personal and professional development will form a key part of your postgraduate career. In your first term, you will complete a compulsory training needs analysis to identify the skills you want to develop. Thereafter, you will complete it at least once a term to monitor your progress and pick up new skills as your degree progresses.

As a guide, the Research Councils recommend that graduate students spend 10 days a year on additional skills training.

There are a number of resources available to you to support your professional development.

Medical Sciences Division Skills Training Programme

The MSD seeks to equip all graduate research students with a comprehensive set of transferable and research skills to maximise each researcher’s potential. To this end, the Division offers a comprehensive training programme which consists of over eighty half-, full- and three-day courses, in addition to seminars and networking opportunities.

Courses cover: research techniques, such as statistics and data analysis; communication skills such as writing and presenting and English language courses for non-native speakers; and skills to manage your research degree, such as ethic, avoiding plagiarism, and how to manage your supervisor.

Towards the end of your degree, there are also courses and workshops available to help prepare you for the next stage in publishing your research and getting a job.  Find out more

IT Services

Oxford University IT Services offer a range of IT courses to support staff and students on both specific systems and general IT skills. IT Services also offer online video courses via lynda.com.  Find out more 

Oxford Learning Institute

The Oxford Learning Institute is the primary learning provider for staff training in the University. It offers a number of free courses which are open to graduate students, such courses on time-keeping and managing yourself.  Find out more 

Springboard and Navigator

Springboard is an award-winning personal and professional development programme, designed and developed by women for women. It builds on what you already have and already are, and helps you to challenge the things that are not right for you. It insists that you build your way forward in realistic and practical ways, and helps you to make good decisions based on what is right for you in your individual life and context.

The Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division runs a researcher-focussed programme that is open to graduate students in their second year and above.

The University also offers a brother programme to Springboard, Navigator for men. Find out more about the programme for women.  Also, find out more about the programme for men.