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Doctoral Development Programme

Many students embarking on a first research degree have limited experience of undertaking a research project. The University therefore has a Doctoral Development Programme (DDP) which is organised by the Doctoral Development Team in Research and Innovation Services. The DDP is compulsory for all PhD and MPhil students including part-time and remote location students.

The DDP is a flexible, on-going training plan that is an integral part of your research degree and can be tailored to your individual needs. It helps you progress through your research studies by identifying the skills and experience that you already have and providing opportunities to enhance your existing skills and to acquire new skills and experience. This training may be provided through attending modules offered within the Department or elsewhere in the University. But the DDP is not only about formal courses and classes. Your developmental needs may also be about gaining different forms of experience such as participating in reserach events, networking, or focusing on particular aspects of presentation and study skills.

At the end of your period of study, you should have acquired transferable skills that will not only make you a successful researcher but also extend your options for employment more broadly.

Your supervisor will help you decide what research training is most appropriate, both at the start of your degree and as your progress, using tools such as the Training Needs Analysis Form (TNA) and Development Plan.

Remote location students

Remote location students will still take part in the DDP. Some research skills training is available online via the Virtual Graduate School, including the compulsory Research Ethics & Integrity module. 


What do I need to do first?

  • Look at the DDP webpages, including considering available modules, seminars and language training
  • Complete a provisional TNA Form to bring to your first supervisory meeting (please do not use Pebblepad for your TNA)
  • Discuss your training needs and suitable training/modules with your supervisor at your first supervisor meeting
  • Finalise your TNA and submit a hardcopy to the Postgraduate Support Manager by 5pm, Friday 18 October 2019
  • Register for modules via the DDP website by 5pm, Friday 18 October 2019

Additional information on modules:

  • You will take one compulsory module called Research Ethics and Integrity
  • You are also able to take history MA modules appropriate to your area of research and development needs. You should contact the Postgraduate Support Manager to discuss availability and to register. Find out what MA modules being offered in 2019-20 here.
  • Language modules - please note that places can fill up fast, so we recommend looking at language modules as soon as possible. You will find information about languages as part of DDP here and general application information here. You should also make sure to complete the DDP application form (opens 2 September). If you are interested in taking Beginners or Post-Beginners Latin please also let the Postgraduate Support Manager know via email so that we can update them on potential numbers.
  • If you would like to register for a non-history module that is not listed on the DDP webpages you should first get agreement from the module provider and then contact the DDP Admin to register.


And after that?

  • Keep an ePortfolio of your training and development throughout your degree. You can use Pebblepad or any alternative system of your choice.
  • After three months meet with your supervisor to discuss your DDP progress so far and make any necessary adjustments
  • At the end of your first year submit a summary of your engagement with the DDP so far as part of your Confirmation Review paperwork
  • Undertake an annual review of your training needs with your supervisor so that, as your skill level changes and your research develops, you can further tailor your training
  • Following this meeting, submit a new TNA form to the Postgraduate Support Manager and register for any DDP modules you want to take that academic year by Friday 18 October 2019.
  • In your final year submit a summary of your engagement with the DDP