PhD student in Animal and Plant Sciences

Training and assessment

When you start your PhD, you'll join a thriving research community of academic staff, postdoctoral researchers and other doctoral research students. Your supervisor will make sure you get all the support you need, so that you can develop your research skills, expand your knowledge of your subject and make new discoveries.

Most PhD projects last three or four years, depending on the project and how it is funded. You will use this time to learn from our staff, complete your research, write your thesis for assessment and take part in an oral examination. You can also complete a two-year research project and graduate with a MPhil degree, instead of a PhD.

Training programme

During your PhD, you will learn advanced research methods and scientific techniques that are specific to your subject. Your training needs will be assessed at the start of your PhD, so we can make sure you get all the support you need, and your supervisor will lead a programme of training, with support from others working in your lab or research grouping.

We also make sure our students graduate with more general skills that every good scientist needs. You can take part in courses that are available to all students in Animal and Plant Sciences, or all students at the University of Sheffield, that cover topics including data analysis, project management and communication.

If your PhD is part of a Centre for Doctoral Training, there may be additional training for you to complete as part of your centre's programme.

Teaching experience

We train some of our doctoral research students to help with teaching in our practical classes and on field courses. Doctoral research students who take part in teaching are paid for their time, and it is a great chance to get experience of teaching undergraduates, improve your communication skills and share your enthusiasm for your subject.

See the University's guidance for Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs)