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Frequently Asked Questions PhD Students

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I get some skills training?

The Graduate School offers Master’s Skills Training and the Researcher Development Programme. Other sources of training, development opportunities and academic support on campus include the Academic Skills Service (ASK), the Support Academic Practice team, individual Colleges and Research Institutes, and the Brunel Language Centre.

I would like a certificate for training I have attended, do you provide this?

You can download a certificate for each seminar you have attended from your “My Course History” section of the booking system. The Graduate School does not provide hard copy certificates.

I need careers advice, where can I get help?

The Professional Development Centre offers job and careers advice to students.

Where can I meet other postgraduate students?

The Graduate School building is a great place to meet people and make new friends. All postgraduate students are welcome to come along to our weekly Coffee Morning on Tuesdays between 10am – 12noon during term time, to enjoy a drink and a chat. Research students are invited to drop in to our monthly Afternoon Tea.

I am not receiving emails from the Graduate School, what should I do?

The Graduate School’s postgraduate newsletters are sent to your Brunel email address, so ensure that you check this account regularly. If you are experiencing problems with your Brunel email account, contact the Computer Centre for help.

My student card won’t allow me to access the Graduate School building, what should I do?

Visit the Student Centre if you are experiencing any problems with access using your student card.

I have a non-academic, personal problem, where can I get help?

The Advice and Representation Centre (ARC) in the Union of Brunel Students provide free and confidential guidance to all Brunel students, on a whole range of subjects including money and debt, housing, and academic issues.

I need subject-specific training, where can I get help?

Any training which is essential to your degree should be provided by your College or Research Institute. In the first instance, please talk to your supervisor about your training needs. Alternatively, you can contact your programme convenor or the postgraduate administrator in your College. If you are looking for training on a subject which is not specific to your area of study, and is not currently offered by the Graduate School, we welcome suggestions by email to graduateschool@brunel.ac.uk

I am planning to work long hours on campus, is there somewhere I can rest?

Students can book short term en suite accommodation in the Lancaster Suite. Please note, sleeping in non-residential facilities is not permitted. CCTV is in operation throughout the Graduate School building, and Security staff regularly patrol the area.

I need to use a computer, where can I do this?

Postgraduate students can also borrow a laptop for one week at a time from the Graduate School.

I am seeking participants for my research, what should I do?

You can publicise a research participation invitation via IntraBrunel, the University’s news and announcements service. Postgraduate students are also welcome to use the student noticeboards in the Graduate School.

I need help with academic writing, where should I go?

The Graduate School provides workshops and seminars that include Academic Writing, Technical Writing, CV Writing, Thesis Writing, Writing for Academic Publications and Writing Research Grant Proposals. The Academic Skills Service (ASK) also provides training on academic writing for Master’s students, and the International Pathways and Language Centre (IPLC) provides classes on academic writing for international students.

I need help with statistics, where should I go?

The Graduate School offers workshops and seminars on statistics and statistical software, including Introduction to Online Statistics and Statistics with SPSS. The Academic Skills Service (ASK) also provides training on statistics, and a weekly Statistics Drop-In Clinic is hosted by the Graduate School during term-time. View the Events calendar for the venue and upcoming dates.

I need to print some documents, where can I print?

Visit the Computer Centre web pages for guidance on where to print on campus and details of print charges. There may be additional printing facilities available within your College. The Print Room provides a variety of binding and printing services for staff and students.

I need to bind my dissertation or thesis, where should I go?

The Print Room provides a variety of binding and printing services for staff and students. Please visit their website for further details and opening hours. Postgraduate students can also use the Graduate School’s comb binding machine.

I want some part-time work, where can I go?

A listing of current vacancies can be found via the JobShop. The Professional Development Centre also offers job and careers advice to students.

I need help with my dissertation, where should I go?

In the first instance, you should contact your dissertation supervisor. You can also attend Graduate School Master's Skills Training to support you in writing your dissertation, including Master’s Dissertation week which takes place annually in the Summer Term. The Academic Skills Service (ASK) also offer support with preparing your dissertation.

What scholarships are available?

Guidance on finding scholarships and studentships is available on the postgraduate funding pages.

I want to get teaching experience, how can I do this?

The Brunel Education Excellence Centre (BEEC) is designed specifically for Graduate Teaching Assistants at Brunel. The programme provides a theoretical and practical underpinning to professional teaching in Higher Education.

The programme comprises:

  • 2-day Introduction
  • six 2-hour sessions on six topics,      plus
  • two support workshops

I have a problem with my supervisor, what should I do?

For guidance on University procedures, and what is expected from the supervisor-student relationship, you should consult the University Code of Practice for Research Degrees. Your second supervisor is there to help if you have a problem that cannot be addressed by your first supervisor, so you can contact him or her in the first instance. Graduate School Tutors are available to advise, if you are unsure of the best course of action. The Graduate School offers a variety of seminars in the Researcher Development Programme on how to tackle challenges, which may be helpful.

Where can I find guidelines for thesis submission?

The University’s thesis submission guidelines can be found in the University Code of Practice for Research Degrees. Individual Colleges and Institutes may also have subject-specific guidelines to follow. You should discuss this with your supervisor. The Graduate School offers Thesis Writing training in the Researcher Development Programme. Submission procedures are discussed during the relevant annual Research Module, which all research students are strongly recommended to attend.