The challenges of teaching a research higher degree communication skills topic at a central level

Danijela Milos, Andrew Craig

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


In a research higher degree setting, candidates complete a discipline specific research degree administered at the central level. Graduate schools often hold the responsibility of providing training to improve the generic and transferrable skills of candidates. However, there are a number of challenges in providing such generic training to a diverse group of candidates with differing needs. This paper draws on the experiences of teaching ‘COMS9001: Communication Skills for Research Higher Degree Students’, a topic recently introduced by the Office of Graduate Research at Flinders University. The topic focuses on writing and communication skills in the context of work already being produced for candidates’ own research, and provides practical skills in dealing with structure, argument, expression and grammar. It is fully assessed, and taught as either a semester-long topic or as a two-week intensive class.
This paper explores the challenges of teaching such a diverse range of students, by categorising that diversity along three broad axes: communication skills, discipline, and point in candidature.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventQuality in Postgraduate Research - Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 20 Apr 201622 Apr 2016


ConferenceQuality in Postgraduate Research


  • communication skills
  • HDR students
  • transferrable skills
  • RHD candidates


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