Postgraduate Training Scheme

Postgraduate Training Scheme

The Postgraduate Research Training Scheme (PGTS) offers you the opportunity to develop both your academic and professional skills, enhancing your employability and preparing you for the many tasks and challenges in your research environment and subsequent career.


It is widely recognised by employers, professional bodies and research funding agencies that both specialist expertise and professional skills are needed for research or a subsequent career.

The Postgraduate Research Training Scheme (PGTS) offers you the opportunity to develop both your academic and professional skills, enhancing your employability and preparing you for the many tasks and challenges in your research environment and subsequent career.

The University of Hull requires all postgraduate research students to undertake the PGTS, studying topics relating both to your particular field of study and to professional skills, alongside your research degree.

The PGTS offers excellent added value to our postgraduate research experience. It is free of charge and students are awarded a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma in Research Training in addition to a research degree.

The University of Hull has a long pedigree of providing high quality training and development opportunities for postgraduate research students. Delivered at Hull since 1995, the programme has been repeatedly recognised by experts within the university sector as a comprehensive solution for contemporary doctoral development.

In recent years, the UK Research Councils have also acknowledged the importance of this and have now laid down a set of training requirements which it expects all Universities to implement, a copy of which can be found in the PGTS manual. Hull, with its well-established and pioneering scheme, is well equipped to cope the demands this makes upon institutions.


The minimum number of credits required to study depends on the type of research qualification the students is undertaking:

  • PhD - 60 credits
  • MPhil - 40 credits
  • Masters by Thesis - 20 credits

Any training above the required minimum of credits for your degree must be agreed beforehand with your supervisors in order to maintain a proper balance of activities.

About the award

The University of Hull offers two levels of award to students who complete set numbers of credits (excluding exemptions) under the PGTS:

  • The Postgraduate Certificate in Research Training is awarded to students who complete a total of 60 credits
  • The Postgraduate Diploma in Research Training to those who complete a total of 120 credits

Students will be given a written transcript listing their training modules completed.

About the scheme

The Postgraduate Training Scheme is overseen by the Graduate School. Students choose from a catalogue of modules, some modules may be compulsory by Faculties, Schools or Research Councils. Students make up the remaining credits from modules which meet their needs.

The scheme is flexible and requires students to plan, with the advice of their supervisor, modules appropriate to their circumstances and field of study. Students must discuss your individual training programme with their supervisor(s) and update your plan as the research progresses annually. The catalogue of modules is in the PGTS manual.

Successful completion of each assessed module carries a credit value. Modules are provided at University level through the Graduate School, or through the teaching subject areas.

Most students will need to take University-provided or general modules as an induction into the practices of research. First year PhD students are required to take two core modules: The Modern Researcher, provided by the Graduate School, and Research Integrity, provided by your Faculty. 

The student’s supervisor may recommend certain specialised modules to supplement the knowledge gained during your first degree. Students are also encouraged to consider modules from outside their subject area; interacting with postgraduates in other areas and experiencing other forms of learning offer valuable experiences. Overall, however, individual programmes should be flexible and thus allow for each student’s background and needs. 

There are no general restrictions on when students may take a particular module during their period of study. In some cases, the availability of places on a module will dictate the trimester in which students can take it. However, certain modules should be taken early in the degree; for example, safety training for laboratory scientists. Other modules, such as writing a research paper, fit more naturally toward the end of the period. Credits can be obtained during the whole research period, but it is in the student’s interest to ensure that most are acquired at the beginning of the degree rather than towards the end.

Students should note that the submission of their thesis is not permitted until they have accumulated sufficient credits.

In exceptional circumstances, partial exemptions can be given for previous research training which can be used to satisfy the requirements in order to allow submission of the thesis but would not count towards either the certificate or diploma.

Part-time and off-campus students

Part-time and students based outside the Hull campus have the opportunity to attend the annual week long Easter School or Summer School, which will give them the opportunity to undertake a number of modules in some basic but key areas. Eligible students will be contacted in advance with further information. Any enquiries regarding the school are welcome by contacting us at

Some PGTS modules are self-directed or distance taught and are therefore potentially available to all research students regardless of their location.


Each student is formally assessed on each module. The exact form of assessment is decided by the person responsible for that module. In the spirit of the scheme, assessment should be formative: it attempts to give you feedback on how much you have learned and understood rather than merely generate a result. Assessment methods include coursework, class or independent exercises, extended essays, formal reports, and examinations. Assessment of candidates within the PGTS is expected to allow them to demonstrate how the material has been incorporated into their personal research.

In order to be eligible to submit assignments for assessment, candidates must have attended and actively participated in at least 80% of the teaching sessions.

The outcomes of assessment for modules are that the student passes and is awarded the credits, or does not pass and has the option of being reassessed (once) in the same module, or of taking another module in its place.

How to apply

This scheme is only open to postgraduate research students. The scheme is mandatory for all research students to undertake alongside their degree. There is no need to apply; research students will automatically be enrolled onto the scheme upon accepting their offer from the University of Hull.

PGTS manual

Full details about the scheme are available in the Postgraduate Training Scheme manual.

Download the manual


There are no fees; students undertake the scheme as part of their postgraduate research study.