Where do I start?

Information to help you get off to a good start at UCL.

Useful information about your research degree

The Doctoral School will be your first point of information guidance, training and resources to support your doctoral training.

A research degree like a PhD is a relatively long journey compared to other postgraduate programmes. This usually involves long hours of literature review, simulations, developing devices, experiments, testing and many meetings. A good place to start to familiarise yourself with the requirements of successfully completing a research degree is the UCL Doctoral School handbook and Graduate research degrees Code of practice. Both provide some concise and clear information on yoru graduate research degree at UCL. Also, look out for any handbooks or guidance from your own department. 

Academic Manual

UCL’s Academic Manual provides information on all academic regulations, policies, and procedures for students. Chapter 5 is UCL’s regulatory framework for the assessment and examination of Postgraduate Research students at UCL.

Doing your PhD part-time?

  • Book onto the 'How to manage your part-time PhD' and 'Succeeding as a part-time researcher' courses via Inkpath (Inkpath is a personal and professional development platform, accessible through a smartphone app and a web browser that you use to book yoru doc skills and other training courses). Remember that part-time students can attend all other courses offered by this programme however many of them are not aware of this. 

Induction courses

  • Introductory Programme: a new interactive online learning experience, the Introductory Programme will help you get to know UCL - its values, its community and its achievements - before you start your programme
  • International student online Orientation Course: for new students arriving at UCL, the Online Orientation Course will help you familiarise yourself with everything you need to know about life at UCL.
  • Doctoral School welcome resources: to help familiarise yourself with the many opportunities and services available to you, the Doctoral School put together a series of short videos introducing you to everything you need to know
  • Library services Online induction: this online induction is your essential first step to using UCL's libraries, including all the resources and services available.
  • UCL research staff induction: a dedicated induction for researchers - find out about a range of resources available to you at UCL
  • Introduction to academic integrity course: resources and an online course that serves as a useful reminder for understanding what Academic Integrity means, why is it important, and what happens if you breach it. 
  • Research and writing for dissertation and projects: This series of online modules will help you develop the skills associated with researching for and writing an extended piece of work.

Additional courses for international students:

The courses below were developed outside UCL but may be useful for international students coming to study in the UK for the first time. 

  • Prepare for Successan interactive web learning tool for international students who are getting ready to come to the UK for study in further or higher education.
  • Prepare to Study and Live in the UK: be prepared for university study in the UK by familiarising yourself with UK culture and higher education.

Lab and Safety inductions for STEM subjects

Lab inductions

Departmental labs induction: Many UCL department have labs. A research student may make use of all the relevant labs to carry out his/her research. Talk to your supervisor to find out which departmental labs are relevant to your research and whether they require specific safety induction courses to be completed.

Safety courses

UCL offers some generalised as well as work specific safety induction courses. You will need to complete the relevant safety courses before you can start working. Your supervisor or Principal Investigator (PI) is responsible for ensuring that you receive a full safety induction and this will be discussed with you. 

Support for Disabled students

Digital accessibility hub: provides information, and access to advice and resources, for all staff and students at UCL who have identified that they have a disability, or an ergonomic need, and require support with IT. They also aim to provide guidance to managers and academic staff, about the provisions they should make for disabled staff and students.