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Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland



Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development for Marine
Science and Technology (MASTS PG Cert)

Congratulations to the following MASTS Graduate School members for being awarded their PG Cert.

Hannah Lee; Texa Sim; Craig Stenton; Danielle Whitlock; James Rimmer; Ana Couto;
Edward Lavender; Scarlet Ferrinho & Hannah Wyles.

Enhancing the Personal and Professional Development of the MASTS Researcher Community

Welcome to the Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development for Marine Science and Technology (MASTS PG Cert), a unique award in the UK.

“Completing the PGCert has been a very valuable experience. As well as providing me with an additional qualification to put on my CV, the process of reflecting on the skills I have gained and experiences I have engaged in during my PhD provided an excellent foundation when applying for jobs. By having this reflective, dated, log, I have a resource to turn to which has been invaluable when writing applications and preparing for interviews, backed-up by the rigour of the award itself.”

“The PGCert programme is a great tool for supporting reflective practice around skills developed during a PhD program. The structure it provides encourages you to reflect how different activities are building different skills and experiences that are relevant both within academia and research and beyond. For me, this has been particularly useful as I moved outside of academia upon completing my PhD. It’s been key for me when writing job applications and CVs to take a ‘skills based approach ‘ as not all employers fully understand what a PhD involves and the possible range of skills developed during one. I thought when looking for a new job after being in a role for nearly 2 years post PhD I’d gotten over this hump by demonstrating industry experience, but that wasn’t quite the case, so being able to evidence the diversity of development that comes with doing a PhD was huge!”

Find out more from the MASTS PG Cert drop-down menu above.

By introducing a training framework in MASTS we are ensuring each student receives a consistent researcher development experience, even though our postgraduate researchers are spread across Scotland. Offering high-quality and flexible training opportunities through a tailored programme specifically for marine scientists differentiates MASTS graduate to future employers, whilst supporting high-quality training relevant to completing your PhD effectively. Ultimately, this will take you one step closer to the career you want, in research and academia or elsewhere.   

The PG Cert RDP MASTS helps you make appropriate choices during your doctoral studentship, with respect to aspects of personal and professional development.  We want to help you develop a wide range of skills whilst also giving you the freedom to explore professional development in a way that suits you.  You will gain a valuable skills during your research programme, beyond the in-depth knowledge and understanding of your research topic. These skills form an important part of your professional development and how you gain them will be as unique as your research.  You can also significantly enhance your professional skills and employability by planning and undertaking specific training, or engaging in other activities, such as conferences, cruises, teaching, internships or voluntary work.  You can learn from everything you do and through reflective analysis of experiences and activities undertaken during the programme, the PG Cert RDP MASTS will help you to articulate your competencies and attributes, and convey these to others, including prospective employers. 

Everybody learns in different ways and MASTS, supported by Strathclyde University, has created the MASTS PG Cert to ensure that each student can design a bespoke training programme that supports their research, career and personal goals.  On completion of your PhD and the PG Cert you will have both expertise, skills and knowledge in your specific discipline and a broad and deep transferrable skill set.  You will also acquire the confidence, curiosity and creativity to contribute successfully wherever you work.  The qualification can formalise all the activities you undertake as a postgraduate researcher and ensures that you enter the employment market with a skill set which distinguishes you from other researchers.   It also supports a culture of individual, life-long learning and adaptation to a rapidly changing marine sector and world.  We believe the resulting impact for you, MASTS and for society, will be undoubtedly positive.

To view PGCert Induction click on the video below.

Welcome to the MASTS PGCert from Prof David Paterson (MASTS Executive Director)

It gives me great pleasure to introduce the Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development for Marine Science and Technology (MASTS PG Cert), delivered by MASTS with support from the University of Strathclyde.

MASTS is a consortium of collaborating universities and organisations, representing marine science research capacity and education in Scotland. Our Graduate School is at the heart of the community and we fund and support students across a wide variety of marine science and technology subjects. 

As a leading international research organisation, our postgraduates are very much part of our community. MASTS recognises the need to support the development of the next generation of researchers to be capable and equipped to work within and out with academia, and that is why we have introduced the MASTS PG Cert. Through contextualised support and development in both your day-to-day research and for your broader aspirations, this unique MASTS PG Cert programme allows you to continually reflect upon your developing skills and understand where your development needs lie, so that you can focus your learning at each stage of your studentship. By targeting your efforts towards professional development, the PG Cert allows you to create a flexible, bespoke programme of activities tailored specifically to support your growth into a highly skilled researcher, in high demand from a variety of employers. Acknowledging the variety of places in which learning and development occurs, the programme rewards a variety of the activities you undertake, including formal training as well as informal and experiential learning, and we hope you will take full advantage of the many opportunities afforded to you during your studentship.

MASTS is a close knit community, of which you are now part, and your supervisors and MASTS colleagues are here to support and guide you through your studentship. Discuss your personal and professional development, and your research, with those around you. Doctoral research can be a roller coaster of successes and failures. Both however, contribute to your development, strength and resilience as a person and a researcher. Your pro-active contribution means that you too will influence MASTS’ research capacity, reputation and future.

I very much look forward to meeting you personally and wish your good luck for the coming years of your research studentship and the PG Cert RPD with MASTS.

MASTS Resources

We’re working behind the scenes to bring you a suite of useful, and updateable, resources including: 

  • Find an expert
  • Find facilities & equipment
  • MASTS Publications


If you would like to be updated when the resources section is live please let us know.