Training and skills development

Being a postgraduate researcher is about more than producing a thesis. You need to identify and develop the skills needed for your research and future career - whatever direction that may take you. The University Graduate School is here to support this process through the Development Needs Analysis, provision of training courses and, for those enrolled, our PGCARMS programme.   

Determining your development needs

Skills development is something that you should be aware of throughout your postgraduate research journey. You should be discussing your training and development needs with your supervisor. This conversation is formalised by the completion and submission of the Development Needs Analysis (DNA) form.

Please note: submission of the Development Needs Analysis (DNA) form is a requirement for all postgraduate researchers at the University of Birmingham.  

The Development Needs Analysis process supports your skills development; it can help you to reflect on which skills areas to focus on, and when.

Development activities

Once you have identified your development needs, there are a number of resources, training courses and events that can support you.

  • UoB PGR Development Blog - This blog looks at topics related to personal and professional development for postgraduate researchers at the University of Birmingham. Topics cover the full range contained within Vitae‘s Researcher Development Framework, and each post will hopefully get you thinking about the topic and point you in the direction of further resources to support your development.
  • Face-to-face Workshops - view our programme of workshops.  Workshops are delivered in collaboration with Library Services and other training providers.  All University Graduate School workshops are free for our postgraduate researchers.
  • Online courses - we also have a range of online courses for you to study at your own convenience.
  • IT skills workshops  - we have a range of IT skills workshops including Matlab, Powerpoint and Endnote.
  • Events - our events provide opportunities for you to develop your presentation, public engagement and networking skills, as well as raise your research profile.


Developed and managed by the University Graduate School, in collaboration with the College of Social Sciences, the Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Research Methods & Skills (PGCARMS) provides enhanced advanced training in research and transferable skills. This programme is currently available to specific doctoral researchers from CoSS, CAL and LES.

  • PGCARMS - information and eligibility requirments for PGCARMS 

Research data management services

You may find this information about managing your research data helpful.