Supporting Taught Postgraduates

Using this resource

Which resources are covered in this website, why you may find them useful and when you may wish to use them.

What is this website for?

The aim of this website is to support you in your academic and career development during your postgraduate studies. We hope that the resources provided will help you to make a good start as a postgraduate student at Edinburgh, achieve your (academic and career) goals, fulfill your potential and transition successfully into employment or further study. If you are not familiar with the UK academic culture, the resources on this website will also help address some of your questions or concerns.

Throughout your time as a student, you will use a variety of tools and skills. Some of the materials in this website are adapted from the Institute for Academic Development's Study Hub , which offers a wide variety of materials to support your academic development.  Other materials are from the Careers Service support.

It is also worth visiting the Study Hub blog, where you will find study tips, articles on student life, insights from staff and students, and updates on events and opportunities.

We recommend that you add Study Hub to your bookmarks so that you can easily access it whenever you need. You will find it useful to revisit throughout your studies for information, tips and resources.

Study Hub resources

Study Hub blog

Careers Service support for students

How to use the website?

The website is divided into four sections which relate to the different stages postgraduate students progress through during their studies: Starting Out, Developing, Consolidating and Moving On. The focus of each of these sections is described below and the contents are illustrated in the diagram. You can move through the different parts linearly as your course progresses but you will probably move forwards and backwards depending on your specific needs.  

Image showing topics covered in the resource, described in the text below
Outline of topics covered in the resource

Starting out:  The focus in this part is on developing academic skills that you will need to study at postgraduate level, and on setting goals to ensure that you get the most out of your time as a postgraduate student. Topics covered include academic writing, time management,  developing your English, studying in the UK, group working, getting your voice heard, setting goals, what you have to offer, and making the most of your studies. Some of the questions to ask at this stage are:

  • Do you feel prepared for studying at postgraduate level?
  • Do you have specific career ambitions? How will this qualification advance or help realise those ambitions?
  • If you do not have experience of the UK academic culture, how do you think it may differ from elsewhere? How can you prepare? 

 Starting out

Developing:  Once you have settled into your course, you will probably encounter essays and other assessments. The focus in this part is on developing more advanced skills in terms of assessment, feedback and taking stock of what you have achieved so far. Topics covered include critical thinking, using feedback, exams, part-time studies, reviewing goals, and planning for the future.Some of the questions to ask at this stage are:

  • What are you learning from the process of assessment and feedback?
  • As your academic skills develop, what is their potential value for your future career?
  • Which opportunities and events could support your career development?  


Consolidating:  When you are more than half way through your programme, the focus shifts to preparing for your dissertation and career decisions. Topics covered include managing groups, dissertation / work based placements, reviewing goals, making career decisions, what you want from a career, and generating career ideas. Some of the questions to ask at this stage are:

  • Dissertation or work-based project – which one is right for you? Which one will support your career ambitions most?
  • If you wish to work in a specific area, have you chosen a dissertation that supports this? One which you can talk about in interviews?
  • What are your best career options? How do you decide on this?


Moving on:  When you have almost completed your postgraduate degree, you will need to focus on what to do next. You will need to review what you have gained from your studies and think about how to use it to make a successful transition into employment or further study. Topics covered include what you have gained from postgraduate study, marketing your postgraduate experience, and moving on from postgraduate study.  Some of the questions to ask at this stage are:

  • What skills, knowledge and experience have you gained that you can use in your future career?
  • What can you highlight on your CV and how can you present yourself most effectively?
  • How have you changed over the period of your studying? Are you career plans the same as when you started? If not, what has changed?

Moving on