A warm welcome from the UCL Doctoral School to research students
The UCL Doctoral School is here to support and guide you through your journey as part of our world-leading research community!
Doctoral School Welcome Events
In January we are offering two welcome and induction events for postgraduate researchers who have started their studies at UCL since October.
These events are a great opportunity for you to meet other postgraduate researchers, to hear from Doctoral School staff and to ask them questions.
Monday 16 January, 14:00–15:30
This online information event includes key information to help you get started on your journey as a UCL Postgraduate Research Student (PGR). You will hear from Professor David Bogle, Pro-Vice-Provost Doctoral School, and Elizabeth Halton, Director of the Doctoral School, and there will be an opportunity to ask them some questions. Following a warm welcome, we'll walk you through the resources and support we have to offer, and provide an introduction to the world of postgraduate research. Seven pre-recorded videos acompanying this session can be watched for further detailed information.
62 students attended the Welcome event and every Faculty was represented:
❚ Doctoral Researcher Panel & Networking Event
Wednesday 18 January, 16:30–19:00
Location: Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre and then South Cloisters.
This second event is a chance to hear from our panel of current doctoral researchers about their experiences of postgraduate research study and life at UCL. There will also be an opportunity for a Q&A. At 17:30, we'll move to the South Cloisters, where drinks and nibbles will be provided and you can network with the panel, staff in the Doctoral School and meet other new doctoral researchers from across UCL.
You are about to embark on an extraordinary journey, joining a vibrant community of around 8,000 research students and over 9,000 academic and research staff involved in research and supervision across our 11 faculties. UCL is a centre of innovative cross-disciplinary research, and has academic staff with some of the strongest backgrounds in their specialist fields in the world. You, our research students, play a vital part in this stimulating environment, and our ground-breaking research could not continue without your contributions.
This year has brought the additional challenge of research study with the effects of the global pandemic; however, we‘d like to reassure you that UCL is committed to maintaining supervision and teaching of the highest quality, and, as London‘s global university, we are looking forward to supporting you safely on campus as well as virtually. We have innovated new ways of studying, collaborating and doing research these past few months and we hope to retain the best of the virtual world as move into the ‘new normal’.
Undertaking a research degree is a very different experience to taught courses at both an undergraduate and postgraduate level with which you are familiar, or your recent professional environment if that’s where you are coming from. It will challenge you in new ways, but we also hope it will bring you novel rewards. Your research degree is a unique chance to develop and lead your own project and to generate new knowledge which you will learn to critique, contextualise, and ultimately defend at examination. There are many people within UCL to help you on this journey, not only within your Department or Division/Institute, but also within Central support services, of which the Doctoral School is one of many. In particular, your supervisory team will assist, question, support, and challenge you: they will help you develop as an independent thinker.
During your research programme, you will produce a research proposal which will frame your research question. Eventually you will produce a thesis which documents your original ideas about your focused topic, the methods you have chosen, the evidence to support your ideas, and the discussion and conclusions that arise; all of which will be considered within the context of current and past developments, and finally be defended during an oral examination (viva).
At UCL we are committed to equipping you with the research skills and experience not just to excel in academia, but also in a range of other careers which require originality, rigour, and methodological reasoning. We want you to become ‘creative, critical, autonomous intellectual risk takers’. You will be given numerous opportunities to develop these skills through your research work but also through activities within your Department, including courses, conferences, seminars, and teaching. We encourage students to look beyond the boundaries of their chosen discipline, and to broaden and share their knowledge via UCL‘s many networks, societies, and competitions.
Doctoral Skills Development Programme
offers an extensive catalogue of courses available for free via UCL's Organisational Development team.
Introduction to Skills Development and the Research Student Log
sessions for Research Students and Supervisors.
Code of Practice for Research Degrees
set out the standards you can expect from UCL. We are committed to ensuring you receive the highest quality, internationally-renowned research training within a positive and supportive research environment.
Doctoral Researcher Compass. How to enrich your research experience at UCL and beyond?
outlines the support, activities and events available to you as a research student at UCL.
Discover UCL Library Services
a guidance for first time users of the library, features the ‘Getting started’video.
Doctoral School Welcome videos
Please take a look at these videos. They were recorded last year but are still relevant this academic year.