Skills and development

Our training programmes support the development of wider professional and personal skills

Key Skills Development Programme

Being a research student today means more than just the project itself, it’s all about developing your skills to help you be as effective a researcher as possible.

The London Doctoral Academy (LDA) takes your development seriously, and today, when there is an increased emphasis on transferable skills, development training is very much part of a modern postgraduate research programme.

Professional development approach

Our training programme and opportunities support the development of wider professional and personal skills, as well as the specialist technical requirements of your research degree.

Students have opportunities to develop their skills and competencies in a range of areas, including research skills and techniques, understanding the research environment, research management, consideration of personal effectiveness, research integrity and ethics, communication skills, networking and team working and career management.

Read the LDA Key Skills Development Programme handbook (PDF File 1,385 KB).

Design your own programme

Building on a core Key Skills Development Programme, you will shape your own programme supported by your supervisors and members of the London Doctoral Academy team. This forms part of a Research Skills Cycle that will support you through the life of your degree.

Research skills cycle diagram

Your professional development process starts with a self-audit to identify your existing skills, followed by an action plan to help you identify your development and training needs.

Your record of the skills, courses and development opportunities undertaken forms an important part of your portfolio as a professional researcher. This is potentially valuable for a future employer, and is a unique feature of the London Doctoral Academy’s commitment to your professional development.

Formal training

You will be expected to take part in the Academy's Key Skills Development Programme during the life of your degree, comprimising an impressive range of courses, seminars and workshops to help your wider development. All of our courses are mapped to the nationally recognised Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF) which describes 'the knowledge, behaviour and attributes of successful researchers'.

Researcher Development Framework (RDF)

The RDF structures researcher development into four areas: Knowledge and intellectual abilities; Personal effectiveness; Research governance and organisation; and Engagement, influence and impact. All our courses are coded to show which stage of your development they apply to, and which areas of the Vitae they contribute to, helping you shape your own development plan.

Research Development Framework

In addition to our core activities, our wider training programme has a mix of courses supplemented by specialist technical sessions for researchers from Schools and the Library and Learning Resources. You may find other University-wide resources useful, such as our taught Masters modules, or the 6,000 Lynda online training modules available through the Library.

You can read more about how the London Doctoral Academy supports personal skills development in our Student Handbook - Doing a research degree: the essentials (PDF File 5,301 KB).