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Postgraduate training programme

High-quality training is an integral part of career development. It provides a valuable opportunity to reflect on our own practices, to discuss these with others, and to share experiences. The Department of Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London, has long recognised the importance of such training, and has developed an integrated package of training for all postgraduates. In line with the requirements of the UK Research Councils, and other funding bodies, this training includes both compulsory and optional elements. The package is designed to provide a nested framework of training, from that delivered by supervisors, through Research Group and Departmental activities, to training provided at the College level and externally. Do remember that all training requirements should be discussed and agreed with supervisors, and then entered into the training logs that need to be submitted with annual review papers.

1. Induction (compulsory)

At the start of every academic year during Induction Week.


There is a Departmental and College induction programme during the first week of the academic year. This is designed to provide all postgraduate students with basic information on the institutional requirements of undertaking research at Royal Holloway, University of London as well as of the resources available to them within the institution. It also gives an introduction to the Department’s research groupings, and the Postgraduate Symposium, held during Induction Week, gives an opportunity for new students to learn more about ongoing postgraduate research in the Department. Full details of the induction programme will be provided in advance to incoming postgraduate students.

2. Departmental training (compulsory)

Departmental postgraduate training is workshop-based, and is designed to provide an opportunity to reflect on a range of practices and skills relevant to undertaking successful geographical research. It is compulsory for all first-year postgraduates, and complements the wider programme on research training made available centrally by the College. Full details of the training programme will be provided in advance to incoming postgraduate students.

3. College training (compulsory)


The Generic Skills Programme (GSP) is series of generic or transferable skills courses designed for research students to help develop their skills alongside their research. Some of these courses are specifically designed to help students complete their degree, while others help develop more general skills and aid employability. Royal Holloway will notify all incoming students in more detail about these courses, and students will be responsible for ensuring that they book places and attend. Since these are compulsory, students are advised to book as early as possible.

4. College Certificate in Teaching Skills  (strongly recommended)

This is required if you intend to do any teaching in the department.

Royal Holloway provides an opportunity for all postgraduates to learn about teaching in higher education and to gain a Postgraduate Certificate in Skills of Teaching to Inspire Learning (inSTIL). This Certificate is required for all postgraduates who wish to undertake teaching (including demonstrating, seminars, tutorials, or lectures) within the department, but students are permitted to begin teaching while they are doing the course. The course is extremely valuable for those intending to teach in their future careers.

5. IT and Information Skills (recommended)

Royal Holloway’s IT Training Office runs a range of courses, providing training in word processing, data management, statistics, graphics, presentational, and web-design skills. Full details are available here.

The Library at Royal Holloway also provides a comprehensive programme of Information Skills courses, providing guidance on the use of bibliographical databases, advanced searching techniques, and the use of reference management software. Full details are available here.

6. MA and MSc research training

All PhD students are invited to attend relevant aspects of the training provided as part of the various master’s-degree programmes taught within the Department (MA Cultural Geography (Research); MSc Geopolitics and Security; MSc Practising Sustainable Development; MSc Quaternary Science;   MSc Sustainability and Management) subject to the agreement of the relevant programme director. This opportunity is particularly valuable for students who may not already have undertaken a master’s degree, or who wish to gain particular additional skills.

7. English for international students

For overseas students there are intensive pre-sessional English language courses, lasting between four and twelve weeks. Full details are available here.

 

8. Other sources of training 

Training requirements are best discussed in the first instance with your supervisor, who will have detailed knowledge of the many additional training possibilities open to you. The following list nevertheless provides an outline of some of the training that recent postgraduates have found to be of particular use.

Human geographers

  • The various Research Groups of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) arrange events and training sessions which may be of interest.
  • The Postgraduate Forum of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) runs an annual conference for postgraduate geographers and organises sessions at the Society’s Annual International Conference.
  • The University of London’s School of Advanced study offers a range of discipline-specific, generic, and online research training programmes which may be of interest.

Physical geographers

  • The British Society for Geomorphology runs an annual postgraduate workshop at nearby Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park.
  • The Quaternary Research Association runs an annual conference for postgraduate students. This conference is designed for all PhD students with interests in, or that are allied to, Quaternary Science. It provides a good opportunity to gain practice at presenting posters and papers to a mixed audience, as well as the chance to talk about common experiences relating to research and thesis preparation.
  • The various Research Groups of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) arrange events and training sessions which may be of interest.
  • The Postgraduate Forum of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) runs an annual conference for postgraduate geographers and organises sessions at the Society’s Annual International Conference.

 

 

   
 
 
 

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