Signup date: 30 Aug 2013 at 12:52am
Last login: 18 Jun 2020 at 9:34am
Post count: 142
The best option is probably to keep an eye out for funded projects in your field. They're added to FindAPhD all the time (yep, even now). You could also try looking at specific university scholarships - this will take some time, but our guide might help get you started (it links to each UK university's funding pages):
As an EU student you'll also be eligible for a UK doctoral loan next year (remains to be seen whether this eligibility is extended, but rest assured we'll update as soon as we know).
Hope his helps a bit,
As per the title: we want to know how prospective PG (Masters & PhD) students are responding to the COVID-19 disruption. The information you provide will help us help universities help you (hopefully) and we'd really appreciate it if you have five minutes to complete:
All the info will be anonymous (of course) and there's a chance to win one of three £50 Amazon vouchers as a thank you.
So, thank you!
FindAPhD & FindAMasters
I (very genuinely) hope everyone here is well. Some of you will probably know that I'm in charge of the Content Team (blog, etc) over at FindAPhD and FindAMasters - and that I occasionally post here when I think I / we have something helpful to offer.
I'm not sure that's entirely the case today and I know that many of you will be concerned about the impact of current events on your studies, or your applications. We've put together a post with the best advice we can find:
I'm afraid the restriction on existing qualifications applies for all degrees, however obtained. If you have the equivalent of a UK Masters (or higher) you won't be able to access a UK postgraduate student loan.
You can read about some of the other options that may be available, in our funding advice section:
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
Sorry to hear you're having this experience. Some of it reminds me of the early stages of my own PhD.
It can definitely be tough feeling like you're out of step with your social circle (who all seem to have started 'real life' without you). The best advice I can give for that is simply to remember that you do have a job: your PhD. You applied for that job, you got it and it's yours. So is the salary (well, funding). Be proud of that.
I'd also suggest trying to get together with the other students in your department. Are there any regular reading / discussion groups you could attend? Could you start one, if not? I did this myself 'back in the day' and it was very rewarding - the group still meets now, even though most of them wouldn't know who I was if I walked in ;)
I'm sure others here will have some advice and reassurance to offer. If nothing else, you aren't alone here.
We do review books on PhD study over on the FindAPhD blog, but I'm afraid Hayton's isn't among them. . . yet. If anyone would like to review it (or review a similar work) do let me know.
FindAPhD Editor Person
Congrats! And cheers for all your responses and supportive messages to others here on the forum :)
For those of you who don't know me, I'm Mark and I'm the Grand High Admiral Baron Lord Captain of Content* over at FindAPhD (and co). Basically, I look after the advice and info resources you may have come across there. I also pop on here from time to time and help out with questions where I can (my own PhD was in C18 Travel Literature - ask me about William Gilpin and 1770s walking tours).
Anyway, right now, I need your help - if you don't mind.
We're launching a new survey about PhD study (a PhD Study Survey, if you will) to try and gather some information about what students think about and expect from PhD study. Without getting ahead of ourselves, I think this has the potential to be pretty important: exposing some of the areas students need more information about and perhaps debunking a few myths.
I'd love it if those of you who are *thinking about a PhD but haven't started one* could take part. It shouldn't take too long and there's a chance to win a £25 Amazon voucher as a thank you. Plus, you'd make me smile.
Anyway. . . about William Gilpin. . .
My PhD was in Lit. If you were applying for funding (AHRC and so on) then the reality is that a merit might be something of an Achilles heel (the margins being so fine). I wouldn't have thought it would prevent you being admitted as a self-funded student though. A high merit is a perfectly good grade that shows you can handle advanced postgraduate work.
The potential of your topic and its suitability for the institution / dept you're applying to will be far more crucial. Which is to say that your research proposal is the thing. The MLitt should only matter in so far as it relates to that topic. A good dissertation mark will also help - especially if it relates to your proposed PhD.
My advice would be to focus on getting as much out of your MLitt as possible (especially the diss / thesis) and to work hard on your research proposal. There's also nothing wrong with getting in touch with prospective supervisors nearer the time and asking for their take. I imagine most would be far more interested in your proposal, enthusiasm and knowledge of the field than they will in which of two very good grade bands your MLitt fell in.
My PhD is done and dusty, but I did write-up whilst working a full-time job and trying to explain doctoral degrees to a three-year old (he told me his own PhD would be on a kids TV show and then claimed to have finished it in an afternoon). It was tough, but manageable with consistent ring-fencing of a couple of evenings / weekend morning.
I think that's definitely something we'll look at - thanks for the suggestion!
I'd echo most of the advice above. The one thing I'd add, based on my own experience is kind of obvious, but perhaps easily misunderstood: be prepared to defend your thesis and don't panic when you have to.
Despite knowing more than most about the PhD process (it goes with the FindAPhD Content Ed' role) I still slipped into the trap of thinking I had to carry my thesis through the viva unscathed and that a successful examination was about confirming the perfection of my research and ideas. It isn't. It's about making sure you can explain and justify the decisions you made and the approaches you took, even if the external disagrees.
I faced a pretty tough question early on: 'your thesis is about x, yet I'm surprised not to see y anywhere in your bibliography'. For a few seconds that felt as if I'd started a driving test by pulling out of the car-park, speeding and failing to indicate. In fact all I needed to do was say 'yes, but my objective with this project was to move away from y and examine x in the context of z'. Which was exactly what the examiners wanted to hear. I don't think they actually agreed with me that x can be discussed without y, but they recognised that I'd made a plausible decision and was able to justify and explain it to them.
Basically, don't panic when you get the tough questions. Dig in and defend your thesis. You'll probably do a lot better than you think you are. I got minor grammatical corrections in the end (ironic, given my day-job).
I'm a bit of a Postgraduate Loan 'geek' (someone has to be) having been responsible for the resources over at FindAMasters and FindAPhD since George Osborne (remember him?) first announced the loans back in 2014.
You're right that the Govt can change the threshold and rate. I'd personally say that they're unlikely to make the terms worse. The most recent big change to student finance was a threshold rise for undergraduate loans (from £21k to £25k pa). It's more likely that the same would happen for PG (though not currently on the cards) than that they'd lower the threshold. Never say never, of course, but perhaps that can offer some limited reassurance.
Thanks Rewt - we'll definitely pass these on. And yes, the blog section and 'hall of fame' are likely to be refreshed as part of this.
Thanks Ian - we're certainly hoping to make posts look a little nicer / feel a little more flexible.
Other suggestions welcome!
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