The Graduate School

Personal Effectiveness Activities

These courses are not available on QSIS, but will be advertised with an application form via email throughout the year.

Academic Assertiveness

  • Do you struggle to be assertive?
  • Do others usually say your lines in meetings before you get a chance to?
  • Do you find it challenging to be assertive in an academic environment?

 Assertiveness training aims to equip postgraduate students with tools to deal effectively with situations which require clear, confident communication.  This session provides techniques to help articulate thoughts and ideas even in difficult situations, using assertive language, voice and body awareness.

Pre-programme preparation:

  • Participants will complete a pre-course questionnaire
  • Participants will be invited to a screening interview to check your expectations against what the course offers

The Programme:

Participants will practise assertive communication using activities designed to increase skills and confidence levels.  These interactive activities will be observed by trained facilitators followed by feedback and coaching in small groups.

Discussion, interaction and feedback will be part of the session which has an experiential approach.  Participants will be encouraged to learn from each other and to apply learning from the session to facilitate positive outcomes for themselves and others.


Participants will be encouraged to identify opportunities outside the training environment to develop their skills.  Follow-up sessions can be arranged if required.

Participant Feedback:

  • All the activities we did were great
  • I learned at the course about the way I view assertiveness and the tools I can use to help myself practise being assertive.
  • I really liked the section on different theories as I found the 'PAC' theory particularly useful. And I thought that the elevator pitches were a great way to get feedback on how we present our research.
  • I understand why I sometimes act passively so in future, whenever I feel like being quiet so as not to rock the boat, I will think about it more like the 'Adult' and try to understand why I feel that way. Hopefully, with practise I will strengthen my assertive muscle.
  • I enjoyed the small group atmosphere and the course facilitators were friendly and approachable.
  • Really good session and thoroughly enjoyed my day. Thank you!

Future Ready

The Future-Ready programme aims to develop participants’ self-awareness of strengths, preferences and development areas, to enhance personal development and careers planning.

The programme includes:

  • An opportunity to receive feedback on your transferable researcher skills
  • Participation in development centre exercises
  • One-to-one coaching and careers advice

Enhancing your personal development through feedback and reflection supports you to be future-ready.

Programme Stages

Stage 1

Completion of pre-course work including self-assessment and reflection and 360 feedback exercise.

Stage 2

Participation in a one-day development centre where feedback is provided to participants by trained facilitators, following team-based exercises.

Stage 3

A 1-2-1 coaching session with your facilitator to explore the implications of your feedback and a 1-2-1 careers consultancy session.

Is this programme right for you?

  • Do you want to understand how others perceive your strengths and areas for development?
  • Do you want support to consider how to use your skills in the future?
  • Are you ready to take responsibility for your personal and professional development?

If you have any queries, please contact