Skip to main content
Doctoral College

Skills Point System

Every PGR student is expected to take part in approximately 210 hours of development activities over the course of their studies. This is the amount of training advised by the UK Research Councils, and is roughly equal to two weeks training and development for each full-time year of study. 

The selection of appropriate development activities and courses should form part of your relationship with your supervisors, and you should expect to discuss your development needs during your annual reviews. A tool to help you assess your development needs is the available from the Researcher Development team website. 

All PGR students are automatically registered on the Skills Points System and they must ensure that their training record is kept up to date. The SPS captures generic and discipline-specific developmental activities that students are involved in, through the allocation of points. Points are given for courses or workshops run by the Doctoral College, Schools and Institutes, and external organisations. Points are also awarded for participation in other activities such as conference attendance, teaching and attending seminars. 

Read our guide on  How to use SPS [PDF 1,423KB].  

Key Facts:

  • Points can be accrued at any time during your doctorate.
  • Any activity that has helped to develop your research, skills or knowledge can be claimed. This includes training courses and workshops run by the Doctoral College, Schools and Institutes, and external organisations.
  • The only activities that cannot be claimed are things that are integral parts of the doctoral process (g., your research, meeting your supervisor, writing your 9-month report and thesis, mandatory Health & Safety training, etc.).
  • Activities such as attendance at conferences or giving research presentations are eligible for a set number of points.
  • Most recurring activities (such as conference or seminar attendance and teaching) have a maximum cap of points that can be gained, either per year or over the course of your
  • If students come to Queen Mary with significant prior development training (gained, for example, through previous employment), this training may be accredited, subject to approval by Researcher Development who will also determine the points allocated.

Points gained are mapped against the four domains of the Vitae/RCUK Researcher Development Framework (RDF) in order to assist students and supervisors in planning individual personal development. 

Recording your activities 

The Skills Points System records training and development activities and keep track of the points accrued. You can log in and use the system using your college ID and password. Detailed instructions on how to use the system can be found at the bottom of this page and under the Help tab on the SPS. 

How many points do I need? 

Students are expected to accrue 210 points across the course of their doctoral degree. These points should be spread across all four domains, but there are a minimum number of points required in each domain. 

Domain 

Minimum number of points 

Domain A (Knowledge and intellectual abilities) 

60 

Domain B (Personal effectiveness) 

20 

Domain C (Research governance and organisation 

15 

Domain D (Engagement, influence and impact) 

30 

Recording your activities 

The PGR Skills Points System records training and development activities and keeps track of the points accrued. You can log in and use the system using your college ID and password. Detailed information on how to use the system can be found under the Help tab on the SPS. 

Any activities you have taken part in since September 2011 can be logged on the database. This may happen automatically (e.g., for Doctoral College courses), or you may be required to enter the information from your own records. Your School/Institute should provide you with information about how they use the system. 

If you are unsure about any aspect of this system or the database, please look at our FAQs page. If you still have questions, please contact spdsupport@qmul.ac.uk

How to use the Skills Points System

A step-by-step guide explaining how to log in, how the system works and how to claim different types of activities.   

How to Use the Skill Point System
Back to top