The PhD Application Handbook


"...snappy and informative; it's a must-buy and there's nothing near it on the market at the moment."

Stephen Hart, University College London

"I found it very informative and helpful. There was loads of useful detail that wasn't covered by the other PhD books I've been reading."

Miki Grahame, Prospective PhD Student

A PhD is one of the most ...

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"...snappy and informative; it's a must-buy and there's nothing near it on the market at the moment."

Stephen Hart, University College London

"I found it very informative and helpful. There was loads of useful detail that wasn't covered by the other PhD books I've been reading."

Miki Grahame, Prospective PhD Student

A PhD is one of the most ambitious and exciting things you can do in your life. Upon successful completion you will be a doctor – and a world authority in your chosen area.

Each year several thousand graduate students apply to do a PhD at universities in the UK. Many are not successful – they are unable to find a suitable university, or a supervisor, or decide on a suitable research project, or they cannot obtain funding to pay their fees and bills. Most students fail to obtain a PhD because they have one of these aspects wrong at the start.

The PhD Application Handbook is the first ever comprehensive handbook for people wishing to apply for a PhD in the UK. It provides a step-by-step guide to PhDs, explaining:

  • what a PhD is
  • how to apply for your PhD
  • how to find the right university, supervisor and project

It also provides detailed information about funding, eligibility, deadlines for different awards, and which funding is best for which student. Examples of research proposals, application forms and interview technique are given, helping you to secure your PhD place with the minimum of problems.

The PhD Application Handbook is designed to help prospective PhD students achieve their ambition. If you want to do a doctorate in the UK, This book is essential for you!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780335246960
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/1/2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Peter J. Bentley is a Senior Research Fellow and College Teacher at University College London (UCL), Collaborating Professor at the Korean Advanced Institute for Science and Technology (KAIST) and Visiting Research Fellow of the University of Kent. He is also author of the books Evolutionary Design by Computers, Creative Evolutionary Systems, On Growth, Form and Computers, and the popular science book Digital Biology.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements     vii
Before you start     1
Why do you want to do a PhD?     2
Can you do a PhD?     5
What are your interests?     8
Do you want to be a student for another three years?     9
What is a PhD?     11
Different types of doctorate     11
What are the requirements of a PhD?     15
Different ways of studying     23
What do you do?     24
Funding     27
What fees will you have to pay?     27
Politics and money     28
UK research councils     30
UK government funding     36
Overseas Research Students Awards Scheme and the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission     37
Non-UK government funding     39
Charities     40
Industry     43
How to apply     44
Finding the right university     50
Old or new?     51
Where?     55
Do they do what you're interested in?     57
Research cultures     58
Judging a university     60
Finding the right supervisor     66
Who are they?     66
How tocontact a supervisor     67
Do you get on well with him or her?     71
How much time will he or she have for you?     73
Is he or she experienced at supervising?     75
What stage of career is he or she at?     77
Second supervisors     80
Finding the right research project     81
How to be different     81
Writing a proposal     83
The application form     90
Securing an offer     96
The interview     96
The offer     102
Student visas     104
Accommodation     107
What do you need?     107
Budgets     108
University accommodation     110
Private accommodation     111
Beginning your PhD     116
Don't believe everything you read     116
Keep careful records, and keep the records, carefully     117
Look after your finances - make a budget and stick to it     118
Remember to get your admin, reports, vivas and courses done promptly     118
Break the work into a series of smaller projects     119
Who's the first author?     120
Give credit to others when it is due      121
Listen to your supervisor and, if unhappy, talk to him or to someone else     122
Is it going to be in your thesis?     123
Insomnia happens to everyone     124
You are not the first person to do a PhD     125
Communication can be fun     126
Enjoy yourself     128
Resource Guide: current funding opportunities     129
Advertised Studentships     132
Small Awards     136
Annual Charity Studentships     139
UK and EU Awards     145
International Awards     153
Student Visa Guide     166
Directory     175
Index     187
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