Getting Started with Postgraduate Research

Getting Started with Postgraduate Research is a 3-week, interactive online course for all new postgraduate researchers at the University of Edinburgh.

Starting a postgraduate research degree is a very exciting time, but it can also be difficult to know where to start.

Course aims

We hope this online course will help you settle into your degree by sharing essential information, tips and advice, and giving you an opportunity to interact with other students at the same stage.

Course structure, dates & time commitment

Course dates: this course will run in October and February. The next course will start on the 5th February 2024 and run for three weeks.

Time commitment: we estimate you should expect to spend about 1-2 hours per week reading the materials and engaging with the tasks and online forums. It will be run as an asynchronous course, which means you can look at the tasks and post in the forums at a time that suits you. There are no 'live' elements to this course, it can be completed at your own pace. 


  • Week 1: Getting to know you and starting out – this is to introduce you to the course and other participants and to cover the essential information and expectations

  • Week 2: Focus on achieving the first milestones – identifying milestones, planning and skills development, the supervisory relationship

  • Week 3: Overcoming common challenges – identifying challenges, tips and strategies to overcome

Course platform

The course will run in Learn, one of the University's Virtual Learning Environments.

How to book

You can book now via the University Events Booking website (EASE log-in required):

Getting Started with Postgraduate Research   - book online now

Additional Support

To complement the Getting Started with Postgraduate Research Course there are a number of lunchtime one hour skills sessions available, these include:

How to Manage your Time

How to Network

How to Read with Purpose

How to Organise your Stuff 

How to Cope with Imposter Syndrome

How to Plan your PhD Backwards

How to Work with your Supervisor Effectively