Training and Development

This page is designed to help you find SWDTP training courses and to read about how the SWDTP devises its student focused training programme.

The South West Doctoral Training Partnership is committed to taking an innovative approach to training and development.

The SWDTP offers flexible, collaborative, and responsive training in accordance with student need. Our training programme ensures a strong foundation, emphasizing theoretical and methodological understanding, and the flexibility needed by the next generation of social scientists to address key social and global challenges in their diverse careers.

Please click here to access Past SWDTP funded Training and Development Courses with links to legacy material, recorded training sessions, and reading lists.

We monitor the training needs of our students in a variety of ways, including via our Training Needs Analysis (TNA) process, through the views of our Pathway Leads and academic contacts, and through our Student Reps’ advice. If you wish to suggest a form of training that you believe would assist you and your fellow students in their development please contact us via the form below.

Upcoming SWDTP Funded Training Courses

Research and Academic Development

Centre for Qualitative Research (Bath): Bespoke Qualitative Training

The Centre for Qualitative Research at the University of Bath presents a series of free online workshops and webinars for doctoral researchers, between February and July 2021. Bringing together academics and doctoral scholars from across the SWDTP institutions interested in qualitative research, this bespoke training will consist of a comprehensive programme of 7 practical and cross-disciplinary qualitative workshops for SWDTP doctoral researchers and others who are interested in extending their knowledge and use of qualitative inquiry. A further 5 demand-led qualitative innovations webinars will focus on emerging, novel topics within qualitative inquiry. See our Past Training Page for materials from the Main Training Package.

The demand led sessions will consist of 5 stand-alone Demand-Led Qualitative Innovations sessions, delivered on a monthly basis, between March and July, to up to 300 students online. The session titles are:

1. Collecting Qualitative Data using Digital Methods – 25th March 2021

View event information

Register for this webinar

2. Considerations for engaging in open research and secondary analysis of qualitative data – 13th April 2021

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Register for this webinar

3. Participatory Action Research – 19th May 2021

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Register for this webinar

4. Using Visual Research Methods in Organisation Studies – June

More event information to follow

5. Narrative Methods – June

More event information to follow

Some of these sessions are not yet open for registration but check back later when the links have been added.

Enhancing Research through Secondary Data: Training activities and resources

The SWDTP team is in the process of co-ordinating further training activities (webinars and drop in sessions) and resources to support our PGR communities undertaking research involving secondary data, so please watch this space. In the meantime, you might be interested in these SWDTP Webinars

-The recording and slides from a SWDTP webinar on  Accessing Administrative and Sensitive Datasets through ‘SafePods. SafePods have recently been installed at Bristol, Bath and Exeter Universities and will provide secure access to a wealth of government datasets, as well as study and survey datasets; they are due to be available for use in Spring 2021

-The SWDTP-funded webinar on Considerations for engaging in open research and secondary analysis of qualitative data , 13 April 2021; if you weren’t able to attend,  a recording of the session will be made available here

Future SWDTP resources will be designed to complement existing training provided by others includingUK Data Service whose rich list of training sessions includes webinars such as Getting Started with Secondary Analysis; Administrative Data Research UK whose resources include explainer videos such as What is administrative data and why is it so useful for research? Of interest to those who haven’t heard of administrative data before, or want to know why it’s a valuable tool to support research and policymaking in the public interest; NCRM’s training, where recent/upcoming sessions include Getting personal with existing qualitative data and an Introduction to Data Linkage and Analysing Linked Data; The Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research whose recent/upcoming training sessions include: An Introduction to Data Science for Administrative Data Research and Administrative Data Training – Centric, online self-guided course. CLOSER ‘the home of longitudinal studies who regularly run events and training workshops and provide resources for early-career researchers who are new to longitudinal studies can also access a range of information and resources on the CLOSER Learning Hub. Understanding Society’s  recent/upcoming training  includes: an Introduction to Understanding Society using Stata/SPSS/R/SAS; Panel data econometrics using Understanding Society.

