Phd application/advice HELP!


======= Date Modified 15 12 2009 12:12:15 =======
Hi guys, I am an MSc Literature student at the moment, with average-good grades and a 2.1 undergrad from a good Uni. I would like to do a PhD next year but I'm not really that academic or anything (just enjoy it). I was just wondering if anyone could tell me how much of a leap it is from Masters level, or say anything about the level of commitment involved.

Also, how competitive is it to get in? What does the application involve?


[quote]Quote From taramarie:

I would like to do an interdisciplinary PhD next year in English/History but I'm not really that academic or anything (just enjoy it).[quote]

Hi Taramarie,

You've basically just described me! I'm not all that academic but I like research. I found my MSc really hard but that's what I loved about it (in the social sciences). The PhD level work isn't all that hard in my case, the most difficult thing is the realities of conducting research. There is a significant jump here I think.

Commitment wise, I'm not entirely sure I know what you mean...I'm meant to be PhD-ing between 9 and 6ish weekdays (self imposed). In reality I only really work properly after 11 until 5ish. The rest is just faffing. I try not to do weekends however, this weekend I will be working. I also end up doing tedioius things in the evenings sometimes. Admin etc...I have no option but to finish in 3 years which for me means finishing Sep 2010.

Competition...I applied for one named, funded, PhD project and got it. Don't know too much about the process because I was lucky and only had to go through it once.

Applications vary. Mine was an application form and CV but it was named. For unnamed projects you would have to write a proposal and it all gets a lot harder (but it really is your project that way).

Good luck!



Oo! Not quite sure how I did that! My message is in the purple box!



Thanks so much for that-really helpful.


Hi Taramarie! I am in a different area to you (Psychology) but did an MSc and am now doing a PhD. I don't think that the PhD is necessarily more difficult than the MSc in the academic sense, it's just very different. In one sense there is less pressure because there are no exams and your work is no longer graded etc (you just get feedback- lots of it!) but then there are other abilities which become more important i.e. research skills and the ability to plan your work and be self-motivated, and other pressures such as submitting work for publication and possibly teaching commitments too (depending on where your funding is from). It is easier (in my field) to apply for a project that already has funding, in which case a 2.1 and an MSc is enough at least to be considered for the position. If you have devised your own research/project and then look for funding for that (as I did), it becomes much harder to find funding and the higher your grades the better chance you have. But note, this is in Psychology, it might be different for English or History- I don't really know much about PhDs in those areas! With regards to applications, either look at the vacancies website for the uni- funded PhDs will probably be advertised there, or if you have your own ideas for your PhD then look for potential supervisors who specialise in that area or a related one and make contact with them. It is never too early to get in touch with these people and bounce ideas off them! Edinburgh is awesome (I did undergraduate studies there)...I'm not surprised you want to stay! Good luck!