Understanding your research degree (standalone online learning course)

Title:Understanding your research degree (standalone online learning course)

Duration:1 day
Training Units2.0
The Graduate School

This course is delivered by the Graduate School

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.


To study this course you must have access to the internet.


This is a standalone (self-study) online course.

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 Graduate School 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: https://moodle.nottingham.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=79134


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.

Related Courses

“Understanding your research degree” is designed to cover material from two face to face courses run the Graduate School 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.

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. 


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

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