Personal Development

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Apart from being here to do awesome research, your PhD is a time when you'll have plenty of opportunities to better yourself, academically, personally, and entrepreneurially. Many of the personal skills you can learn over the course of a PhD are actually necessary to getting a good PhD done.

Luckily there are a lot of resources available to us at the University of Birmingham, some of which are listed below.

APOD (Academic Practice and Organisational Development) has a large list of useful courses, the Graduate School has its own courses, and there are other resources available too.

Highlights include:

  • Project Management directed at planning and finishing your PhD.
  • Teaching, leadership, and research focused development, as well as lots of help on personal skills like writing, presenting, interviewing, and so forth.
  • The residential Coniston programme is where a bunch of PhD students are let loose in the Lake District with a set of fun team building exercises. Most students who have been on that course loved it and recommended it wholeheartedly.
  • The Talent Pool is one course focused on converting research ideas into ideas for industry, and on commercial and entrepreneurial skills. It also is directed towards finding you ad-hoc work and collaborations with industry.

See also the formal skills development page for School of Computer Science (SoCS) doctoral students at

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