Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development

GRADschool course outline

The Edinburgh local GRADschool is an experiential 3.5 day non-residential learning course, designed for doctoral researchers in the last 18 months of their PhD, aiming to raise participants’ awareness of their personal and professional transferable skills.

Please note GRADschool does NOT offer discipline-specific careers advice.  If you require career guidance please visit the Careers Service postgrad webpages.

Course outline

The course uses small facilitated groups to enable you to review your experiences at intervals as the GRADschool progresses.

It offers you the unique opportunity to:

  • take a step back from your research and consider your next step
  • develop a wide variety of personal and professional skills
  • build a network with students from across Scotland
  • develop self awareness and self confidence

The course aims to help you develop:

  • communication, networking, time management, and team work skills
  • awareness of your own individual qualities and strengths
  • self-confidence in research and beyond
  • career management skills and raised awareness of the range of career options open to PhD graduates.

Gradschools have a ‘learning by doing’ style, come with an open mind and be prepared to actively contribute to the course. The course is very interactive with lots of group work activity throughout the programme.


"This programme should go on FOREVER! It was very helpful and certainly a must-go for any PhD student. The programme helps students to develop skills necessary for PhD research and beyond, and consider their career beyond the PhD"

PhD Student, 2011