Workshops on depression in young people, Summer 2021

The SWDTP is delighted to be co-funding a series of three workshops including talks by clinicians and researchers in the field, focus group discussions and young peoples’ perspectives, to open up new research avenues and opportunities for collaboration. These are being led by ADvaNCE (the adolescent depression network to consolidate expertise), a special interest research group which is passionate about reducing depression in young people.

The workshops are as follows: 

2nd June “What methods can be used to identify that a young person is experiencing depression?” 

8th July “What are the best early interventions for depression? And how early should they be used in order to result in the best patient outcomes?”

15th September “What are the best ways to tell young people with depression about treatment options and their effectiveness to help them feel more in control and to manage their difficulties?”

The workshops are open to all PhD students and ECRs from SWDTP Universities.

If you are interested in attending one or more of the workshops please book your free online ticket via the link below.

If you are interested in hearing more about ADvaNCE and our workshops please email To be added to the ADvaNCE mailing list, please pop your details here: and also give us a follow on Twitter advance_ntwk

Career Skills Training

Our Career skills training courses have either past or are currently sold out. Please see the external training resources below for more career skills training, or visit our Past Training Page for resources from past training sessions.

Health and Wellbeing

Group Study/Writing Sessions

Every Wednesday afternoon from 14:00-16:30 the SWDTP will be running group study sessions. We hope that this will foster a collaborative and supportive environment within which our students can work whilst work spaces are lacking.

Every hour or so we will make space for optional breakout rooms for discussions of work and socialising.

For more information please email Helen Stanton.

PGR Skills training courses are available at each institution across the partnership. Details for each location are as follows:






External Training Resources

NCRM: National Centre for Research Methods Logo and Link to website

Current NCRM training courses can be found at this link – NCRM Research Methods Training or you can search for NCRM training courses on their website NCRM Training Courses and Events

NCRM also offer a wide range of online resources (audio and video podcasts, online courses, publications, links to external resources which you may find relevant – NCRM Resources

Training and Events | SWDTP

The UK Data Service has a series of webinars regarding data. Slides and recordings of UK Data Service webinars are made available on our past events pages and YouTube channel soon after the event has taken place.

To find out more and book a space onto a webinar, please head to the UK Data service’s events page

In addition, all students from GW4 institutions can access training at other GW4 institutions, space permitting (priority goes to each institution’s students). This applies to all training listed on their catalogue. Further information is available on the GW4 website. For those students who are not registered at a GW4 institution (Bath/Bristol/Exeter/Cardiff), HEIs will typically allow you to attend training if space permits.  If you want to book onto training at another GW4 institution, you just need to contact that institution to request this. Details on how to do so is available on the webpage above.

Vitae is an international programme of professional development for researchers.  They run a range of courses on areas such as making the best of your research, effective presentation and leadership.

The ESRC funds a range of data and methods services to support research and study. It provides resources needed to access high quality socio-economic data and to develop research skills.

The Skills and Careers page on the ESRC website provides links to ESRC Media Training, the Peer Review Training Tool and the Impact Toolkit.

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The Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) manages four British cohort studies: the 1958 National Child Development Study, the 1970 British Cohort Study, Next Steps and the Millennium Cohort Study.

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CLOSER supports the use of longitudinal research.  Key resources include reading lists and summaries of findings, and a search platform to help find out what data has been collected across all eight studies in the CLOSER partnership.

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Understanding Society is a major longitudinal survey of around 40,000 UK households. The site contains information on the survey, as well ad research articles, reports and policy briefings based on this survey.

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The Administrative Data Research Network enables accredited researchers to access securely held de-identified linked administrative data for research that has potential to benefit society.

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Census and Administrative data Longitudinal Studies Hub promotes and supports ONS LS, SLS and NILS datasets which hold up to 40 years of individual-level data including census and linked administrative data.