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PhD Module

Planning and Managing your Research and your Career 2016-17 Generic Skills Module for PhD students (5 ECTS credits)

Module Co-ordinators:

Dr. Tamara O’ Connor, Student Learning Development & Fiona Hayes, Careers Advisory Service

Module Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Identify and apply strategies and tools to help them manage the research process and successfully complete their degree (e.g. creating thesis template, starting and maintaining thesis writing process).
  • Plan and manage their time and resources including dealing with procrastination, balancing demands and managing stress.
  • Effectively communicate their research knowledge and transferable skills through posters, oral presentations, their curriculum vitae, and at interview.
  • Develop a career action plan which includes reflection on the skills they have to offer employers, sources of relevant opportunities and strategies for taking the creative approach to job-seeking including networking.
  • Identify and understand factors that impact on teams; identify the strengths and weaknesses of their own personal team working style.

Michaelmas Term 2016 Programme

Part I: Student Learning Development and Careers Advisory Service Sessions

This part of the module includes attendance at experiential workshops, self-study, and practical assessments directly related to planning and managing the individual student’s research and career. Workshops take place in 7-9 South Leinster Street and include:

Workshop Date Time
Planning & Time Management October 6th 11am-1pm
Career Planning October 13th 11am-1pm
Effective Teamwork October 20th 11am-1pm
CV Preparation October 27th 11am-1pm
Developing Critical Writing Skills November 3rd 11am-1pm
Effective Presentation Skills November 10th 11am-1pm
Thesis Writing Process November 17th 11am-1pm
Interview Skills November 24th 11am-1pm
Networking December 1st 11am-1pm
Viva & Oral Defence Preparation December 8th 11am-1pm
Stress Management December 15th 11am-1pm
Please see and for details of workshop dates/times and to register to attend.

Part II: IT Services Training Courses

This part of the module consists of attending IT Services training courses on:

  • Planning Thesis Production
  • Effective Presentations Using Powerpoint
  • Photoshop (for Conference Posters)

Please see for details.

Note: IT courses/SLD workshops (e.g. literature review) may be substituted based on individual requirements.

Assessment and Role of Supervisor

The module is assessed through attending all of the face to face workshops and providing evidence of the practical application of the employability, self-management and research skills gained:

  • Personal plan for individual research and career building strategies submitted to, and discussed with research supervisor;
  • Conference poster and/or delivery of a presentation in consultation with research supervisor;
  • CV and cover letter tailored to a particular academic or non-academic position submitted to CAS for feedback.

Students must have permission of their research supervisor to register and will receive a certificate of module completion. Students record their workshop attendance and assessments with the ECTS Monitoring Form which is kept on file.

Student Evaluation

Student comments in recent years included:

  • “believe it should be a compulsory module for all PhD students”
  • “helpful for PhD students in different fields learning generic skills to promote their academic achievements”
  • “Gave me effective tools and advice for presenting (and translating) my research in viable commercial directions”
  • “Found it a very encouraging environment. Felt people were all in the same boat”
  • “I enjoyed the course because it was very practical and it gave me concrete advice on how to get through my PhD”
  • “Gave me an environment in which I could think properly about the steps in my career path”
  • “Informative and thought provoking”
  • “Helped me to get more conscious of the importance of first impact ways to approach employers – academic or non-academic”
  • “Good advice on preparing a CV from both academic and non-academic perspectives”
  • “Great workshop, it really helped to give me strategies to cope with the stress of going to interviews”
  • “Practical advice on how to network in person”
  • “It was very helpful, I really appreciated her help.”
  • “We had a session on Planning and Managing Your PhD that gave a lot of practical tips and guidelines about time management and the importance of writing early. I found it helpful to be reminded that writing can help to clarify your thinking so it's important to write down your ideas, even if it's only in draft form.”
  • “Thesis writing and Viva preparation were the most immediately useful. It was also a good opportunity to meet with other PhD students. CV preparation and career planning were also good.”

For more information please contact: Dr. Tamara O’Connor, Student Learning Development at:

To register for the module please fill in the online registration form by clicking here.

For information on all of the services that SLD and CAS have to offer, please see and


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Last updated 15 September 2016 by Student Learning Development (Email) .