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Department of Computer Science and Technology


The Research Skills Programme aims to provide advice on and training in a variety of practical skills required for research. It will provide training in a subset chosen from the diverse set of skills that will be useful in the other research-led modules, in the individual project, and in the student's future career.


All MPhil in Advanced Computer Science students and CPGS students are required to take this programme.
CPGS students should refer to the Researcher Development webpage for further information.

Part III students for the Computer Science Tripos may choose whether to attend some or all of it.


Core Units

All students must a number of core units including:

  • Online introduction to writing: What is academic English; Achieving Clarity in English; Studying in English
  • Introduction to Academic Writing in the UK
  • How to write a good abstract
  • One-Minute Madness: project 'elevator pitch'
  • How to prepare a research presentation

Optional Units

Students may choose from a list of units that are most relevant to their research plans, and supplementary to their previous experience. A full list of units can be accessed from Moodle (only available to current students). Each student must participate in a total of 12 units (a combination of core and optional units). Students may attend further sessions, subject to availability of spaces. No credit is given for attendance greater than the minimum requirement.


On completion of this module, students should have improved their ability in the practical aspects of research, including specific skills relevant to their individual research plans and career aspirations, as chosen from the selection of optional units.


Students will need to submit a copy of their powerpoint slide for the one-minute madness presentation.

Optional units will not require coursework to be completed or submitted beyond participation in the session itself.

Practical work

Some options will involve practical work, which will be carried out during the session. This will provide an opportunity for students to practice specific skills, but will not be formally assessed.


Students are required to participate in a minimum of 12 units (which includes the core units) as a course requirement. Because units are chosen according to individual need or interest, students should assess for themselves whether their choices have been appropriate and sufficient to meet their individual needs. Based on this self-assessment, students are encouraged to discuss with their course adviser any further practical research skills that might be needed for completion of their individual project. Module convenors and project supervisors will be able to offer further advice.

Students will be required to record the units they have attended.

Recommended reading

Reading suggestions will be made, if appropriate, by presenters of individual options. Note that all students are expected to complete the online introduction to academic writing.