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This half day classroom based MSD Skillls training course is suitable for those in their final or penultimate year of their DPhil ready to structure and write their thesis.


This workshop aims to help you develop the skills and knowledge you need to confidently write your thesis, with the support of your supervisor(s) and peers. By the end of this workshop, we expect you to

  • Have developed a first chapter-outline of your thesis for discussion with your supervisor
  • Feel ready to set and stick to a writing timetable
  • Be confident in editing and applying feedback


This interactive workshop will use talks, discussion, and written exercises, drawing on participants’ experience of writing and research.

As this workshop will ask participants to start planning their own thesis, early DPhil students are unlikely to benefit as much as those in the final or second-last year of their degree.


This course complements the course How to prepare for a successful viva. We’ll cover three main areas:

1. Planning the thesis

  • Defining the aim of thesis, versus other things you have written before
  • Figuring out your overall message
  • Possible thesis structures
  • Plotting your chapters to support your message
  • Gathering the information you need before you start writing
  • Communicating with your supervisor about how and when to request feedback

 2. Writing the thesis

  • Creating a writing timetable
  • Strategies for writing and overcoming pain points
  • Tips for specific chapters and their sections
  • Suggested IT training to help with writing a thesis

 3. Polishing the thesis

  • Editing your work from rough draft to simple, clear, and complete final thesis
  • Strategies for requesting, coping with, and incorporating feedback


3.5 hours