Training programme

In addition to your research project, you will undertake a comprehensive training programme addressing core technical, research, and professional skills – gaining a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in SLT Leadership integrated with your PhD.

This bespoke programme runs over the entire four years and provides you with the necessary skills for academic and industrial leadership in the field, based on elements covering core SLT skills, research software engineering (RSE), ethics, innovation, entrepreneurship, management, and societal responsibility.

The training is front-loaded to allow you to gain more technical and research skills before you start your research project in the second half of the first year.

Find out more information by viewing our student brochure.

Let’s take a broad look at each year

Year one

SLT is exceptional in the range of disciplines with which it draws upon, from linguistics and phonetics through mathematics and computer science to signal processing and electrical engineering.

The first year is therefore designed to ensure that the group of students enrolling from diverse academic backgrounds can develop into a well-integrated, self-supporting cohort. In particular, the programme launches with a three day intensive workshop that will provide students with a shared understanding of the ethos of the CDT and an appreciation of the broader SLT research landscape.

Students receive unconscious bias and ED&I training to perpetuate an environment of fairness, equality, diversity and respect.

Training in the first semester will then be devoted to bringing students up to a similar skill level across a range of foundational topics. After this induction phase, student PhD projects will be defined in discussion with the students, and supervisors assigned.

Students start work on their research topic while still receiving foundational training.

Year two

The second year is devoted to developing advanced SLT research skills in practice, to perform the first foundational experiments and to formulate the plan for the PhD.

Students are expected to submit a PhD transfer report to a confirmation panel which will assess the quality of the research and the suitability and viability of the research plan for successful PhD study.

The student will engage in further cohort and external activities as well as receive further training in all training domains and modes.

Internships are likely to happen in year two or year three.

Year three

This is expected to be the most productive research year.

Activities will be similar to those conducted in year two, however the students are expected to perform more leadership roles in cohort and team work. This is achieved by supervising mini-projects, by stepping into planning roles in the SLT hub or SLT Challenge activities, or by mentoring of peers.

Internships are likely to happen in year two or year three.

Year four

In the final year, the emphasis will be on thesis completion and on ensuring impact through presentation or realisation in practical settings. Examples are writing and presentation, responsibility assessment and ethical re-evaluation, proposal writing or entrepreneurial activities.

The year will end first with the completion of the required credits to receive the PGDip, followed by submission and assessment of the PhD thesis.

Each year in a bit more detail

The programme requires the completion of 120 credits of modules over the four year course.

In your first year, you will study 75 credits – two 15 credit core modules, plus three 15 credit optional / free choice modules. In your second, third and fourth years, you will study one 15 credit core module per year.

Year two

Year three

Year four