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Supervision issues (or lack of)

Hi Tamecat,
Please don’t give up you are making some excellent progress and you can make it to the end and achieve your PhD! I am an experienced supervisor and examiner and can tell you every PhD journey has its trials and tribulations, but an AWAL supervisor isn’t acceptable. I would contact your research support team and see if something can be done you are paying for support and you should have support, if this doesn’t change your examiners will offer you the chance to comment on supervision at the end of viva and of course this is also a justification for challenging outcomes so your university will act to resolve supervision deficiencies. Are you in the sciences or social sciences?

Does the ranking of the university matter for PhD?

Good advice pm123. I have a permanent academic post but I tend to see the route in is different for each discipline. The universal feature though is teaching experience and good publications. So don’t really focus on ranking of the uni. Focus on the supervisor, pick a good examiner (they can help) and teach where possible but also get some publications from your work.

Thesis error could it cost me my PhD?

I am arriving late to the discussion but I have sat through more than 20 vivas in various roles (examiner, supervisor and chair) and this sort of thing is very common. Nothing to worry about! Usually I would ask a question on it, you would confirm it’s a printing error, explain the figure and we would move on. That is then a quick correction post viva. Nothing at all to worry about! Good luck and try to enjoy the experience.

Mphil scenario

Hi Tudor_Queen,
I am an experienced supervisor and often write references for students. This is my personal view and I don’t know how widely this is shared but I think it would be shared with most of my colleagues. However, personally I wouldn’t really mind if you downgraded or the viva resulted in an MPhil i would still provide a reference. Ultimately I think the relationship you have with your supervisor would impact on the reference they would Be willing to write. I have a good relationship with all my students so if this happened I would support them anyway I could. Incidentally I am not sure why your asking or how far into the PhD you are but to be forced to downgrade is rare in the social sciences, most people who can write 80,000 words manage to create something worth of a PhD it just needs refinement or repackaging. As a result I have seen a forced downgrade once in four years (from a cohort of +200 PhD students in our department) and this was in an interim review of the work not at the viva. At the viva I would always avoid this. I think you would be offered the possibility of revise and resubmit. Incidentally in the case of that student, the supervisor moved institutions a few months after and invited them to apply with the MPhil for a PhD at that university to carry on the research.
I hope this helps you.

PhD at Salford University (Prefer current PhD students or a PhD graduate from it)

Can you tell us a little more, what is your area of research? Salford has major strengths in the built environment for instance.but might not be as good in other areas.

Ethical conundrum

I chair the ethics committee in my school, if this was going on I would want to know about it and I would take immediate and serious action to prevent any repeat. I would certainly think any academic supporting this should face investigation.
Most ethics panels are ultimately reporting to very senior management, so I think there would be action taken at the highest levels, so if I was you I would contact the chair of your ethics committee and discuss this with them, I think you will find they are very supportive of you and very concerned about what has been happening.
Good luck with it and please do report it! It is far from acceptable practice.

Survey Monkey - a credible tool at PhD level?

Survey Monkey is fine, as CR1980 suggests the questions and your analysis of the data will be more critical and impactful on success. I find with survey monkey my students have to pay to ask sufficient questions or include a large enough sample. After enquiries with the library and the IT people I discovered my institution has a licence (staff and PGR students) for Bristol Online Surveys which is an academic resource similar to survey monkey without the constraints on sample size and question numbers. So that might be offered at your institution it will remove the barriers survey monkey put on you and saves you paying them circa £40 each month to get enough data collected.

Examiner's Report - How much detail should there be?

Hi, really sorry to hear about your situation, that is simply ridiculous and highly unprofessional. I have gone through minor corrections myself, supervised 3 students to completion, one i inherited after a revised and resubmit decision, I have chaired two viva examinations and finally acted as internal examiner for a couple more. In all cases the corrections where issued within three weeks that includes the revise and resubmit student. For the examinations I have recently undertaken we issued corrections a couple of days later, but the university reported them to the student about a week after the viva. Hope that helps, there's no excuse for five months wait! Good luck with you appeal.

Studied a degree in architecture didn't get taught much about UK Building Regulation only design

Hi Nick,
I am a chartered surveyor (MRICS) so can answer this question for you, To be honest none of these options are going to meet your needs, they are whole new professions that would cover material far wider than building regulations. if your just weak in the area of building regulations have a look for a short course. The RICS offer some, but the best place to look I see CABE (Chartered Association of Building Engineers) they have mainly building control members so may offer a short course specifically in building regulations.

Failed PhD Viva - need to R&R - anyone done this and passed 2nd time around?

Hi Skyblue,

Really sorry to hear about your viva outcome, but R&R is not the end of the world. I have supervised someone through the experience, having taken over supervision following the viva. So I have seen the pain, I have seen the emotional rollercoaster and the motivational impact. However, my student reworked the elements of the thesis and resubmitted 10 months later. Passing on the second viva without corrections so it can be done! Please keep positive, work with your supervisors and you will get through this. Remember the examiners are human, it is horrible to have to give R&R but all they want is to help you improve the work so they can pass you, My student also made a complaint and felt the examiners had not read the document etc, at the end of the second viva we had a group photo taken by the independant chair - they know it is just shock, so don't worry they will not hold a complaints against you! Keep possitive and you will get through this!


MSc in Construction Management

I would recommend deciding what you want from your career.
Manchester is excellent, but the classes are large, however it has RICS accreditation.
Reading is very good, good reputation in this area, same applies to Loughborough.
UCL and Leeds not sure about sorry, I think Leeds is very engineering focused, I did not know ucl offered construction management.
My advice is look at the professional accreditations, the RICS accreditation is what uk employers want.

Msc Construction Management! Which uni?

I have a PhD in construction project management and lecture in the topic. From your list I would recommend either Loughborough or Reading. I have not studied at any of the listed universities, but the two I mentioned have the best reputations.

ANYONE IN CONSTRUCTION: Please help me by completing my dissertation questionnaire?

I am in construction, completed your survey, would be interested to see what you find

I really need advise!

Hi Nick,
This sounds like an horendous situation and unfortunately not one limited to you. I have recently been involved with something similar. What is your area of study?

In terms of external bodies they do exist but they require you to push through the internal complaints procedures first unfortunately.

Please help with my research for my MSc in Project Management

All done. Good luck with your dissertation.