Answers to some frequently asked questions regarding the Doctoral Development Programme.


Why is the Doctoral Development Programme important?

The DDP is important because it will help you develop the skills to:

  • successfully complete your research project 
  • become a world-class researcher
  • reflect on your personal and professional development
  • increase your future employability 
  • get the most out of your PGR study and experience at Sheffield.

Read more about the benefits of the DDP

I am a PGR student who isn't looking to become an academic or enter the job market. Is the DDP still relevant to me?

Yes! The DDP is designed to be flexible and tailored to your own development needs. It is an opportunity to reflect on your skills and personal development, whatever your future goals and aspirations may be. Engagement with the DDP will also ensure you get the most out of your PGR study and experience at Sheffield.

Are any students exempt from the DDP?

Engagement with the DDP and submission of the Evidencing Your Development summary are regulatory requirements for all PGRs (including those on 3 year programmes, 4 year programmes, PhDs with integrated studies, part- time programmes and MPhils), except in a very small number of cases. Exemptions can only be agreed by the University's Postgraduate Research Committee and are specified in the Programme Regulations

The only programmes currently exempt from the DDP are:

Programme Faculty Training Needs Analysis                                         Evidencing Development Summary Faculty Ethics & Integrity module/s

Compulsory departmental modules

(where applicable)

DClinPsy Science Exempt Required Exempt Exempt
Speech & Language Technologies CDT Engineering Required Exempt Exempt Exempt
Advanced Metallics CDT Engineering Required Exempt Exempt Exempt
WiRE CDT Engineering Required Exempt Exempt Exempt
EdD Social Sciences Exempt Exempt Exempt from both FCS601 and FCS602 Exempt
DEdCPsy Social Sciences Exempt Exempt FCS601 required, FCS602 exempt Exempt

How is the DDP assessed?

More information on how the DDP is assessed can be found on the following pages:

When do I need to register for training and modules?

You are advised to register for DDP training and modules as soon as you have met and agreed your training needs with your supervisory team.

Normally the modular courses start in late September for the autumn semester, and in early February for the spring semester. We recommend that you enrol on any modules well in advance.

Other training, seminars and short courses take place throughout the year and they are booked on a first come first served basis.

Which course shall I attend?

This is a decision you will make with your supervisory team after completing your Training Needs Analysis (TNA). The DDP is designed to be flexible and tailored to your own development needs, therefore there isn't one prescribed route through the DDP.

However, we ask that you only register for courses you are able to fully commit to attending, and that are essential for your needs. As a guideline we advise no more than 100 hours of training and development per year, including informal or non-modular opportunities. 

Are there any compulsory modules that I need to register on?

All students are required to complete the Research Ethics & Integrity module, which you will be enrolled on automatically.

Some departments also require their students to complete compulsory subject-specific modules. If this is the case in your department, then you will automatically be registered for these.

Why can't I register for a module through the DDP online registration portal?

The module registration portal is only open for a 4-week window in advance of each semester. Only certain modules which have been pre-agreed with departments will pull through onto the portal. If you wish to attend a module which is not listed on the portal, please follow the guidance below.

If the registration portal is closed but you still wish to enrol on the module, contact the DDP team who can register you on the appropriate module(s) manually. We publish the most recent module portal opening and closing dates on the DDP training hub.

My supervisor has suggested a module that does not appear on the DDP portal, what should I do?

You must seek agreement from the module leader and then contact the DDP team to officially register. Please let us know the module code and your registration number when emailing the team. 

Any students wishing to take optional Taught module/s in the Department of Computer Science (COM) should get permission from both their supervisor and their L&T Team via com-teaching@sheffield.ac.uk before emailing the DDP team to register. 

Any students wishing to take optional Taught module/s in the Department of Psychology (PSY) need to get permission from their supervisor and the relevant module leader/s. If students are having difficulty obtaining these permissions, they should email psypgt@sheffield.ac.uk. Once they have approval, they should then email the DDP team to register. Please note, PSY Taught modules are only open to PGRs within the Department of Psychology.

Do I need to complete the module assessments for optional courses?

PGRs are not expected to complete the assessments for optional courses - the assessments are intended for Master's students taking the course for credit as part of their programme of study. 

I registered for a module by mistake, how can I unregister?

You should send an email to the DDP team, making sure to include the module code and your registration number. 

How can I change or drop modules?

Any change must be agreed with your supervisor in the first instance. You should then contact the DDP team to make the necessary changes to your DDP registration.

Where can I find the timetables for my modules?

Timetables for most modular courses are available on the timetables page. If the timetable information of your chosen modules are not available, you should contact the module provider directly.

I am a cross-sessional PGR student who arrived after the main registration period, how do I register?

If you arrive in Sheffield after registration week, which is towards the end of September, then you should follow the same steps as set out in this guidance.

Please also pay particular attention to the start date for training courses/modules you wish to take to ensure they are timely for you. This may mean you have to delay the start of some of the DDP training until the beginning of a future semester.

What if I am studying away from the University?

Most taught modules take place on campus, however an increasing number of workshops are being delivered online - check the description in the registration system.

As a remote location student you are still required to fully engage with the DDP, so should ensure that you source the training identified through your Training Needs Analysis.

What if I need training in something not offered in the programme?

If there are particular generic skills courses that you would like offered, please get in touch with the DDP team. If there are enough other students interested, then we may be able to help.

Any other questions?

If you have any other questions, please email  the DDP team on ddpenquiries@sheffield.ac.uk.