Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Doctoral College

Faculty Training

Core Training

All Faculties at Southampton must provide students with access to a core set of training which is outlined in Your PhD in the Handbook. The core training will be delivered by the faculty in a variety of ways, as outlined below.

Mandated University-level training

In addition, all new doctoral researchers must complete the following mandated training. Failure to complete successfully the mandated training below is a failure to meet the progression requirements and so will result in a failure to progress.

Postgraduate researchers commencing their studies in 2021/22 must complete the following by the time they undertake their Academic Needs Analysis:

Please note that you'll need to be logged into your Office 365 account in order to access the mandatory training page, which is hosted on the new PGR Development Hub SharePoint site.

Online training on data management will be provided by the Library and should be completed by all doctoral researchers commencing their studies in  2021/22 by the time of their first formal progression review.

Existing Module Courses

Most of the Biological Sciences' final year courses present advanced information that is relevant to research and serve the needs of postgraduate students well. You should be aware of the available courses. In consultation with your supervisor, you should identify modules that may be useful. You should attend these courses and use them as an important learning experience. To assist, we have provided a synopsis of all third year modules offered by Biological Sciences (please check with the Student Office), but you should also be aware of modules offered in other Faculties and be willing to attend them if desired.

It is strongly recommended that those students without a background in statistical analysis attend the module: Advanced Quantitative Methods BIOL6052.

In addition to taught courses there is a spectrum of other learning opportunities within Biological Sciences. PhD students are expected to attend and actively participate in lab meetings as well as seminars and journal clubs. Besides presentations in lab meetings, students should normally give a formal oral scientific presentation in a local seminar/journal club (e.g., Biochemistry seminar/journal club, SoNG seminar, Environmental Bioscience seminar, Microbiology seminar) at least once a year.   

Invited Speakers

Each year we invite leading scientists from other national and international institutions to visit Biological Sciences to present their work in seminars and lectures.

These seminars are an important aspect of the postgraduate training environment and provide an opportunity to experience a wider sphere of scientific thought and method (we are very open to suggestions from postgraduates for external speakers). Attendance at these seminars is compulsory.

You should not restrict yourself to only those seminars believed to be immediately applicable to your project; a wide range of subjects should be covered. Lists of invited speakers are produced for each semester and circulated to all registered students when the programmes are fixed. Where possible you will be expected to meet and discuss your work with speakers involved in research close to your field. There are other more specialist seminars presented throughout the University e.g. at Southampton General Hospital, Tenovus.

Information about these should be provided by individual supervisors and are usually posted on the notice boards.

School Specific Training and Seminars

An annual Postgraduate Symposium is organised within the School of Biological Sciences (usually late June). PhD students starting this academic year can expect to present a single slide oral flash presentation in their first year, a scientific poster in their second year and a scientific oral presentation in their third year. This is an excellent opportunity to develop interactions and gain insight in the research across the school as well as to get feedback from a broader audience. The symposium normally features prizes for best posters and talks as well as a paper prize for a PhD student-led publication. Students are strongly encouraged to register for an ORCID digital identifier (click here) to promote recognition of their scientific outputs.

Biological Sciences runs a range of subject specific lectures, seminars, workshops and demonstrations. In semester I, these focus on essential research skills (compulsory attendance), and in semester II, on techniques in modern biology (compulsory to attend at least 2 of these). In addition more advanced courses (modules) may be provided for those who will need to master particular techniques. You are encouraged to discuss with your supervisor what training is required. There is a tendency for research students to focus narrowly on the topic of their research. While it is essential that you acquire detailed knowledge of your chosen field of study, it is important to realise that scientific progress can come from an acquaintance with other areas of science. Furthermore, high quality postgraduate study should provide a broad- based scientific education that will equip students to work in academia or industry in areas outside their immediate area of expertise. To this end the Graduate Training Programme at Southampton encourages you to devote some time to broader scientific topics. You have access to a number of activities within the School that fulfil this requirement and this booklet includes relevant details.


I need help with...

Privacy Settings