School of Social and Political Science

Professional Development Toolkit


First Year Toolkit*

It might seem early in your university life to be thinking about professional development but it could really help you in your studies.

‘Professional development’ covers a wide range of skills, knowledge and strategies that will not only be useful while you’re studying with us at SPS but will also give you a head start afterwards – whatever path you take. 

We’ve created the Professional Development Toolkit to help you reflect on current skills, identify goals and objectives for your time at uni and to put a plan in place to achieve them. It includes a mix of resources, tips and reflective exercises to help you set goals in an achievable way (and our Student Development Office team is here to help with this).  

The toolkit also provides an opportunity to capture skills development after attending any workshops.

*Toolkits for years 2, 3 and 4 will be added soon.

How it works

The toolkit is a PDF document that you can fill in over the academic year. This is your toolkit and your answers are for you alone. Use it to keep track of your progress and look back at the end of the year on what you have achieved.

Image of the Professional Development Toolkit
Professional Development Toolkit PDF

So, download it, save it to your laptop / device*, and come back to it as many times as you like, filling in your answers as you go along. We’ll be sending reminders and prompts throughout each semester but we also recommend adding some alerts in your phone / laptop calendar.

*While it’ll work on a phone, it’ll be easier to use on a laptop or tablet.


Get started

Ready to start your development journey? Here’s what to do:

  1. Step one 
    Download your copy
  2. Step two 
    Save it to your desktop - why not set up a new folder called Professional Development?
  3. Step three 
    Open it, and test out filling in one of the fields.
  4. Step four 
    Save it, then open it again and check everything you typed is still there.

All looking good? You’re all set!

Something not right? 

If your Professional Development Toolkit is not saving what you have filled in or you’ve encountered an issue, please let us know at

Other formats 

If you require this document in another format or it isn’t interacting with your screen reader as it should, get in touch with us at