Understanding your research degree - standalone online learning course
Duration Accessible at any time during academic year
Team Researcher Academy

This standalone online course is run by the Researcher Academy 

The Researcher Academy 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. 

Target audience: early stage postgraduate research students (especially off campus)

This online course is useful for all postgraduate research students, particularly those who find it difficult to attend courses on the University campus. It is especially aimed at students at the start of their research. The course is ideal for students who would like to gain a clearer understanding of the UK doctorate and other research degrees as well as how to manage the process effectively.


The course will help you think about the features of a successful supervision, how to plan a timetable for your research in discussion with your supervisor and how to avoid wasting time. The course also includes videos from researchers who have completed a PhD providing accounts of their experiences and useful tips.

Aims/ Objectives:

The aim of this course is to help postgraduate students to acquire the core skills and knowledge required to plan and manage a research project, and to explore approaches to managing time effectively.

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • summarise the purpose and nature of PhD training
  • summarise the criteria for the award of a PhD, MPhil or MRes
  • list a realistic set of expectations which should be required of good supervision
  • plan a timetable for your research, in discussion with your supervisor
  • identify strategies to avoid wasting time
  • develop strategies for managing time effectively

This course is delivered entirely online via Moodle and is self-study. You may access the course as often as you like until the end of the academic year. If you would like to be marked as 'Attended' on this course, you must work your way through the course and tick checkboxes in each section. Once you have completed the course, your training record will be updated manually within 15 working days of completion.

Researchers across all 3 campuses can self-enrol on this course in Moodle by following this link:

Understanding your Research Degree (UNUK) (23-24)

Related Courses:

Research Integrity  is a stand-alone online course designed to strengthen your awareness of your own responsibilities and accountability when planning and conducting research and provides guidance on what to do should things go wrong. 

Please note, attendances for courses will be recorded. There are no training points associated with courses run by the Researcher Academy.

Course Accessibility

The following table shows a summary of what is needed to participate in the course. 

If you feel you will experience any difficulties participating, please let us know via the ‘special requirements’ tab, providing as much information as possible. The special requirements tab can be completed when you book your place. Alternatively, you can contact us directly at ra-training@nottingham.ac.uk.

Course open throughout the year
Access Moodle
Engage with online materials
Watch and listen to pre-recorded videos

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