The Doctoral Development Programme (DDP) is a flexible, ongoing training plan that is an integral part of your research degree, and is tailored to your individual needs. It helps you progress through your research studies by identifying the skills you already have and providing opportunities to improve these and acquire new skills and experience. The aim of the DDP is to provide you with a range of skills and competency-based training opportunities orientated both towards your specific study and towards future employment, equipping you with transferrable skills that will make you a not only a successful researcher, but also able to easily assimilate skills that have wider utility, thus extending your employability to other professions.

The DDP is student-specific, designed to complement your individual research project and is carried out in agreement between you and your supervisory team. The training plan reflects four particular areas, enabling you to demonstrate the following:

  • generic skills to become a high-level professional
  • subject-specific advanced training;
  • subject-specific craft skills
  • broad scholarship and wider engagement within the full community of scholars (e.g. networking, dissemination of knowledge, conferences, demonstrating impact and public value of research).

(See DDP Cycle)

You will take ownership of your development through various tools including the Training Needs Analysis (TNA), the development plan and the student e-Portfolio, which is a record of evidence of achievement that can be shown to prospective employers.

Inherent in the DDP is an understanding that different students will have different background and different needs: a student who has just completed a first degree is likely to have a more limited skill set than, for example, one who has spent time working in industry before starting their research degree. Your development plan is reviewed annually so that as your skill level changes and your research develops, you can tailor your further training accordingly.