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getting RA experience

Hi there!
I finished an MSc in Psychology in September 08 through which I managed to secure funding for a PhD, which I started in October. Whilst a good first degree and an MSc should be enough to get you onto a PhD if you can find funding (which can be a bit hit and miss!), I know of several PhD students in my department who did RA work first and this led to them getting funding for a Phd either in the same area or a related one, so I think it would definitely improve your chances, although probably isn't essential. Good luck!

Advice please

Hi Liz...Personally I think that if the PhD is right for you then you should go for it. I have been at the same university for my BSc, MSc and now my PhD (My MSc and PhD, but not my BSc, have been with the same supervisor). I have also heard that it is better to move to a different uni for your PhD, and worry a little that my degrees will all be from the same uni, but the fact is that for a PhD you need to be where the best supervisor and the best facilities are. If they happen to be at the same uni, and you are really keen on the PhD, then I wouldn't worry about it too much. I guess it would be good to make sure your first post-doc is somewhere else tho!

Slightly desperate plea for advice...

hey Chris! I just thought I might add a more positive slant on taking a PhD just to balance out the posts a little! I am only about halfway through my first year of my PhD, and am probably yet to experience all the downsides of PhD life mentioned above, but I absolutely love it. I agree that you must have to be extremely enthusiastic about your subject if you plan to devote that much time to it, but my experience so far has been very positive. I find it exciting, varied, challenging, and everything that I was hoping it would be. I have been warned by my fellow PhD students that there will be ups and downs, and I am sure that there will be (and I will no doubt be whining about those times on this forum in the months to come!!), but if you really want to do it and you can find a suitable university and supervisor to take on yourself and whatever you decide to research, then I think you should go for it. Good luck!