im confused which uni to go to. help??


im applying to start a phd this year. im torn between 2 unis. the one i did my 2degrees at which has a brilliant department and a supervisor very knowledgeable in my research area. i get on so well with that person who knows me so well and how unmotivated i can get and knows how to push me to work. i also get a discount so works out cheaper. however people tell me that this supervisor has not got a doctorate and therefore how could he supervise me properly? this supervisor has never taken anyone through as yet to a successful phd conclusion as he's only had phd students over the last 2yrs. however there will be others with phd on my team.
next problem - i have sent a proposal into another uni who are not expert in that field yet say they can take me on and dont need to have an expert in that field because they claim they can guide and supervise me even though they havent got anyone who has researched my field. they also accepted my proposal on first submission whearas my university i applied to asked me to rewrite my proposal x


If I were you I would stay where you are. Even though your supervisor may not have a good doctorate, that isn't to say they can't see you through your PhD. Good knowledge, and expertise in your area is crucial. I think the fact they know you well is important, I was in a similar position after my masters, and decided to stay with the university I was at because I knew my supervisor would invest time and dedication into my work. Also, and I could be wrong, but it sounds a bit like the university you have applied for have accepted you so quickly BECAUSE they don't specialise in your research area. Often, universities are simply trying to expand their scope of research/get more publications etc. This won't necessarliy get you through a PhD.
I'd weigh up your situation with a lot of thought, but it sounds to me like your best option is to stay.


thank you very much. i did ask the guy i know that i was peeved off that i was asked to rewrite the proposal and he said it was cos it wasnt good enough and i should be careful that the other uni are just out to take my money etc. the other uni however said to me that they look on a proposal as a guide and when i start the phd, the real work would commence and the thesis would then take its shape properly etc. although the guy i know hasnt got a phd, he has published a lot of work and is well known in his field even appearing on tv to do with problems in that field. i respect him and get on very well with him though i see him as a slave driver when it comes to work but then as iv said to him that is what a i need to see me through. tho i havent started yet, he is already in contact with me and guiding me already.


Ok well i'm sure you will make the right choice. Although it's a bit of a nightmare that he is a 'slave driver' I've heard lots of complaints from people who say they practically have to beg thier supervisors to meet them, or that they are completely disinterested - which I think would be a much greater problem!


I don't understand the problem, you haven't had any offers yet. Just apply to both and if you get offers from each uni then you can decide between them.


The way you have written your post, it sounds like you already have a strong argument against the second uni. The fact they don't have much experience is your particular area is the biggest factor I reckon. Don't be put off that your potential supervisor (at your current uni) doesn't have a PhD, are there are other members of staff (with PhDs) in the department? You could also ask to have a second supervisor if you feel your potential doesn't have enough experience.

There have been a number of threads about supervisors who have had loads of successful (or not) PhD students but that didn't necessarily make them a fantastic supervisor.


thanks. i have had offers already from both unis. the one i had both my degrees from. i have a bsc sociology and criminology 2:1 and an msc criminology and criminal psychology (merit). the uni i studied at for both degrees want me. they know my work and my standard. i just have to rework my proposal. i sent in one i quickly wrote out and the guy i know said yes you have a place but i want this proposal rewritten to a much better standard. he has very high standards. a friend of mine started last year straight from the masters we finished and he told me he rewrote his proposal 5times for this guy!! he's a stickler for perfection. the other uni accepted without question and offered a place


Is there a massive difference in academic reputation / research ratings between the two? And might that have an effect on what you plan to do career-wise? If not, I'd stay where you are.


bewildered. thanks for your reply. how do i find this out?? the ratings?

B Here are the last research ratings - unfortunately the next ones are due in December but it'll give you a idea. It's only worth worrying about if there's a huge gap and for example, you want to go into academic research. The other thing, reading your posts, it sounds as if you are starting out at least by self-funding. Can you afford to do this for 3-4 years? If not, you might want to check whether both departments are recognised for research council studentship funding so that that would be an option. For criminology it would be the ESRC lists you need to check but criminal pyschology I'm unsure about.


hi. thank u bewildered. iv had a look, i take it that site shows the amount of funding alloacted to universities? the one im at does not have anywhere as much as the one i was thinking of going to. and in my field of expertise, there is absolutely no funding. my thesis would come under criminology&criminal justice. and looks like it does not attract any funding. yes i am self funding and yes i hope to see myself through as best as i can. i hope when i finsish to stay in the academic world lecturing/research


personally I'd stay where you are - you are familiar with surroundings and people plus I think the most important thing is having someone who knows your topic and can really help you when you get stuck!


Move. From what I've heard it is an 'unwritten rule' that it's considered easier to stay on than move away. It shows your commitment if you move: willing to leave your comfort zone, friends etc because you want the PhD so much. Lots of people are offered PhDs at their own uni and it is generally a little easier to get one at home then go through independent interviews at another uni.


thanks adem, however i feel comfortable staying where i am. as im self-funding i get 20% off so saves me hundreds of pounds each year. the fact that i know my proposed supervisor so well and he has a vested interest in me is very important to me. even now i can ring him anytime for help even though i havnt started yet. from what im told motivation plays a big part in doctorate studies and im made aware there is a high drop out rate, knowing this guy and knowing he wouldnt allow that is also very important to me. he has informed me that it looks bad on any supevisor's record if he has drop outs and he doesnt take anyone on that he doesnt plan to see through to the end. so i feel confident with this guy