Research students develop and use many skills to help them to successfully complete their PhD. These include both research-focussed skills and generic skills. The development of these skills is considered as an integral part of the experience of being a postgraduate research student.
The Postgraduate Skills Training Programme (PSTP), offers a comprehensive range of courses and training opportunities designed to enhance and develop transferable skills across disciplines. The programme aims to support PhD researchers in developing a range of professional skills to successfully complete their research and increase their employability. This training programme is designed to complement and enhance the research training provided by Schools and other professional bodies.
This training is open to all research students, full-time and part-time and comprises mainly of half-day and one-day courses. The training courses have been co-ordinated to map onto the skills areas outlined in the Research Councils’ Joint Skills Statement and students are advised to undertake courses from each of the sections to ensure a variety of training courses appropriate to their particular research development.
In addition, the School of Modern Languages arranges a tailored induction programme for new PhD students in the School, as well as specialist seminars on preparing for differentiation in the School and on career opportunities for PhD students in our disciplines.
As anyone who has ever been involved in postgraduate life will surely tell you, the whole experience is about much more than your topic of research alone. The postgraduate ‘journey’ is also an opportunity for you to pursue academic interests, meet and collaborate with others on topics of mutual interest, forge and develop friendships with others, and above all become involved in the ‘community’ that is so fundamental to the experience. In turn, this sense of belonging to a wider community proves to be enriching and invaluable in terms of the support you receive from others, the skills you can develop by planning and leading postgraduate initiatives, and the sense of ownership you have by developing the skills necessary for a future career. In the School of Modern you will find a number of activities led by postgraduates designed to fit this purpose.
Seminars take place on a frequent basis. The seminars give research students the opportunity to offer papers, and to discuss their work in progress with their peers and with staff from across the School. The atmosphere is relaxed and informal, and discussions generally continue over a glass of wine.
Postgraduate study can be a solitary affair, and the School believes in fostering a sense of a postgraduate community not only through the seminar series, but also through the School's postgraduate study spaces. There are communal offices in the School in which PhD students have access to a study space, web access and printing facilities, and a "hot-desking" room for use by our MA students. There is also a social, kitchen space for our postgraduate community on the ground floor of 5 University Square.
In addition, students can make use of the communal areas (seminar room, computing lab, meeting room, kitchen and courtyard garden) in our Faculty's Graduate Research Centre in 18 College Green. The Centre also houses a small study room with seating for four PhD students from the School. Access to the Centre is via keypad entry and the code will be given to all PG students on request.
Located on the ground floor of the Library, facilities include teaching space plus an excellent self-study area where students have access to language software. In the self-study room, students have access to resources such as CDs, dictionaries, books and DVDs along with online resources and access to satellite TV in over 2000 stations worldwide.
The Library is the basis of your work as a taught MA or research student. The McClay Libary in College Park contains the main collection of books and journals. There is also excellent study space and computing facilities for all students on all floors of the Library (with an extended hours area on the ground floor). The Helpdesk is in the Atrium on the ground floor.The MA Research Methods module includes a tour of the library and an introduction to some of its resources.
There are other resources close to Queen's. The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland is located at 66 Balmoral Avenue; the Newspaper Library, the Belfast Public Library and the Linen Hall library are in the City Centre.Queen's has reciprocal borrowing rights with the University of Ulster. Further afield, the Robinson Library in Armagh contains a number of early printed books and is a valuable resource for people working on early literature.Trinity College, Dublin and the National Library of Ireland can be easily visited from Belfast.
The School is given an allocation for Inter-library loans which can be used by staff and research students to request material not held by Queen's libraries.
You may also propose books for purchase by the library by submitting them to your Postgraduate Adviser.