Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

***This course is now fully booked*** 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 'Viva preparation' course.


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.


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

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.


Maximum 30


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


For the interactive session, you will be sent the link in the automated communication along with joining instructions. To join the session, you can click on the link 15 minutes before the session. Once the tutor has started the session they will tell you what to do. See the section below on the pre-work attached to this course.


A good internet connection, uninterrupted time, camera and microphone enabled on PC.


Once you have booked on the course, you will be sent an enrolment invitation email from Canvas. Accepting this link gives you access to the pre-work (pre-recorded lectures, exercises and other materials) you will need to work through to participate in the live session. 


It is now a requirement that you complete the three short questions in the survey you receive after attending the course. Once you have submitted the survey, you will be sent an email with a link to your attendance certificate. This is to ensure we receive the feedback we need to evaluate and improve our courses. Survey results are downloaded and stored anonymously.


Where cost is marked £0 in the shopping trolley, no deposit is required. However, more than two consecutive non-attendances or late cancellations without good reason will be logged and may mean you cannot attend any further MSD training that term. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for further information.