While the research degree is based exclusively on the research work and associated thesis, and most of the students’ learning is gained through undertaking such work, research graduates are also expected to have gathered a range of skills which may require some formal or specific training to develop.
Advanced training, in the form of accredited modules are known as ‘Graduate Training Elements’ or GTEs, are an important aspect of DCU's graduate research experience. In addition to the information provided below, DCU's 'Graduate Research Guide' contains detailed information on graduate training at DCU.
The Graduate Studies Office also provides non-accredited training for research students. This non-accredited training is outlined in a Training Schedule that is organised by semester. The Graduate Research Training Schedule for semester 1, 2017-18 is available here.
Details are also available through the Loop page.
In DCU, ‘Graduate Training’ refers to credit-bearing, discipline-specific and generic modules, as well as shorter one-off events and training classes. The aim is to give students the right skills to optimise their performance in research and to augment their research qualification with skills transferable beyond academia and research.
The full range of graduate training options is reviewed and updated on an annual basis and many elements will be on offer from year to year. Students may therefore have an opportunity to undertake an element in a subsequent year if it is not possible or appropriate for them to take it in the current academic year.
Training requirements differ depending on the research programme the student is undertaking:
- Professional doctorate programmes: students will have an agreed list of elements to undertake as part of their programme.
- Cohort-based thematic PhD programmes: students following structured programmes are required to take the GTEs for that programme, as agreed with their school/supervisor.
- Other research degrees: it is not compulsory for all DCU research students to take GTEs but they are strongly encouraged to do so, with the approval of their supervisor.
Faculty GTE Programmes
Each faculty has its own list or ‘programme’ of GTEs which students of that faculty can register for annually. Faculty GTE programmes consist of a selection of the Faculty’s own discipline-specific modules and in some cases discipline-specific elements from other DCU faculties. Further information on GTE registration is available from the 'Graduate Research Guide'.
Supervisory approval is mandatory in order to register for GTEs. This is to ensure that the training chosen fully supports the completion of your research project, and that time available to the core research is not compromised.
1. Agree your GTE module choices with your supervisor - this is mandatory. The options available to you are on the pre-registration forms below (except for DCU Business School and DCU Institute of Education).
2. Complete the pre-registration form indicating your module choices. Students from the DCU Business School and the DCU Institute of Education do not need to pre-register for modules. Login with your DCU account details when completing this form.
3. Register for your chosen GTE modules during the DCU registration process (with Registry)
Writing Supports for Graduate Researchers
DCU acknowledges the importance of researchers developing advanced writing skills and it has developed a broad based approach aimed at supporting resesarch students in this regard. Further information is available here.
The ENRICH Framework, launched in September 2016, aims to support research students in the development of the skills and knowledge required for a broad range of careers. It acknowledges that many graduates go on to establish careers beyond academia by augmenting their research skills with other 'enterprise-ready' skills. Further information on this initiative is available from the ENRICH Framework website.
Research Integrity Training
Research integrity is a key component in the induction of graduate students, postdocs and research supervisors and various information sessions are delivered throughout the academic year. Attendance is particularly important for those commencing their research at DCU, in addition to the completion of the online Research Integrity module, details of which are communicated to students via email and at induction sessions. Details are outlined at this webpage.
Other GSO Training Opportunities
In addition to the faculty GTE programmes, other training and professional development opportunities are offered on a regular basis by the Graduate Studies Office (GSO). These can include workshops on a wide variety of topics from thesis completion, viva voce preparation, annual review preparation, training in data analysis packages and research communication.
Generic training is also offered in a broad range of areas including academic writing, grant writing, presentation and communication skills, tutoring and demonstrating, research design and research methods, research ethics and integrity, intellectual property and commercialisation and enterprise experience. The GSO training programme is promoted before the commencement of each semester and details are available on the GSO Loop page. The GSO also runs an extended induction training programme, details of which are communicated to incoming research students in September.
Faculty GTE programmes can contain a wide listing of modules for a student to choose from. As such, all schools have introduced structured ‘pathways’ that draw on the most relevant and appropriate modules from the faculty programme for that particular discipline. The DCU Institute of Education has a faculty-wide pathway. The GSO communicates the pathways at the beginning of each academic year and details are also available on the GSO Loop page.
When considering training needs, students, in consultation with their supervisor/s, should use the School Pathway as a guide. Some pathways include compulsory modules, therefore, each student should familiarise themselves with their school's pathway as early as possible in their studies.
Each pathway acknowledges the individual needs of each student and where a particular training need is not addressed in a pathway, the student should refer to the faculty programme to determine if suitable training can be identified there.
Find below links to School Pathways:
Research students can register online for Faculty Graduate Training Elements (GTEs) by logging in to 'My Details', available under 'Student Apps'. Registration for non-accredited GSO organised training workshops and seminars is available via the GSO Loop page and details are regularly communicated to research students by email.
Faculty GTE registration and the The pre-registration process
Supervisor approval is mandatory in order to register for GTEs. This is to ensure that the training module chosen fully supports the completion of the student’s research project and that the time available to undertake core research activities and their associated activities are not compromised. It is the responsibility of supervisors and students to agree what GTEs a research student can undertake in any given year prior to registration for that year.
