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PhD Students

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The PGCTSS is specifically designed to complement a scientific PhD and is compulsory for PhD students from Chemistry, Complexity Science, Life Sciences, MAS, Physics and Engineering.

What is the format of the PGCTSS?

The course consists of 6 modules over 3 years. A Postgraduate Award of 3 modules is also available.

See PhD Programme for more information.

Core Modules

You take three core modules for the Certificate. Begin the first, Doctoral Skills 1, immediately by downloading the handbook from the Doctoral Skills page and working towards the tasks, signing them off with your supervisor as you go. As you complete each item, file the evidence in your portfolio.

The core modules are evidence of the things successful PhD students do as part of their research. These modules should not significantly add to your PhD workload as the majority of the assignments are done by effective students as a normal part of their PhD. It is probably a good idea to start working on the literature review and plan for the year NOW (most of us put off planning but our research is better if we do it).

Optional Modules

Normally you will take CH953 Team Working in a Research Environment in your first year and two others of your choice in the ensuing years. Optional modules vary in how they are delivered, for example Team Working in a Research Environment is based on a 3-day course. See all modules available on the Modules page

The optional modules should contribute to your effectiveness as a scientist now and in your future career. It is a good idea to sign up for the modules you want to take early to avoid disappointment. You may sometimes find difficulty in completing the tasks in the Postgraduate Certificate. In such a case there is almost certainly an appropriate course run by the central Research Student Skills Programme (RSSP) that will help you master the skills.

Your Portfolio

Once you have registered for a module download the student handbook (where available) from the Modules page or the Doctoral Skills page as appropriate. Put a copy in your portfolio and file the required assignments etc. with each title page. All documents are in Microsoft Word format and are strictly restricted to registered staff and students at Warwick. Your portfolio will form the basis for assessment.

 (Word Document) Introduction PGCTSS theoretical framework, why it is needed and how it operates.

How do I register?

Students in Chemistry, Complexity, Engineering, Life Sciences, MAS CDT and Physics: this should have already happened via your department.

Other students: register interest here.

Registering for individual modules:

This is done via the Modules page - see individual modules for details.

Assessment and Accreditation

The Certificate/ Award works by compiling evidence in a portfolio, which forms the basis for assessment, and signing off tasks and modules.

  • Signing off individual tasks is undertaken by your supervisor or a relevant academic.
  • Signing off modules is undertaken by the PG Director or their deputy in your department.

For the award of the PG Cert or PG Award you must complete and submit your portfolio two weeks before the independent examiner's visit, usually in November each year. Prior to this you need to have had your modules marked off either by your Director of Graduate Studies or their nominated representative or by Nikola Chmel. This should be summarised on the cover sheet, which can be downloaded below. You need 6 modules for the Certificate and 3 for the Award. You may submit more modules for consideration.

Portfolio Submission Coversheet -
Please note that this needs to be completed and submitted with your portfolio.