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Short Guidance and Application Checking

What to expect...

For PhD students, (or those on equivalent level research programmes), we offer confidential 1-1 discussions with a Careers Consultant of up to half an hour or 20 minutes by phone if you can't visit in person. They can be used to discuss a range of issues such as:

  • decisions about life after your studentship, (academic or non-academic career planning)
  • options related to your area of research
  • planning your next steps to get where you want to be
  • how to get non-academic work experience
  • exploring funding options
  • how to market your PhD, research, skills and/or experience to employers
  • advice on CVs, cover letters, personal statements or any type of application form
  • what to expect at interviews or assessment centres
  • tips on improving performance at aptitude tests or feedback on test results

and more...

Depending on your discussion, the appointment may lead to a more in-depth Long Guidance session of up to an hour through referral by the Careers Consultant.

Practice Interviews of up to an hour can be booked without referral for those who've already been invited to a real interview.

Appointment Availability and Booking


All appointment slots are up to 30 minutes long and are available all year round* as follows:

  • Tuesday: 10am to 11am (Calum Leckie)
  • Tuesday: 11am to 12pm (Jana Dankovikova)
  • Thursday: 2pm to 3pm (Kathy Barrett)
  • Thursday: 3pm to 4.30pm (Calum Leckie)


Bookings can be made online up to 7 days in advance using your My Careers Service account. Once logged in, use the 'I want to... / Make Appointment' option and select 'UCL PhD Appointment' from the list of options to check appointment availability.

If you would prefer to book further in advance or are unable to book online, you can also make bookings by phone or in person at UCL Careers, (see our Contact Details), up to 30 days in advance. You will need your student ID card when booking.

Bookings can be made by email but please be aware this may restrict availability. When emailing, please provide your full name, UPI number, (on your student ID), details of your availability, (fitting with the appointment times above), and a contact number so that we can call you if needed.

Multiple Bookings: Due to high demand, PhD students can only book one appointment at a time. If you do book multiple appointments, only the earliest appointment will be recognised and any bookings on subsequent dates will be automatically deleted.

Please also note: As appointment slots are pre-bookable in advance, they may not be available at short notice / for same day booking if demand is high. However, appointments may be cancelled at short notice so it's worth checking availability regularly through your My Careers Service account.

*Please check our News Page for details of term dates, College closure days and details of changes to our normal service provision.

What we don't / can't cover...

Careers Guidance is an impartial process and a Careers Adviser wont tell you "what to do" or make decisions for you.

How to prepare...

Doing a little research in advance and answering many of the frequently asked questions yourself will allow you to focus on more specific issues during the time you have with the Careers Consultant.

So, to make the most of your 30 minute appointment, we strongly recommend making use of the information provided in the relevant section of our "Resources" page listed in the left menu here.

You should also be prepared to bring along any information, resources or documents that you think will be relevant to the discussion. For advice on applications for example, in addition to a draft copy of your application, you will also need to provide a job description or any other information you have about who / what you're applying to / for.

Who Will I See?

We have two Careers Consultants: Dr Kathy Barrett and Dr Calum Leckie who work specifically with the Graduate School to support PhD students and they also work closely with postdoctoral research staff at UCL.

To find out more about the Researchers Team, please see the information about Our Team.

If you do want to see a specific person, you can check their availability above before booking.

If you are late or unable to attend...

Cancellations can be made up to 1 hour before your appointment time through your My Careers Service account so that it can be offered to another student.

Late arrival: If you call in advance to tell us you're running late, we will hold the appointment so that you can make use of whatever time is left when you arrive. However if, on arrival, the Careers Consultant doesn't feel your query can be dealt with effectively in this time, (usually anything under 15 minutes), you will be asked to re-book for a later date.

If you are more than 5 minutes late and haven't called ahead to tell us this, your appointment may be cancelled and offered to another student.

If you book and miss 3 appointments, your My Careers Service account will be deactivated to ensure you don't book and waste any more. You will then need to book in person at the UCL Careers office for any subsequent appointments and events this academic year.

Please note: Due to the nature of 1-1 guidance, some appointments can last slightly longer than 30 minutes which means we cannot guarantee that you will always be seen exactly on time. However, you should still avoid arriving late so that your appointment isn't cancelled.

Access to other 1-1 Appointments...

The provision of PhD appointments as detailed above has been designed to give researchers access to Careers Consultants who have personal experience of the PhD process, research based academic careers and a knowledge of how research skills can be used in non-academic careers. They will also allow you to develop an ongoing relationship with the Researchers Team or a specific Careers Consultant in the team throughout the whole career planning and applications / interviews process. As such, we would strongly recommend you use these where possible.

However, as a a current UCL student, you do also have access to the services that are open to all students which includes the 15 minute Short Guidance or Application Checking sessions if they are available. As these are shorter sessions, you will need to book the appointment type that's relevant to your query - follow the relevant link for more details before booking.

Page last modified on 31 jul 13 09:53 by Martin Brown

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