UCL Learning Portfolio


Being Assertive in Academic Relationships
Course Description:

There can be a range of behavioural issues which arise during get-togethers between supervisors and their students which prevent the relationship being as effective as it could be.

In this session some common problematic situations which staff working with research students might encounter will be examined using forum theatre. Actors will perform the scenes which participants will witness. Then the facilitator will invite the participants' input to rework the behaviour of the characters in the scenarios in order to effect a different outcome. The scenes will look at circumstances such as handling a difficult conversation, being resilient, and being able to stand your ground.

There will be an opportunity to explore some aspects of the physicality of communication in a practical way - the use of the body, breath and voice - in order to develop skills to meet challenges which may arise in your own relationship with your supervisor.

RADA's experience in skills transfer from the acting profession to the commercial world makes it a world-class centre for communication and presentation skills training through RADA in Business. We have a group of tutors who come from a performance background (acting and/or directing) who either work as teachers for RADA or have been approved by RADA to deliver business training on RADA's behalf. All RADA in Business tutors are of exceptionally high quality with many years' experience of training business people and academics in a range of communication skills.


This session will cover:

  • Raising awareness of different behaviours and the affect they can have on an interaction
  • Examining the importance of physical and vocal presence
  • Understanding how to make meetings with your supervisor valuable and productive
  • Exploring ways of developing stronger connections with your supervisor

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Be more aware of how different behaviours can affect an encounter
  • Understand key elements of the physicality of communication
  • Use strategies to ensure a meeting with your supervisor is as effective as possible
  • Learn how to build a better relationship with your supervisor
Intended Audience:
UCL Research Staff, Staff working with Research Students
Target Audience: UCL Research Staff and PG Research students only
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