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

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.

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

Something to do while we’re waiting

Eager for the semester to start? There are plenty of ways to build up your skills and knowledge in preparation for the upcoming year.  You could watch a recorded workshop on how to write an essay in philosophy, read about the different ways of conducting psychology experiments online, or learn how to use your computer to keep track of your notes and references. 

All of this and more is available to UoE students at the PPLS Learning Resources site.

Get organised

Do you spend a lot of your time worried about all the things you have to do?  The PPLS Skills Centre has collected a set of video courses on getting organised.   You might want to try “Getting Things Done”, a 30-minute course that presents a systematic way to get your to-do list out of your head so you have mental space to concentrate on actually doing your work.  You’ll get that time back and more. For this collection and others, visit the “Developing your skills” section at the PPLS Learning Resources site on SharePoint. If you need to get access to LinkedIn Learning, visit “The Fundamentals“.

Training for online experiments

Social distancing will probably be in place for a while, so it’s important to think about how to carry out experiments in a way that doesn’t put anyone at risk. If you’re an MSc student, you’ll have already heard about the various options that are available to you from the PPLS Postgrad Hub on Learn. But these options are also important for PhD students who are working on long-term projects. And third-year undergraduates might want to start thinking about getting ready for next year.

That’s why our SharePoint site has a section dedicated to ways of recruiting participants and carrying out appointments online. Have a look and see if the work you want to do can still be carried out.

PPLS Reading Clubs

Students near McEwan Hall
[photo by Laurence Winram]

Did you find something new to read in our PPLS DiscoverEd lists last week? Did you go through the first chapter of a book, get excited about continuing, and then… forget to return to it? Try making a reading club so that you can stay motivated and talk about what you learn with others in PPLS. If you’re not sure who to invite, let us ask around for you. Just pick out a book, create a discussion area, and tell us about it so that we can advertise it to everyone else. Instructions and tips are available at