At DiRAC, we believe one of our most important responsibilities is to offer our community comprehensive training. We have a responsibility to make sure that our HPC resources are used as efficiently as possible and we have an even greater duty of care to make sure you are well-trained in advanced IT techniques and are confident in using them.

The DiRAC HPC-skills Training (formally the DiRAC Essentials Level Training) is a basic introduction to the principles of HPC and the tools needed to work on an HPC system. Once you have completed the course you will be able to do more science of higher impact (and we hope you will have more fun as well!). And if we have a well-trained community we can invest in much more powerful equipment that is much closer to the bleeding edge and so allow our users to generate the new high-impact results that will let you and your group be seen as leaders in your field. 


It will also make you much more employable and sot after. Real programming and IT skills are making a big comeback both in Academia and Industry. We need to equip you with these skills to improve your career progression. In short, we are trying to create a virtuous circle that will benefit you, your science, and your group’s scientific reputation.


HPC-Skills assumes familiarity with desktop computers, but no programming, Linux, or HPC experience is required. For our users who have a small amount of existing knowledge from undergraduate experience the material is intended to refresh prior knowledge and in some cases, fill in any gaps and shed light on why some things are important.  We have five generic modules which cover all the required skills needed to get anyone from a login on to running a simple job on our HPC systems.

These are:

  • Bash Shell: Using the Command Line
  • Version Control with Git
  • Principles of Software Engineering
  • Testing, Documenting, and Reviewing Code
  • Principles of Code Scaling

Accessing the Training

We ask all our users to register for an account to get access to our training portfolio. You will also have the option during registration to sign up for direct email alerts for appropriate courses and other training opportunities.

Before you sign up for a Training Account, please take a look at our Data Privacy Policy.

To sign-up for a Training Account, Register Here. If you are a DiRAC User with a SAFE account, we encourage you to use the same username when you register for your Training account.

Once you have registered you can Access the Training Course Content here or through the link in the drop-down ‘Essentials Training’ Menu at the top of the page. 


Following the test we will ask you to complete a small number of multiple-choice questions designed to assess how useful you found the training and offer you the option to give us feedback and suggestions. If you took the training we encourage you to take the survey so we can improve the content for future generations.  The survey only takes a couple of minutes to complete.

Data Privacy

We use the information from the survey to help us better understand the needs of our user community and to identify areas where we can improve and more closely target our training offering to those needs. Our aim is to continually develop and innovate DiRAC’s training offering as those needs evolve.

The information you give will not be shared with anyone outside our small training team and we will never share your personal contact information with any external organisation. Your responses to the  survey are fully anonymised before any analysis is undertaken.

Before you apply for a Training Account or take the Essentials Level Test, please take a look at our full Data Privacy Policy.