Career action planning for final year PhDs

Title:Career action planning for final year PhDs

Duration:0.5 days
Training Units1.0
The Graduate School

This course is delivered jointly by the Graduate School and the Careers and Employability Service

The Graduate School courses are very popular and the majority are run in both semesters to give you the opportunity to attend at a time of the year that suits you. Semester 1 courses will be available for booking from the second week of October and Semester 2 courses from the second week of February.


Target audience

Late stage postgraduate research students including those who are in writing up or thesis pending

Is the end of your PhD rapidly approaching? Are you at a loss about what to do after your PhD, have you got doubts about career goals and decisions made earlier in your PhD or do you want to have time to gather evidence for potential job applications? Taking time to review and reflect on your PhD, can assist you to make, review or re-affirm career choices and decisions as well as assisting you to present yourself effectively to employers within or outside academia. Take a step back from the pressure of work, identify your career strengths and motivators and move on with purpose. 








This is a two hour workshop which will include a brief review of the career options and pathways open to PhDs followed by the opportunity to work individually with a range of reflective and analytical exercises. If the timing of the course runs over the lunch period, participants are welcome to bring their lunch and a drink with them.




The session will begin with an update on the broad career options PhDs may follow and a discussion of the challenges of moving on from a research degree. This introduction will cover both academic and non-academic options and challenges. The remainder of the workshop will allow participants to work on a number of individual career exercises including:


Assessing academic career progress and identifying key actions/milestones

Career grid analysis exercise

Virtual Job exercise

Building a networking message


Related Courses


Applying for Academic Jobs – Understanding the academic job market and developing early career strategies

Applying for Jobs Outside Academia




The aim of this course is to provide final stage PhDs with dedicated time to analyse, collect career related knowledge and evidence in order to assist them to manage the next stage of their career.




By the end of the course, you will be able to:


·        Analyse and reflect critically on career options and choices

·        Identify relevant and practical career actions which will enable you to make career choices or to move forward with ideas and plans already formulated

·        Generate a realistic and achievable personal action plan to work on after the session

Latecomer policy

Researchers should plan to arrive prior to the advertised course start time. Except for exceptional reasons, there will be no admittance to a Graduate School or Faculty Training Programme (FTP) course 15 minutes after the advertised course start time.

Importance of booking commitment
When booking on to a Graduate School short course you are entering into a commitment to attend. If you find that you are no longer available to attend you MUST cancel your place (on the system if more than three days before the course) or if at short notice by emailing This will ensure that your place can be offered to another researcher on the waiting list. Failure to cancel a place results in other researchers missing out on places through the waiting list process.

It is unacceptable for researchers to just not attend when booked onto a course. The Graduate School maintains records of those who repeatedly do not attend courses they have booked. This may affect future eligibility to book onto further Graduate School courses and will affect considerations for Graduate School funded opportunities.

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