Planning for success in your postgraduate programme

During Welcome Week, we will (twice) be holding a workshop for PGT students that will help you get off to the right start this year. You’ll learn about the resources that are available during your degree and acquire skills you’ll need to manage your workload.  You can sign up by following these links:

Sept 13 (10:00-14:00)
Sept 16 (12:30-16:30)

We’ll start by introducing people from the School of PPLS and the Institute for Academic Development who are there to help you succeed.  Next comes a look at how to use academic software to organise your notes and papers.  After that, we’ll use modified Gantt charts to budget your allocated learning and teaching hours so that you won’t run into trouble at the end of the semester.  Finally, we will split into smaller groups by subject area for discussions with PhD tutors. 

Speakers include Dr Alistair Isaac (School PG Director), Abby Pooley (Senior Student Leader; Psychology PhD student), Dr Jenna Mann (IAD Academic Developer), Dr Lucia Michielin (EFI Digital Skills Training Manager), Dr James Donaldson (PPLS Skills Centre Manager), and members of the PPLS Postgraduate Office.

Lunch (and a snack) will be provided.

UG1 students eligible for 2 bookings per semester

Until today, first-year undergraduates have had one appointment per semester. We’re pleased to announce that this limit has been raised to two appointments per semester. UG2-4 and PG students can continue to book two appointments per month.

Peer proofreading through EUSA

Great news: EUSA is arranging peer proofreading again. The service is back until 29 July 2022 (except for a break from 25 March 2022 until 25 April 2022). You can bring in one piece of text (<=2000 words) per semester. This service is completely complementary to what we do at the Skills Centre, so I’d suggest booking both services if you can use the help.

Intermediate Python and Learn-What-You-Like

Alisdair Tullo will be holding several new programming courses from later this month. If you’re interested, please see the links below:

Intermediate Python

  • For those who have completed a Python course for beginners or written a Python program for themselves before
  • Looks at a range of topics such as text analysis, plotting, and working with numerical and tabular data
  • Wednesdays (9:00-10:50) starting 26th January in Lister Center 1.16
  • Details and booking:

Computer Programming Learn-What-You-Like

  • For tutor-supported self-study
  • Choose from a range of suggestions or find your own programming materials to study. We’ll be there when you need help!
  • Recommendations are available for everyone from complete beginners to experienced programmers.
  • Fridays (9:00-10:50) starting 28th January in Appleton Tower 4.02
  • Details and booking:

Intro to Python on Gather (4 weeks)

Alisdair Tullo will be running an online computer programming course this semester. It aims to take complete beginners through their first steps in computer programming. It will use the Python programming language with Turtle graphics for visual feedback.

The course will be held in the PPLS Gather space ( A link and password will be sent to you a few days before the course starts, so please keep those safe.

If you are interested, sign up for one of these sessions. Each will continue on a weekly basis for four weeks.

Mondays (14:10 — 15:00)
Starts 27-Sept-2021.

Wednesdays (14:10 — 15:00)
Starts 29-Sept-2021.

Thursdays (13:10 — 14:00)
Starts 30-Sept-2021.

Digital Skills Festival Recordings

Back in May 2021, the University of Edinburgh held its first Digital Skills Festival. There were a number of presentations and workshops that would be of interest to students and researchers in PPLS (e.g., Library Bitesize, Managing Your References, etc.).

For those who missed out, there’s good news: many of these events were recorded for posterity. Visit to see what’s available.

Code Dojo

Have you got past the first stage in programming? Do you want to improve? Consider attending Alisdair Tullo‘s Code Dojo on 18 August 2021 (13:30-16:30) (click to sign up). You’ll work in teams to solve coding challenges. The default language is Python, but you can agree to work in another language with your teammates. The event will be hosted in Microsoft Teams (a link will be sent to everyone who registers).

First-year writing appointments

The PPLS Skills Centre has a new offering for first-year undergraduates. Traditionally, we’ve been focused on helping students in years 2 and up, but in 2021/22 we will provide one writing appointment per semester to students taking our first-year courses as well. You can use your appointment to discuss any essay you are writing for the following courses:

Semester 1

  • Introduction to Cognitive Science
  • Linguistics and English Language 1A
  • Morality and Value
  • Philosophy of Science 1
  • Psychology 1A

Semester 2

  • Greats: From Plato to the Enlightenment
  • Linguistics and English Language 1B
  • Psychology 1B

We won’t proofread your work or help you with content. Rather, our goal is to help you communicate more effectively. We will let you know if parts of your writing are confusing for your readers and will work with you on finding ways to make things better. For more information, please see “1-on-1 appointments” at