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.

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.

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).

Digital Skills Festival

Just over three days from now, the University of Edinburgh will be holding the Digital Skills Festival. It involves over 50 workshops on a variety of topics, including choosing a reference manager, using the library, publishing articles, building your online profile, and teaching online. And if you’re interested in brushing up on your programming skills, check out Code Dojo, which is being run by our own Alisdair Tullo.

CVs and Academic Websites

On April 14th, Dr Itamar Kastner will be holding a workshop aimed at PhD students in MGRG. It will be about getting CVs and academic websites ready. If you’ve got something already (even if it’s just a draft), you can bring it along for discussion. But it’s fine to come just to talk — no preparation is required. The workshop will be held on the MGRG Skills Workshop team in Microsoft Teams. If you’re in MGRG but have not joined that team, please send Itamar a message.

IAD PGT Dissertation Workshops

PGT dissertation writers will find some of the upcoming workshops from the Institute for Academic Development to be of interest. Relevant titles include:

  • Being Critical for your Dissertation (Mar 24)
  • The Art and Craft of Editing (Mar 29)
  • Dissertation Planning (Mar 30)
  • Dissertation Writing (Mar 30)
  • Critical Reading (Apr 1)
  • Critical Writing (Apr 1)
  • How to Plan, Run, and Complete Your Project (Apr 1)

The full collection is available at