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About this book

Written by a PhD student with insights from fellow students, this clear and concise book covers every aspect of the realities of the PhD experience for prospective and current PhD students. It gives an honest inside view on the day to day experience, whilst providing practical strategies, useful tips and solid advice to support and motivate fellow students. Covers topics from the initial decision to undertake a PhD, through the different stages and finally to the decisions about what comes next.

Table of Contents

1. Why Do a PhD?

Abstract
The fact that you are reading this book suggests that you already have some reasons for wanting to do a PhD. But are you sure? Are your reasons good ones or will you look back in a year’s time and wish you had chosen differently?
Evelyn Barron

2. Decisions to Be Made

Abstract
Once you have decided that you want to do a PhD, you have more decisions to make. Which university should you study at? What are priorities in terms of location, facilities or reputation of staff? Who will supervise your project? What will the focus of your project be? How will you pay the fees? Do you need funding? Where will you live?
Evelyn Barron

3. When to Do a PhD

Abstract
Advice about when is the best time to do a PhD is not something you tend to come across when looking for advice about PhDs. For a lot of PhD students, the ‘when’ is dictated by when funding becomes available, or what projects are available at the end of their undergraduate or Master’s degree. For other students, though, it can be a question of when it is possible to fit their PhD studies around business commitments or family life.
Evelyn Barron

4. Ways of Doing a PhD

Abstract
Traditionally, doing a PhD involved doing a research project and producing a written thesis of around 100,000 words at the end of it. Now, though, there are a variety of ways to complete a PhD. However, be aware that not every route is available in every university or department.
Evelyn Barron

5. Stages of a PhD

Abstract
As noted previously, not all students do their PhDs in three years on a full-time basis, but in general most students will follow a similar pattern.
Evelyn Barron

6. Your Project and Supervisors

Abstract
The world of PhD research can be a bit of a bubble; it can seem as if everybody around you either has a PhD already or is also working towards one. This can make having a PhD seem commonplace and it is easy to forget that only a small percentage of the population ever attempts a PhD, never mind completes one. Often, before people start their PhD, they have preconceived ideas about what it is going to be like. Some people need a PhD for their chosen future career, some see it as a delaying tactic before they have to worry about applying for jobs, and others see it as three years of hard work and long hours.
Evelyn Barron

7. Sources of Support and Working Conditions

Abstract
During your PhD studies you will receive support from many sources. Support comes in many forms, whether it be financial, academic, practical or emotional support. Your supervisors and colleagues will help to guide your project, your institute will provide you with training opportunities to develop your set of skills, and family and friends will keep you going.
Evelyn Barron

8. Additional Demands on Your Time

Abstract
There are some things you are expected to do during your time as a PhD student that are not part of your project, and there are other things that are not compulsory but will improve your skills and improve your CV.
Evelyn Barron

9. Life Outside of the PhD

Abstract
Life outside of the PhD will, of course, vary according to many different factors and personal circumstances. As a PhD student, one of the most important things to remember is that you should have a life outside of your project!
Evelyn Barron

Summary

Abstract
I hope that this book has helped to inform you about the ins and outs of being a PhD student. Doing a PhD is a massive undertaking which should not be underestimated or entered into lightly. A PhD will develop you as a person and open up more possibilities for your future career, whatever area it may be in, academic or otherwise. At the same time, it is one of the most rewarding things you can do. In effect, you have a long period of time to concentrate on something which is important to you and that you are passionate about; most people never get this opportunity.
Evelyn Barron
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