Our Training Programme is delivered primarily over the first two terms.  Term 1 is a full-time programme delivered at the Doctoral Training Centre alongside students from other DTC programmes.  This focusses primarily on hard skills such as programming, maths and statistics.  In term 2 the focus moves to courses that help you to formulate your research project and engage with partners.

Term 1

Term 1 is Core and all students attend the full-time programme mainly dedicated to hard skills such as Programming, Maths & Statistics.  For those with advanced maths skills there is the option to choose between further quantitative methods training, or to obtain a grounding in Biology.   In weeks 4 & 5 we introduce the more NERC-focussed portion of the course with "The Earth System" course.  Here you will learn about the breadth of environmental research being carried out at Oxford in the context of how the earth operates as a cohesive system.  You will get a clearer idea of where you fit into the broader picture of environmental research, and will discover research methods used in other streams, which may be applicable to your own research.  The aim of this course is to foster interdisciplinary collaboration.

Core Courses in Term 1

Field Trip Watch Short Video


The Earth System Watch Short Video

Advanced QM 


Graduate Research Seminars

BIPOC Seminars

Term 2

Term 2 will continue your professional skills development by helping to give you the foundations for your D.Phil, in a course that explores what makes a good D.Phil thesis, how to manage the student-supervisor relationship and gives you some strategies to submit on time.  There will be proposal writing workshops, bibliographic training and demonstrator training which will allow you to earn some additional income by supporting other students in their learning.  In addition to these we offer some courses in research methods which apply across all streams, and a week of enterprise training as part of which you will participate in a partner-led Industrial sandpit.  Here you will work directly with industry to explore a range of real-world problems of direct relevance to them and see how your research can be applied to find solutions to them.  These elements also belong to the Core training programme, but the Advanced training courses which are optional also begin during term 2.  You will also be able to attend the Life Skills course offered by the Chemistry in Cells CDT which is part of the DTC and this too is optional. 


Core Courses in Term 2

Life Skills

Foundations for a Good D.Phil

Partner Sandpit

Environmental Policy Workshop

Planning Research

BIPOC Voices in Environmental Research



Advanced Training

In term 3 you will host a series of Grand Challenges seminars, for which you will have been preparing since term 1.  You will also submit your project proposals and transfer out into your departments where you will take over responsibility for your further training by selecting courses which apply directly to your own research needs.  Your RTSG (Research and Training Support Grant) will provide funding to enable you to access training from a wide variety of sources outside the University and in this way you can help create your own tailored training programme.


Advanced Courses Term 2 onwards

Atmospheric Physics

Geophysical Fluid Dynamics

Ocean Circulation

GIS Techniques

Smart Modelling Strategies

Mixed Effects Models in R


In addition to Advanced courses offered by the DTP, you can also participate in courses offered by other departments, societies and partners and these will also count towards your minimum training requirement of 6 advanced courses during your D.Phil project.