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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 can find out your current induction timetable here and 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 out 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.

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.

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 Access the course here
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

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 Welcome Sessions

All new students will have the opportunity to attend a Doctoral Welcome session to find out more about all the essential things you have to do when starting your doctorate, as well as give you the opportunity to network with other doctoral researchers.

These sessions take place throughout the year and are delivered online and in-person. You can choose whichever mode your prefer. If you attend an in-person session you will have the opportunity to attend an optional campus tour at the end of the session.

Doctoral Welcome Reception

We are delighted to announce that our Doctoral Welcome Reception will return on Thursday 21 October 2021 17:00 - 18:30 having been postponed in recent years due to the pandemic. During the Reception you will hear from the Vice Chancellor, Interim Pro-Vice Chancellor's (Research) and the Academic Director (Doctoral College).

Reserve your place

You may be interested in seeing what happened at the Doctoral Welcome Reception 2019 to see what might be in store for you.

New students information webinar

Library stall at the Doctoral Information Fair
Doctoral Information Fair 2019

New students are invited to join our online Doctoral Information Webinar on Thursday 28 October 2021 10.30am - 11.30am.

The webinar is an opportunity for new students to find out more about our professional services within the University and the support available. The session will be recorded for those unable to make the session but the benefit of joining live is that you will be able to ask your own questions.

Booking is strongly advised.

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.