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Postgraduate School of Life Sciences


From October 2016 new PSLS members will be able to take part in the Core Skills Training Programme. If you complete the CSTP then you will not be required to maintain a record of training credits. It is however recommended you continue to record other important activities and meetings (e.g. safety training / discussions with your supervisor / conferences / talks etc.) in a log book.


Why we aren't using credits anymore...

Credits were awarded for participation in skills training as a guide to help gauge how much training a student should have completed each year. They were always a self-regulated system but one that could promote a false sense of development.

They tended to be awarded for specific things you did (workshops, presentations, research training etc) rather than recognising the ongoing development of the skills of a professional researcher.

They also could be gained for anything which meant it was possible to complete the credit requirements by carrying out just a few isolated activities rather than thinking carefully about your all-round development.


It's all about reflecting on your experience...

For first year students (including Masters and those in rotation years of PhDs) we now have the Core Skills Training Programme. This will guide you towards a foundation in skills for the first year that you can then expand in the future. If you are in the middle of your PhD we recommend spending at least 10 days a year developing your skills. This isn't just time at workshops, but it is time spent using those skills.

We encourage you to use the skills analysis survey and CamRDF to understand your strengths and weaknesses and then develop these in a way that makes sense for your future directions.

Ultimately we want you to be able to go to an interview and not just list the skills you have learned, but be able to talk about how you are used them in a professional context. That is why taking time to reflect and apply your knowledge is so important.

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