- Agree your GTE module choices with your supervisor - this is mandatory. Pre-registration forms are available via the GSO Loop page. Students from the DCU Business School and the DCU Institute of Education do not need to pre-register for modules.
- Complete the form indicating your module choices (DCU Business School and the DCU Institute of Education excepted). Use your DCU account to complete the form - non DCU accounts cannot access this form. If you do not complete the Google form, your modules will not appear at registration time and you will not be able to register for your chosen modules.
- Register online for your GTE modules between Wednesday 23rd August and Friday 15 September 2017. This can be done though the following link: http://www.dcu.ie/iss/studentapps.shtml. Students who register outside this period will have to register directly with the Registry Office in DCU, or online during the change of module period (Monday 25th to Friday 29th September 2017). Any queries relating to regisration should be directed to email@example.com.
Online Registration (September)
Students taking graduate training at DCU must register for both their core research project and their associated GTEs at the time of registration:
CORE Research Module Code: e.g. RSPD01 Research Thesis (NOTE: this code will differ from student to student, depending on the level of research programme and their year of study).
OPTIONAL Faculty Graduate Training Programme Code - students registered for graduate training elements will see their faculty’s graduate training programme code displayed e.g. GTEBS/GTEHSS/GTEEC/GTEFSH.
Along with the faculty graduate training programme code, the codes for individual GTEs chosen at registration will also appear. For example, GS601 is an individual, generic graduate training element, available to students in each faculty, entitled ‘Intellectual Property & Commercialisation’.
Once registered, students can see their own graduate training registration details on their portal pages (alongside their core research programme registration). Students will have an opportunity to change their registrations, having consulted with their supervisors as part of the normal ‘Change of Mind’ process. Check the Academic Calendar for 'Change of Mind' deadlines. All registration issues / queries should be directed to the Postgraduate Enrolment Officer in Registry by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Credit accumulation for Graduate Training Elements
Research students are encouraged to undertake graduate training, but the number of modules should be appropriate for their research degree. Full-time PhD students are permitted a maximum of 90 credits over the four years of their degree. Where more than 20 credits are taken, the University recognises the student as being on a ‘structured path’ (see below). The maximum allowed for full-time Master’s students is 20 credits over the two years.
All Graduate Training Elements (GTEs) achieved are awarded and credited on an annual basis at GTE Award Board.
IUA Guide for research students undertaking graduate training in a host institution
Some research students, for example those undertaking modules where a collaborative / consortium agreement exists, may undertake training in other institutions where such opportunities are available, but must first seek the approval of their DCU supervisor and must also be accepted by the host institution. Each institution / training provider has their own registration process and procedures for issuing results to visiting students. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure they are correctly registered for, and receive official results from, the training provider. Details of the registration process to be followed for the seven Irish universities (DCU, UCD, TCD, NUIM, UCC, UL, and NUIG) are detailed in the IUA Inter-Institutional Agreement on Collaborative Graduate Programmes: Information for Research Students going to a host institution to undertake graduate training.
Research students undertaking a recognised multi-institutional structured programme can request that their results for modules completed in partnering institutions be added to their DCU record. In this case, all module results, both DCU and non-DCU, are processed at the relevant Faculty Awards Board for Research Degrees (FABRD) and all successfully completed modules, both DCU and non-DCU, appear on the DCU student’s final award transcript. Please note that this currently applies only to students undertaking a recognised multi-institutional structured programme.
DCU has Standard Operating Procedures for the Inter-institutional Mobility of Postgraduate Research Students which outline the steps to be taken to enable module delivery, student mobility and credit exchange for DCU postgraduate research students, and research students of DCU’s partner institutions, who are undertaking a module(s) as part of a formally institutionally agreed (i.e. covered by a Memorandum of Understanding or other formal collaborative agreement), thematic, structured or multi-institutional graduate programme.
Research students from other institutions may visit DCU for a number of reasons including, but not limited to, the following:
- To undertake a module(s) or lab rotation as part of a multi-institutional postgraduate research programme
- To undertake part of their research degree in DCU as part of an MOU or Consortium Agreement
- To work alongside a research team or staff member for a short period
- To attend s short training or educational course
- To undertake a single module programme
Visiting research students register with the University in one of the following ways depending on the purpose of their visit:
|Purpose of visit||Registration process|
To undertake a module(s) or lab rotation as part of a structured multi-institutional
postgraduate programme / consortium agreement
|R26H Registration Form submitted to Registry|
|To undertake a DCU accredited educational course or module||R26 Registration Form submitted to Registry|
|To work alongside a research team or staff member for a short period||DCU ID Request Form submitted to HR|
Further information for international research students visiting DCU is available from the GSO's Fáilte website.
The Careers Service
The Careers Service offer a range of workshops and skills sessions for students.
Academic Skills Workshops
Student Learning offers workshops on a wide range of academic skills, including time management, presentation skills, academic writing etc. All workshops are free but registration is required and new workshops are added on a regular basis. Student Learning also offers an online study skills module through Loop, one-to-one academic skills sessions and a drop-in centre for academic skills.
Library and Information Skills Training
The Library offers a wide range of classes and workshops to help students develop skills in finding, using and organising information. Further details are available from the Library website.
The Writing Centre
The Writing Centre is run by Student Support & Development. Located in DCU Library, the service is open to all students.