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Theories and background research

Is it possible to know ALL the background research in your field? As in, would you advise me to read as many books as possible on my background research BEFORE I start my PhD in June? How much am I expected to know about my theories etc before I start on the project?

When are you really ready to start your PhD?

My supervisor has asked me when I’ll be ready to start my PhD. I’m not sure what he even means. I assumed you had to strictly start when the academic year begins. Can I just say I’m ready to start now and just start? Do you usually have a kick start to your PhD workshop or do you get thrown in? I don’t want to sound silly by saying “when CAN I start?’

Experienced or inexperienced supervisor

What do you recommend for a prospective student ?

They’ve both studied the same theories, quite similar background knowledge. But one is incredibly experienced and the other is pretty new to the world of supervision.

Which PhD should I go for ?

Okay so here’s the thing, they’re both really good universities.

University A has a supervisor I really really really like (not in that way) and he responds to e-mails straight away and had a very passionate and positive vibe about my topic. It’s also distance learning which is helpful because I’ll be teaching full-time and won’t spare any time to travel here and there. A downside is that the university is far away and it has not even offered me (it has taken forever to offer me yet still...). Another downside is that English is my specialism by if I worked with this professor I’d graduate from the department of modern foreign languages - would this hinder career prospects ?

University B “had” a supervisor I really really really liked, but he’s now an emeritus and referred me onto a younger and less experienced supervisor who seems very nice but doesn’t respond to e-mails as quickly. I can’t complain because I was a prospective applicant and not an official student. However, the university has been quick to offer me a place. The university is close by but is only part time and not distance learning (would this affect my full-time teaching schedule at a secondary school?). The biggest downside is that I wanted to allocate my second supervisor from another department. They decided to allocate some random supervisor from the same English department as my supervisor (which was a bit of a blow). She may be nice, but I was really keen to work with the other. The upside is that it is an English department which may help encourage my career prospects.

I’m really unsure and it’ll take time for me to decide. However, from your own experiences, what would you recommend ?

Thanks for your time !

Is a PhD with a 2:2 and a pass at Masters possible?

Of course I now wish I could redo everything and up all the grades up if I had the chance but it's too late now!

So, I found a research topic I'm incredibly passionate about and it links to the theories I've read during my undergrad and postgrad thesis. I formulated a proposal, contacted a few potential supervisors and they all responded so positively. From inside, I felt so bad because I hate the thought of admitting what my grades were from a few years back. I feel like it's all some sort of trickery!

Actually, one supervisor just said 'send me all your transcripts and I'll respond' and she never responded. What's more awkward, is that a supervisor e-mailed back by saying the absolute opposite and pretty much accepting me into the university and he is in the same department as the other supervisor that didn't respond. Now, I regret e-mailing her in the first place! The supervisor who liked my proposal is from Birmingham university to which their entry requirement is a first or 2:1 with a Masters that is at least a Merit. That is way beyond my means!! Should I give up hope? or give it a go?

Thanks for your time everyone!