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Core skill and standard


Training courses available

Details of Divisional courses available

Other suggested activity


1. Able to write a thesis to a good standard

2. Coherent, purposeful, structured, critical writing

3. (In later years) Able to write to the standard of lead author on journal article / funding application

MPLS Division:

Scientific Writing Core Skills

Scientific Writing: Getting your Paper Published

Make sure you write something for your supervisor early

Research Ethics and Integrity

Able to design, carry out, and report on research to meet the ethical and integrity standards of the discipline(s)

MPLS Division:

Discipline specific online courses

Work through the relevant online course a section at a time and reflect on how the content relates to your research context. Discuss this with your supervisor / colleagues.

Owning a Successful DPhil / Managing your Supervisor

Actively taking responsibility for the success of your DPhil

MPLS Division:

Foundations for a Successful DPhil

Managing your Supervisory Relationship

One to one sessions


The graduate committee in your department will organise sessions about this kind of topic. Please contact them or your graduate secretary for details.

Presentation skills

Able to communicate scientific ideas effectively within your discipline and engage with questions in a variety of contexts

MPLS Division:

Introduction to Presentation Skills





Take opportunities to make presentations to small group to build up your confidence step by step.

Practise with friends and colleagues before a presentation and get feedback.

Managing your DPhil project

Able to devise and maintain a comprehensive and up to date plan for completing your DPhil on time

MPLS Division:

Foundations for a Successful DPhil

How to Plan your PhD (video)


Completing your DPhil / Writing your Thesis and Viva Preparation

Able to complete a D.Phil that meets the requirements of the University’s examinations procedures

(See Guidelines for examiners and Graduate Studies Office forms)

Understand the formal requirements and purpose of the viva

Understand the formal processes and possible outcomes

Able to employ strategies to prepare effectively

MPLS Division:

Thesis and Report Writing

Completing your DPhil

Viva Preparation


Take opportunities to practice with peers and your supervisor and get feedback


Career development

1. Have an awareness of the need to consider careers early in the DPhil

2. Think and plan for the career at appropriate times during the DPhil


See the Careers Service



Ideally these sessions will be delivered by your department. During year one you will find it useful to look ahead and consider your career as part of your DPhil plan.

During your penultimate year you should be thinking and planning actively for your career.

Research Basics

You will have the essential skills and training you need to be able to make timely progress in your discipline and department


Departments and supervisors will provide information, resources and training on the skills that are needed to meet the research standards required. These might include, but are not limited to:

Keeping lab books

Finance – for example for field work

Research Data Storage and Management

Technical skills

Understanding the importance of doing reproducible / repeatable research

How to make your research useful

The scientific method

Good laboratory practice

Lab safety

Basic Statistics

Statistical analysis


Health and safety