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The University of Southampton
Doctoral College

Faculty Training

Mandated University-level 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 Faculties in a variety of ways, as outlined below.

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 2020/21 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 2020/21 by the time of their first formal progression review.

Postgraduate Training

Throughout your time as a postgraduate in the School of Psychology we expect you to participate in a range of activities. These are part of your advanced training and are listed and outlined below: 

  1. Generic Skills Training – please see Faculty website for details and times (Gradbook)
  2. Skills for teaching
  3. Psychology Seminar Series
  4. Research Group Meetings. As part of your research training you should be affiliated with and become an active member of a least one research group. Your supervisory team will be able to advise you on this.


Generic Skills Training

At the start of each academic year, you will be asked to undertake a learning needs analysis with the purpose of identifying the skills that you highlight as being important to develop within that academic year. This focus on self-reflection is useful because it enables you to identify your own strengths and weaknesses, and to identify areas where you might benefit from training. Equally, however, you may feel cautious about returning to study, or you may welcome the opportunity to brush up on your skills or acquire new ones. In this case, discuss your needs with your supervisor and they will help you select the appropriate generic skills courses for you. We recognise, however, that your experience so far might mean that you do not need some types of training. This is fine, and we merely ask you to justify exclusion from such training through a demonstrable experience route.

Once you have identified your needs, then you should identify how you are going to meet those needs. The Faculty provides a programme of Generic Skills Training Workshops which you are free to attend. You will be able to sign up to these courses online, and the system will give you an electronic reminder a few days before the training event. Details of this online system will be provided during your induction. Please note that if you sign up to a course and subsequently do not attend, the School of Psychology will nevertheless have to pay for your place, and this fee may be passed down to your supervisor. If you find that you no longer need a place on a course, you should therefore unbook electronically so that there is no fine, and your place can be taken up by someone on a waiting list. 

Please remember that you do not need to receive training on everything all in one academic year – pace your training to your needs at each stage of your postgraduate programme.

Remember also that generic training will not always take the form of attendance at a course or training event. Wherever possible and sensible, we will aim to provide support for training events in the form of online e-learning materials.

As a word of advice, we encourage you to keep a log of your completed training. When did you do it? What did you learn? How can you demonstrate your learning? This reflective practice will enable you to get the most from the training opportunities we provide and feedback from employers suggests that this awareness sets you apart from other candidates in the job market. This can usefully form part of your own Personal Development Portfolio (PDP) which we recommend that you develop and maintain for yourself.


Orientation to Teaching & Demonstrating

If you would like to gain some experience in a teaching support role as a Postgraduate Teaching Assistant (PGTA) then there are compulsory training courses you are asked to do. Before you teach you are asked to register via Gradbook and attend the course: Orientation to Teaching & Demonstrating overview, OTD comprises of three elements:

  • Step 1: Completion of on-line course. (covering both seminar leader and demonstration roles).
  • Step 2: Attendance at a face-face-session (OTD: Seminar Leader or OTD: Demonstrator)
  • Step 3: Attendance at follow-up session (discipline based) once you have some practical teaching/demonstrating experience.

This training is mandatory for all PGTAs.

If your PhD is funded by a scholarship that requires a minimum compulsory annual input to teaching, then in addition to the two courses delivered via Gradbook you typically work alongside one member of your supervisory team to deliver PSYC1005 Thinking Psychologically to a group of first year students. The module will provide you with opportunities to work with students to meet the learning outcome of the module and to gain some experience marking different types of assignment (e.g., essays, posters, presentations)

Expectations linked to the role of postgraduate teaching assistant (PGTA) is outlined in our School of Psychology Code of Practice, which you can gain from Dr Claire Hart. Dr Aiden Gregg coordinates PGTA Activity with the PAU (


Unit Seminars

On Wednesday afternoons (15:00 – 16:00) during term time, the School of Psychology invites leading researchers to talk about their research. In addition to this, members of staff are also invited to make presentations about their research. You are expected to attend these seminars as part of your research training. They are a good way of establishing contact with scholars and keeping abreast of recent developments in areas of psychology not so closely related to your own interests.

A timetable of speakers can be found at the following website.

Research Division Group Meetings

The research in the School of Psychology is organised into four research centres, you can find more details at here.

Each postgraduate student belongs to one or more research group by virtue of their supervisors’ involvement. Staff and postgraduate students involved in these centres meet regularly during the year to discuss ongoing research, research plans, as well as the latest national and international developments in the field. The School of Psychology encourages research students to play an active role in these centres. You will be informed about the schedule and details of these meetings at the start of each academic year. As part of your research training, you are expected to be affiliated to and attend meeting associated with at least one research centre.



The Annual Psychology Postgraduate Conference

Each year, our postgraduate students organise and run a two-day postgraduate conference. The aim of the conference is to provide the opportunity for postgraduates within Psychology to celebrate and showcase postgraduate achievement across the diverse areas within the discipline of Psychology and to talk to your colleagues in psychology. It is an effective forum to bring together the postgraduates from a broad range of disciplines and programmes of study. All Psychology postgraduates are expected to attend the conference as part of their research training.

The conference is attended by postgraduates and staff from Psychology, and associated groups within the University of Southampton. It is consists of oral presentations, poster sessions and talks from guest speakers. Second and third-year students on the PGR programmes in Psychology will be encouraged to give poster presentation and oral presentations, respectively. However, all postgraduate student within Psychology are invited to present.

Details of the event are circulated nearer the time of the conference. Details of how to apply to present to the conference and the criteria for abstracts, posters and talks will be made available to students. An abstract book and conference programme of sessions will be made available.



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