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COURSE FULL (see more in Remote training during TT-20)

course aim

This interactive online MSD Skills training course is most suitable for those in the final or second-last year of their DPhil who are preparing to write their thesis. It complements the course 'How to prepare for a successful viva'.

This course is made up of both pre-recorded material and a live session (1 hour). You will need to have viewed the pre-recorded materials and worked through the suggested exercises before the live session. Most of the course content described below will be presented only in the pre-recorded material, with the live session used for exercises, discussion, and clarification. You will be given access to the pre-recorded content as soon as your booking is confirmed. Please allow at least 3 hours to view the pre-recorded material and complete suggested exercises. Depending on how far along you are in your DPhil journey, you may wish to dedicate much more time than this, to use the prompts and exercises to fully develop your thesis outline and writing plan.

‘Writing a thesis’ covers 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


As this course asks 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.

course content

  • Develop 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

course format

This online course will consist of pre-recorded talks and exercises, followed by an interactive 1-hour live session.

You will need to be logged in via SSO to access the pre-work and join the interactive session.


You will need a good internet connection and uninterrupted time for both the pre-work and live sections of the course. The pre-recorded materials are broken into short videos, to make it easier for you to fit this course around other commitments. For the live session, you can choose whether to join using audio and visual, just audio, or text chat.


We do not have an automated communications workflow set up for this course. Therefore there will be some delay between booking and receiving booking confirmation and joining instructions. We will do our best to send you the information you need as soon as possible.

As this course relies on pre-work being completed before this live session, we have switched off the automated waiting list. If the course is full when you try to book, try again a day or so later in case a cancellation has made a place available. There will be other dates available for this course later in the term.

number of participants

Maximum 30