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Graduate School of Life Sciences

An inspiring educational experience in a unique environment

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Credits System

From October 2016 new GSLS members will be able to take part in the Core Skills Training Programme. If you complete the CSTP then you will not be required to maintain a record of training credits. It is however recommended you continue to record other important activities and meetings (e.g. supervisions discussions / conferences etc.) in a log book.


Credits are Guidance

Credits are awarded for participation in transferable skills training. These credits are a guideline for you to gauge how much training you should attend per year. Credits are not given formally and you should keep track of your own accumulation of credits according to how much transferable skills training you have undertaken.


Credits for Any Relevant Skills Development

Credits are associated with formal training courses as well as your own activities that contribute toward your transferable skills development. Most half day training courses are worth one credit while whole day courses are worth two. Credits may also be gained for your own activities in transferable skills development. You should record your training in your Progress Log


Recommended 10 Days Per Year

In line with the UK Research Council recommendation that all Masters and PhD students receive 10 days per year training the Graduate School of Life Sciences recommends that you accumulate 20 credits each year. Common sense should be applied in your approach to credits and transferable skills training. Credits should reflect the development of new skills so you should not gain credits for repeating training within one skills area.

  • Make sure that your credits are from a range of training topics and styles
  • Attend courses because of your own interest or a recommendation, not just because you want to collect credits.


Examples of Credits

The table below gives more detailed guidance.

If there is a training course or skills development area not listed in the table, you should use your own judgement to assess the credits based on: the amount of time you have spend on the aspects of skills development; their value to your personal development; and whether you are ensuring breadth in your personal development.

A brief idea is given in the table below of the types of activity students could undertake and the sorts of skills they you might gain.



Activity Year Transferable Skills Developed Credits
Induction events* 1 Various Pro-rata (or may be assigned by department)
Keeping a lab notebook Any Research skills and environment, communications skills Pro-rata – 1 credit for each 0.5 day
Bioinformatics courses Any Bioinformatics Pro-rata – 1 credit for each 0.5 day
Statistics courses Any Statistical techniques Pro-rata – 1 credit for each 0.5 day
First Year Report and Assessment 1 Scientific report writing. IT skills 6
Departmental Seminar Presentation Any Communication and presentation skills. IT skills 4 (maximum per year)
Supervising and Small Group Teaching Course Any Teaching and assessing students Pro-rata – 1 credit for each 0.5 day
How to write your dissertation course Any Scientific writing and dissertation planning, career development Pro-rata – 1 credit for each 0.5 day
Home Office licence course Any Ethics, animal welfare
Other University-provided courses Any Various Pro-rata – 1 credit for each 0.5 day
Self-taught courses Any Various Pro-rata – 1 credit for each 0.5 day
Cambridge Local GRADschool (3 day) or Vitae National GRADschool (5 day) Biotechnology YES 2/3 Various: personal effectiveness, team work Pro-rata – 1 credit for each 0.5 day
Poster Presentation Any Communication, oral, written and illustrative presentation skills, research skills, IT skills 4 (maximum per year)
Journal Club Presentation Any Communication, critical analysis of published data, team working 2 (maximum per year)
Presentations to mixed non-specialist audience (eg college) Any Public understanding of science, presentation & communication skills 3 (maximum per year)
Attending external Symposium/Conference Any Networking, professional development and career management 2 (maximum per year)
Write scientific paper for submission Any Communication, scientific writing skills, professional development Up to 6 – Supervisor to allocate according to input
PhD Research Proposal (1+3 Students) 1 Project management skills, processes for funding and evaluation of research, scientific writing and communication, career management 6
Web-page development Any Writing &uploading web material, understanding platform compatibility, etc 4
Demonstrating in undergraduate teaching lab Any Teaching Pro-rata maximum 4 per year
Undergraduate supervision or School teaching Any Understanding organization of research/teaching institution, teamwork, personal effectiveness 1 credit per class hour, maximum 4 per year
Serving on School, College or Departmental Committee Any Small group teaching 2

* Safety courses, introductory sessions on libraries, ethics, literature searching, IP, data management, presentation skills etc.