Academic Skills Centre

Personal Development Planning (PDP)

Personal Development Planning means:

  • reflecting on your own learning, performance and achievements
  • planning your all-round personal, educational and career development
  • recording your achievements.

PDP can help you to:

  • increase your self-awareness – who you are and what you want
  • identify the skills and experience that you already have, and those that you need
  • create a plan to acquire the skills you may need for your academic studies or your chosen career path
  • keep a record of your achievements that you can draw on when you apply for further study or employment.

Why make the effort?

PDP will help you make the most of your time at university:

  • by thinking through your skills and experiences and understanding your own learning style, you will find it easier to focus on areas you want to develop and on what you want to achieve
  • having a clearer sense of your own direction will help you to feel more in control of your studies and your life
  • by developing your understanding of how you learn and the areas in which you need to develop skills, you can not only make the most of your degree programme, but also of the range of skills training, placements, volunteering, sporting and work opportunities available to you
  • by keeping a record of your achievements, you will have a ready-made stock of examples of your skills and experience that you can translate into what employers are looking for – setting you apart from other candidates.

How do I get started?

You may already be on a programme that incorporates personal development planning into initial skills training, placement and work-based learning or work towards accreditation in particular professions. Ask your personal tutor or Director of Studies about the personal development opportunities that are available to you as part of your programme.

For further information:

Try these:

Want to know more?

You might find Harriet Swain’s article ‘The art of personal development planning’ in the Guardian’s ‘How to be a student’ series useful.