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Starting your doctoral research degree

A Guide explaining what you need to do when you start your doctoral research programme.

Joining a new programme can be exciting, but it can also be daunting and overwhelming as you will probably be trying to acquire lots of different bits of information.

This Guide should help you navigate through what you need to attend and do as part of your induction experience at the University.

Starting your research degree

PhD/IPhD students

When you start your studies, you will be required to engage in any local department induction-related activities. These usually involve meeting key people in the department, understanding local policies and procedures and any relevant local health and safety information you need to know.

You should receive further information via email from your Doctoral Programmes Administrator before your programme commences.

Meeting early with your supervisor or supervisory team when you start your programme is essential as during this meeting you will discuss the scope of your project and the support you should expect to receive. The first meeting is an opportunity for you to agree a working arrangement with your supervisor(s). You may find our checklist helpful to help structure your first meeting.

Please note that if you are part of a Doctoral Training Centre or Doctoral Training Partnership then you may have some additional induction related activities. Please check with your local coordinator or administrator.

Professional doctorate students

If you are on a professional doctorate programme, which commences with a taught residential (such as DBA, DHealth, DPRP or EdD), your induction will be integrated within that residential. Your Doctoral Programmes Administrator will email you details related to your residential and this will include induction information.

Online training

A female student working on a laptop
Undertaking online training remotely.

Upon starting your programme you are expected to undertake some self-directed online training. Please see the courses you are required to take and plan some time within your first couple of weeks to do this.

Mandatory training

Course Name Description Target audience Completion timeframe Enrolment
Starting your doctorate You will learn about the milestones of the doctorate, find out about key University services and other relevant information. All doctoral students Within your first two weeks Auto enrolled on Moodle
Be The Change: Tackling Harassment Raising awareness of harrassment and signposting how to report incidents All doctoral students Within your first two weeks Self-enrolment
Academic Integrity Training and Test Explains the academic standards required to complete any degree at the University All doctoral students Within your first month Auto enrolled on Moodle
Concordat to Support Research Integrity Provides support and guidance about doing research PhD students only Within your first month Auto enrolled on Moodle
Research Ethics and Governance module Provides advice and information regarding ethics and governance HSS PhD students ony Within your first month Auto enrolled on Moodle

Recommended training

Course Name Description Target audience Completion timeframe Enrolment
Suicide Awareness Training This training will help you to better understand suicidal behaviours so you can feel confident to: see the signs, say the words and signpost to support. All doctoral students Within your first month Self-enrolment

If you cannot access any of these courses please email your Doctoral Programmes Administrator.

Opportunities to meet other students

Group of students writing statements about themselves on postcards for an activity.
Doctoral Welcome Reception 2019

Find out about our opportunities for you to meet other researchers within and outside of your Departments.

Doctoral Cafés

Sign up to one of our Doctoral Cafés and meet our Doctoral Engagement Ambassadors and other PhD students.

The Student Unions' Doctoral Community Microsoft Team

Join the Students' Union's Microsoft Team for the Doctoral Community and connect with other PhD students.

Self-guided campus tour

meeting room
Postgraduate meeting room in 10 West

Once you arrive on campus, carry out a self-guided tour at your own pace.

Further information about Induction

You can find more information about settling in to the University on our Doctoral Induction page.


If you have any questions, please contact us.