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Starting your doctoral research degree

What you need to do when you start your doctoral research programme, mandatory training, checklists, orientation and peer mentoring.

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

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

Starting your doctorate

You will learn about the milestones of the doctorate and find out about key University services and other helpful information.

You must complete this training within your first two weeks.

Join the Starting your doctorate course.

Be the Change, Tackling Harrassment

Raising awareness of harassment and signposting how to report incidents.

You must complete this training within the first two weeks. Join the Be the Change course.

Academic Integrity Initiative and Test

Explains the academic standards required to complete any degree at the University.

You must complete this course, and pass the test, within the first month.

Join the Academic Integrity training and test.

Concordat to Support Research Integrity

Provides support and guidance about doing research.

You must complete this training within the first month.

Join the Concordat to Support Research Integrity.

Welcome Workshop Recordings and Useful Resources

Access recordings of our Welcome Workshops, that were held in October, and other useful resources.

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

Opportunities to meet other students

Group of students sitting around a table, taking part in an induction activity.
Doctoral Welcome Reception 2022

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

Networking events

The Doctoral College run a couple of networking events for you to take a break from your research and meet other researchers. You can sign up for a Doctoral Breakfast or a Doctoral Café on MyDoctoralDevelopment

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

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

Peer mentoring

If your department is included in the Doctoral Peer Mentoring Scheme you will be assigned a Peer Mentor to welcome you to your doctorate. Your Peer Mentor will email you to arrange a meeting with you in your first or second week of your studies. We would encourage you to make the most of this meeting as it is a useful way to ask any questions you may have in an informal environment.

Help with technology

For any online sessions, if you need assistance with any IT, please contact the IT helpdesk before the start of the session.

First meeting with your supervisor(s)

Please use our supervision checklist to help plan your first couple of meetings with your supervisor(s).

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.

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