WP5: Supporting personalised learning pathways for Postgraduate Students in a regional context

Lead: Lowry McComb (Durham University)
Martin Edney (Project Officer, Durham University)
Simon Cotterill (Newcastle University)


This EPICS-2 work package developed a working model for sharing training opportunities for Postgraduate Researchers (PGRs) amongst the 5 universities in the North East of England (Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside).

Building on existing regional collaboration in the area of postgraduate training, and on established use of ePortfolios and related systems, this work aimed to widen the range of training opportunities for Postgraduate Researchers (PGRs) (especially part-time and distance PGRs), thus giving them more training opportunities. This work fits into the broader context of the EPICS-2 project addressing the personalised learning agenda.

The work helps address issues of availability for part-time and distance postgraduates, who may not be able to easily access courses at their home institution, and also addresses the provision of a wider range of opportunities at all institutions for all PGRs. Making a wider range of learning opportunities available to PGRs aims to make it easier for them to choose learning that meets their specific needs at a particular point in their research, as determined by their own requirements or training needs analyses. The work should be of national interest.


This work is summarised in the following 'At a Glance' Information Sheets:


The work started with a broad consultation and information gathering process involving a sample of the training providers and PGRs across the region.

From here, a requirements specification was developed, and this was then used to produce specifications for the data exchange mechanisms that would be needed. This was used as the basis for development of the outcomes listed below.


Outcomes of this work include:
  • a 'proof of concept' regional information hub which integrates feeds of information from multiple training providers, presenting them to PGRs as a single navigable, searchable menu of events from across the region
  • two event feeds which have been added to existing Training Course Booking Systems (at Durham University, and at Newcastle University Faculty Of Medical Sciences); these feeds are used by the regional information hub described above
  • a specification for an event feed, based on the XCRI-CAP format. This specification was used to specify the feed format for the regional information hub, and in the design of the two event feeds described above
  • a specification for a mechanism (based on web services) to allow training records to be exported from a training provider and imported into an ePortfolio or other system. This specification has been prototyped, with test records being moved from a system at Durham University into a system at Newcastle University.

Further details...

Full details of this work are available in the Postgraduate Pathways Report.

The 'proof of concept' regional information hub is online.

Full details of the other parts of the EPICS-2 project are available within this site.


The principle online resources relating to this work are:
Postgraduate Pathways Report - Detailed report on this work
Sharing postgraduate training opportunities on a regional basis - 'At a Glance' Information Sheet
Using XCRI-CAP for sharing workshop information - 'At a Glance' Information Sheet
Regional information hub - The 'proof of concept' system

A full list of resources is given in Appendix 1 of the Postgraduate Pathways Report.

Page created by Simon
Last Modified: 12/11/2015