One of the things that makes the EngD course different from a PhD is the training we are given outside of the lab. Part of this training comes from the Edinburgh Business School, an internationally recognised postgraduate business school with students and alumni all over the world.
EBS offers distance-learning courses which allow us to study at our own pace, while carrying out our research. The CDT programme requires everyone to take Accounting, Marketing and Project Management, but it is possible to take additional classes too. In my first year with the CDT I took the Economics course. The CDT has us study Accounting, Marketing and Project Management to help us understand how the businesses we are sponsored by run and make decisions. This better prepares us for working in industry – for example the accounting course does not turn us into accountants, but teaches us how accountants prepare data so we can understand what the data means for the business.
We are sent the course material in the post, this includes a textbook and a course guideline. We are also given access to an online account where we can view an online version of the text and other material like videos and discussion forums. We are given time during work hours to study this material. The teaching for the course is then done over a four-day weekend at the business school. A full day of 9am-5pm lectures can be tiring, but it is worth it to spend time with the lecturer and be able to ask questions. Plus, there are some other benefits – the business school provides lunch and it is always delicious! It is also great to see the rest of the cohort and hear about what progress they have made with their research.
The business school offers another two-day revision weekend before the exam. The exams come in different formats for each subject but usually include multiple choice questions and written answer questions. Being at an MBA level, the courses are high quality and quite challenging. Fortunately, they are accessible; when I joined the CDT I had never studied any business subjects at school or university, but the course material was easy to grasp and I even got an A in my first course!
Having the opportunity to study with the Edinburgh Business School is one of the things that makes joining the CDT such a great career move. We are better prepared for our future careers in industry than we would be had we done traditional PhD courses. And considering how expensive it is to study a postgraduate course, I know this is something I would not have been able to do by myself.