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.


The Postgraduate Training Scheme (PGTS) is an accredited training programme for PhD, MPhil and Masters by Thesis students. The scheme’s overall aim is to develop your research, professional and personal skills to prepare you for life as a postgraduate in your research environment and subsequent career by enhancing your employability.

Taken alongside your main research degree, the PGTS offers excellent added value to our postgraduate research experience. The scheme is free of charge and students are awarded a second qualification specifically in research training. This comes in the form of a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma in Research Training, in addition to your main research degree.

In recent years, employers, professional bodies and the UK Research Councils have acknowledged the importance of having a comprehensive support programme for contemporary doctoral development and have now laid down a set of training requirements that it expects all Universities to implement, a copy of which can be found in the PGTS Manual. Hull, with its well-established and pioneering accredited scheme that has been delivered since 1995, is well equipped to cope with the demands this makes upon institutions.


The minimum number of credits required to study depends on the type of research qualification you are 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 Doctoral College. Students choose from a catalogue of modules (called the PGTS Manual) to meet their training needs; some modules may be compulsory by Faculties, Schools or Research Councils. For instance, all first year PhD students are required to take the core module: ‘The Modern Researcher 1: Essential Skills, Knowledge and Training’ as an induction into the practices of research and professional development.

Modules are provided at Level 7 (Masters) through the Doctoral College, Faculties, and other professional services. The scheme is flexible and requires students to plan modules appropriate to their circumstances, field of study and module availability. Students must discuss their individual training programme with their supervisor(s) and update their plan as the research progresses annually. 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.

While some subject-specific modules maybe vital for undertaking your research, students are encouraged to consider modules from outside their subject area. The opportunity to interact with postgraduates in other areas, and experience other forms of learning, offer valuable external perspectives on your work and help build cross-cohort connections for a more vibrant research culture.

Successful completion of each assessed module carries a credit value. Students should note that the submission of their thesis for examination is not permitted until they have accumulated sufficient credits.

In exceptional circumstances, partial exemptions can be given for previous research training that can be used to satisfy the requirements in order to allow submission of the thesis, but these 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 week-long modules, such as Modern Researcher 1 (core) or an Introduction to Qualitative and Quantitative Methods, which will allow them to undertake a number of modules face-to-face in key areas. 

Some modules are self-directed or distance taught, such as ‘Negotiated Learning’ or ‘Career Management for Research Students’ and are therefore 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 module leader. 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 own 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

The PGTS is only open to PhD, MPhil and Masters by Thesis students. This scheme is core for these specific postgraduate research students to undertake alongside their research degree. There is no need to apply; PhD, MPhil and Masters by Thesis students will automatically be enrolled onto the scheme upon accepting their offer from the University of Hull.


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