Postgraduate Academic Skills Programme

The Academic Skills Centre offers a series of workshops for postgraduate students including Master’s and PhD research students and postgraduate coursework students. The workshops cater to students at the beginning of their postgraduate studies (for instance, those who are writing a research proposal) through to those who are nearing completion. All workshops are 50 minutes.

A different series of 3-5 workshops will run each term. Topics may include:

  • Critical reading and note-taking: This session will cover reading strategies to identify and evaluate the quality and relevance of academic literature for your research. It includes analysing arguments and viewpoints; categorizing readings and taking meaningful notes while reading. You will also get to know different ways of organising your notes with the support of literature management software.

  • Essay writing for taught postgraduate students: You will begin this workshop by reviewing the fundamentals of essay writing. You will then be guided in how to analyse complex essay questions, structure an argument in response, and incorporate literature into your discussion. The workshop is also suitable for students who set their own essay question.
  • Poster-making design principles: Learn how to create posters that will attract attention, generate interest in your topic, and effectively communicate the most important elements of your research.

  • Thesis structure and planning: In this workshop, we look beyond the division of your thesis or dissertation into chapters and consider principles for structuring your overall narrative persuasively. We also discuss techniques for conveying structure in your writing and for managing your draft.

  • Time management for postgraduate students: This session will help you make best use of your time in the context of large projects such as theses and dissertations. We’ll cover some basic principles of realistic and effective planning; discuss reading and writing strategies that will save time and help you keep track of your ideas; and finally, address procrastination and a few hacks to keep it under control.

  • Writing a coherent thesis: Key strategies. Writing thousands of words for a Master’s or PhD thesis is difficult enough; deploying them as part of a coherent, readable whole is even harder. If you’re struggling to create a clear overall logic, write strong paragraphs, or create a smooth flow between chapters, sections, and sentences, this session can help. It may also be helpful for students writing a dissertation.

  • Writing a literature review: This session covers stand-alone literature reviews and literature reviews as part of a research project. It includes UC Library resources for literature searching, strategies for planning and structuring a literature review, and information about the role of a literature review in a dissertation or thesis.

  • Writing a thesis proposal: This session is targeted at students writing Master’s or Doctoral theses. You will learn about the purpose of a research proposal and tips for planning and structuring your proposal.

Dates and times

  • Term 2 Workshop: Monday, 6 May to Thursday,9 May 2024 from 2.00 pm to 2.50 pm. Live stream and in person workshop. Please enrol in the series, and attend the sessions that are of interest to you. 6 May - Writing a Coherent Thesis; 7 May - Literature Reviews; 8 May - Time Management; 9 May - Critical Reading and Note-taking for postgraduates: passed

The next set of dates for this learning event has not yet been scheduled.

If you would like to find out more, email Julie Wuthnow.