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Durham University

Department of Physics

Aims of Department Postgraduate Courses and Training

Postgraduate Physics Courses

Training in specific research skills and in broader transferable skills is widely recognised as an essential element of any Ph.D. course. Although many of these skills are developed during the course of the research project, some skills either require explicit teaching or developing in parallel to the research project. All first year students are required to successfully complete a range of Postgraduate Lectures taught within the department during Michaelmas and Epiphany terms of their first year. The exact choice of courses must be agreed with the PhD supervisor and in most cases must include a recognised core set of courses specific to a PhD in the student’s chosen research area. These courses contain "notional credits" and do not have a weighting in the same way as undergraduate or postgraduate taught modules. For more details you should consult with your supervisor and check the details below and also with your research section’s webpages.

Transferable Skills

In addition to the Physics-related skills and knowledge that you will develop while completing your degree at Durham University, you will also naturally acquire transferable skills that can be equally applied to both academic and a host of other professions outside of Physics. These include:

  • Independent working
  • Identifying aims and objectives and setting/meeting targets
  • Team working and networking skills (local, national and international)
  • Problem solving and critical thinking, argument and assessment
  • Data collection, analyses and reporting
  • Communication skills - presenting data, information and arguments at a variety of levels to experts and non-experts alike
  • Enhanced written skills such as report writing
  • Experiment and time management
  • Teaching and mentoring