Structure of the Programme
Our strategy at Cardiff University has been to develop a range of opportunities for you to develop both research skills and the wider personal and professional skills expected by the Research Councils and employers, both academic institutions and others.
We recognise that there is significant diversity in postgraduate research: diversity in research methods and approaches in and between disciplines; diversity in the initial preparation and experience of entering research; diversity in modes of attendance; and diversity in the research student community. Therefore, our approach is student-centred and is needs-based: your skills development should be appropriate to your needs and to the needs of your research project.
In order to assist with the aim of developing a strong supportive University research community, our aim is to provide skills training in the broadest possible context that is able to meet student needs. This enables students to work in cross-discipline groupings that support the overall University research aims, without prejudice to the development of a strong School research culture.
We organise our formal skills development in three broad contexts: generic across subject areas, generic within subject area, and subject-specific.
- Skills training and development in areas that are considered to be generic across subject areas are offered in mixed discipline groupings so that researchers will have an opportunity to meet others and learn about the variety of approaches to research. Areas are largely general professional or personal development; examples of these include: Introduction to Presentation Skills; Project Management; Time Management; Finishing Your PhD.
- Skills that are considered to be generic within subject areas are offered in disciplinary groupings and are identified as such, so that researchers are clear on the content. Examples of these include Research Ethics in Social Science Research; Web Searching and Bibliographical Databases (Humanities); Applying Statistics to Biomedical Research and Geographic Information Systems.
- Skills that are specific to a subject, School, or research group are coordinated and delivered within that School or group. In future, the University Graduate College aims to be able to develop a directory of School based activity that is open to those from outside the School.
It is essential to note that ‘delivery’ in all contexts includes the crucial role of the supervisor(s) in research training. Further, although there is a crucial role for formal training, many of the skills will be developed by the conduct of the research including defending and disseminating it.