Beyond developing subject specific skills, postgraduate study is also an opportunity to develop a range of transferable skills such as communicating orally and in writing to various audiences and readerships, project organisation and time management, or creative and independent thinking. These skills will be valuable in whatever career students decide to go into, whether academic or industrial.
The Department, the Science Faculty, and the University acknowledge this professional development and support it by offering various training opportunities for postgraduate students and researchers.
The Mathematics Institute runs two tailored modules:
- Computational Techniques (Term 1):
Organised by the MathSys CDT for their MSc/PhD students in their first year, this is a seminar series that serves to broaden computational skills.
Attending the seminars is expected, but it is possible to augment this activity and get it credited by doing the Practical Application of Computational Techniques module, which will count towards the Certificate in Transferable Skills (see below).
- Speaking with Style (Terms 1/2/3):
The ability to communicate facts and findings to fellow mathematicians at workshops, seminars etc. is an essential skill for a research mathematician. The main objective of this module is to enhance the ability of first-year PhD students to orally present a substantial piece of mathematics in a clear, concise, and lively fashion to a general mathematics audience. The activity is delivered by some theoretical and practical sessions throughout the year.
As part of the Science Faculty, the Mathematics Institute encourages PhD students to take training opportunities that count towards the PG Certificate in Transferable Skills. This certificate is externally examined and ensures that the training is structured and well documented.
Whilst this is not compulsory, the University expects postgraduate students to engage with their Professional Development. The platform SkillsForge has been set up for booking courses, but also for evidencing and documenting training activities and analysing individual needs.
The above mentioned SkillForge platform provides an overview of training available via various providers. These include:
- The Researcher Development Programme run by the Doctoral College.
- The library offers dedicated space for postgraduate researchers such as the Wolfson Research Exchange and runs a couple of networking events. Thus, it provides access to support and opportunities to work and to share experiences in the broadest context of postgraduate life, not just subject specific study.
- Further general computing training is offered by IT services.
- For students thinking about an academic career, opportunities for early career researchers are offered by the Institute of Advanced Study.
- The Centre for Applied Linguistics provides support with developing English language skills.