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Skills and learning development

Academic progress

Academic progress is assessed and managed by passing milestones and working through the stages of your DPhil career.

Learning development and skills

As a member of the Medical Sciences Division, you will have access to the MSD Skills Training programme which provides courses, workshops and resources to support postgraduate research student and early career researcher development. The NDM also offers a full seminar programme.


You will receive induction information from around the University which is summarised on the New students page. You will also receive information from your college including details of matriculation.

At NDM you will receive:

  • An overview of the department and of your studies at the NDM Induction Breakfast
  • Health & Safety inductions to any labs and buildings that you will need access to
  • Access to labs and buildings
  • IT setup

NDM students are based in many different buildings in centres across the University and in overseas units, so you will need to contact reception at any of the buildings to arrange access if you haven't been contacted already.

Contact details can be found by following the links below:

About the Nuffield Department of Medicine

Institutes, centres & units

Research Buildings

Opportunities for skills training and development

Training is open to all Graduate Research Students. The Department and Division seek to equip all Graduate Research Students with a comprehensive set of transferable and research skills. The aim is to maximise each researcher’s potential, enabling participants to see beyond the day-to-day demands of their own research. Students build the foundation for a successful career through communication, networking and team-building as well as through excelling in their own research area. As a guide, the Research Councils recommend that graduate students spend 10 days a year on additional skills training.

Compulsory courses for NDM students

Within their first term, NDM Students must:

  • complete the online course on Avoiding Plagiarism (Weblearn)
  • complete your Training Needs Analysis (TNA) The TNA will be used to identify the skills you students wish to develop and explore during their research journey/career.

Over the course of their DPhil, the University expects its Graduates to develop skills in the following areas:

  • Research Skills and Techniques: an advanced knowledge of your field, critical analysis, the ability to recognise and validate problems, the development of hypotheses and concepts.
  • Research Environment: an awareness of context, rights and data protection, good practice, health and safety, funding and exploitation.
  • Research Management: understand project management, the use of information and other resources, and the use of information technology.
  • Personal Effectiveness: willingness to learn and acquire knowledge, creativity, innovation, self-awareness, self-discipline, motivation, thoroughness, recognition of boundaries and appropriate use of support, initiative and self-reliance.
  • Communication Skills: contribution to public understanding, support of others, defend results in public arena and viva, write clearly and appropriately.
  • Networking and Team Building: develop co-operative networks and good working relationships, understand the impact of our own behaviour, listen, give and receive feedback.
  • Career Management: Understand the need and show continued professional development, take ownership of career, transfer skills, present skills effectively

Training Needs Analysis

Students are required to complete a training needs analysis (TNA), in consultation with their supervisors, at various points during their studies. The purpose of completing the TNA form is to help students assess their skill level and identify training that is required. Students should complete the TNA form at the following points during their studies:

  • During the first term after admission
  • Transfer of Status
  • Confirmation of Status

TNA forms can be completed online using Graduate Supervision Reporting (accessed via student Self Service).

Language Skills

The University Language Centre offers a number of courses in various languages to students. Students may register for a variety of courses on English for Academic Studies at very low costs to the student. These courses are open to all non-native speaking members of the University.

For more information please visit the Language Centre’s website.

Employability and careers information and advice

The Careers Service at Oxford University reports that 6 months after leaving Oxford, postgraduate research students at NDM are on average earning £31,000 with 83.8% in employment and a further 11% in further study (e.g. Graduate Entry Medicine).

Our services for researches portal contains careers advice specifically for DPhil students.