Centre for Learning and Teaching

PDP - personal development planning

What is personal development planning?

Personal development planning (PDP) is a process of:

  • reflecting on achievement
  • learning to capitalise on strengths
  • identifying and addressing areas for development
  • setting goals
  • identifying skills
  • recording reflection

A continuous cycle of self reflection and action, the purpose of PDP is to encourage students to learn to develop themselves and plan for the future by becoming more self-aware.

PDP can be applied in a range of contexts, changing the way students approach their studies, make choices in both their academic and personal life and achieve their goals.

Benefits of PDP

Engaging in PDP may help students to:

  • be more motivated
  • take greater interest in their development
  • become better learners
  • become more self aware
  • improve their employability
  • recognise and fulfil their potential

Engaging students in PDP

There is an expectation that the University will provide opportunities for students to undertake PDP. Some students take to the concept of PDP naturally. However, experience has shown that many students, not only need to see the relevance of what they are being asked to do, but also, need to be provided with a context and some impetus to get started.

There a many points in the student lifecycle – at induction, in study skills units, placements - where the process of PDP is already embedded. By engaging fully in the process as part of the curriculum, students are made aware of the benefits PDP, and might be encouraged to continue the practice throughout their studies and beyond their time at University.

The following are a few examples of ways in which PDP is already used across the University, which may help your students to become familiar with the process:

  • at induction
  • study skills units
  • work-based learning
  • professional requirements
  • placement preparation
  • whilst on placement
  • personal tutorial
  • generic skills training
  • the Bath Award
  • careers advice