Understanding your research degree (standalone online learning course)
Duration Accessible at any time during academic year
Training Points 2.0
Team Researcher Academy

This online course is delivered 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. 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: 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 gain Researcher Academy training point/s for this course you must complete the short assessment tasks associated with it.

Completion of the assessment is optional for students based at our UK and Malaysia Campus'.

Students based at our Ningbo China Campus are not required to complete the assessment.

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


Related Courses:

Understanding your research degree is designed to cover material from two face to face courses run the Researcher Academy programme: The Nature of the Doctorate and the Supervision Process and Planning your Research.

You will find considerable overlap if you choose to do both online and face to face versions. Please note that due to the COVID-19 crisis, we are not running face to face courses for the time being.

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. 

Booking Conditions

Our webinars/ online courses are very popular, especially in the current period and we are experiencing large volumes of people on our waiting lists.  

Please do let us know if you would like to cancel your place on this course so we can offer your place to another delegate. 

Please note, attendances for webinars/ online courses will still be recorded and corresponding training points, when shown as available, will be awarded.    

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