Aston University Graduate School provides a supportive environment for research students across the University, whatever their mode of study and wherever they are located, with a view to widening and enriching their experience during their research studies. The Graduate School brings together under one umbrella the responsibility for maintaining the Quality Assurance of research studies and the development of training in core research and transferable skills thus enabling all research students studying for an Aston degree to realise their full potential, whichever career path they choose. Your School is the major centre for the delivery of subject-specific postgraduate training and development. The University Graduate School provides a focus for the sharing of ideas and best practice between Schools, such that these are implemented across the University. The Graduate School supports and promotes cross-institutional working and, together with the Aston Postgraduate Research Society (APRS) sponsored by Schools and based in the Students' Union, promotes both formal and informal events, predominantly campus-based, that will provide many research students with the opportunity to interact on a regular basis. There is no doubt that your journey from enrolment to graduation will be a challenging one, but it should also be an enjoyable one and both the Graduate School team and your School are here to give you full support and advice whenever you need it and the names of key contacts are provided in your Student Handbook. Other information you will need during your study is also present in the Student Handbook or can be found in these Graduate School web pages which contain links to Support, Regulations, Training and Development, and other opportunities which you may wish to embark upon. During your training you will also be supported by a Graduate Development Team, with experts in different areas (eg Staff & Graduate Development, Library, Career Development, Research Support Office and, for business matters, the Business Partnership Unit) who collectively provide a range of training and development opportunities for research students and research staff. Engagement in these opportunities provides an excellent forum for the exchange of ideas and information across discipline boundaries, and is an important part of your research development.