Applying PhD in UK for Sociology for 2020 entry

posted
05-Sep-19, 08:59
Avatar for smith2814
posted about 2 months ago
Hello! I am from Hong Kong. I got a BA degree in Social Policy with a 2:1 in 2013 with a Master degree in Global Political Economy in 2017. Originally I did not have a clear idea for a PhD, but during the process on making the term-end assignment for a Master course (About Disability Studies in China), I studied a lot of info. about it, I not only got a decent grade for this course, but also have a clearer idea on pursuing research on this topic.

However, I did not immediately go for a try because I want to make it very clear if I should go for it, after 2 years of thinking. I decided to go for it in 2020 and started drafting my detailed PhD proposal and making contacts to possible supervisors (About Disability Studies in China). Till now, I got replied from 3 of them that they want to make further discussions on my proposed topic and advised me to make formal application and I do so. They are:

a. Dr. Sarah Dauncey from University of Nottingham (It was recommended by a Professor in Oxford, she has sufficient experience on Chinese Studies, including the field on Disability Studies),

b. Dr. Angharad Beckett form University of Leeds (She leads the University's Centre for Disability Studies)

c. Prof. Alan Walker from The University of Sheffield (The most distinguish one among the threes, indeed he said he is willing to supervise me. He has a close connection to my alma mater, and he supervised lots of students from where I live, but I think he is not really specialized on my proposed topic, may he is a specialist on Gerontology)

So what should I do now, when two of them wants to make further discussion about my topic as they are experienced, but a more distinguish one already showed his interest to supervise while he is not really fitting my interest? Should I told the rest that Prof. Walker is willing to supervise me? Please advice.
posted
06-Sep-19, 00:18
edited about 3 seconds later
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 2 months ago
I wouldn't be so open with real names on a public forum. It makes you semi-identifiable and shows that you don't care at all about these people's privacy.

What do you want from a supervisor? Do you want someone to actively collaborate with you, occasionally give you solid advice or just be a name on a CV? Generally the lower status lecturer's can be more supportive and distinguished supervisors are not accessible. So if you want to choose exclusively by supervisor I would consider how independent you want to be. If you are asking this question I don't think you are going to be that independent

Though judging your PhD options exclusively by the supervisors status is a pretty bad idea. I would also consider the location, the department's reputation, the project itself, funding and how you get along with the potential supervisor. Funding is usually one of the harder parts of applying for a PhD and I would seriously ask each supervisor what do they think or do they know of any options.
posted
06-Sep-19, 10:20
edited about 29 seconds later
Avatar for smith2814
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From rewt:
I wouldn't be so open with real names on a public forum. It makes you semi-identifiable and shows that you don't care at all about these people's privacy.

What do you want from a supervisor? Do you want someone to actively collaborate with you, occasionally give you solid advice or just be a name on a CV? Generally the lower status lecturer's can be more supportive and distinguished supervisors are not accessible. So if you want to choose exclusively by supervisor I would consider how independent you want to be. If you are asking this question I don't think you are going to be that independent

Though judging your PhD options exclusively by the supervisors status is a pretty bad idea. I would also consider the location, the department's reputation, the project itself, funding and how you get along with the potential supervisor. Funding is usually one of the harder parts of applying for a PhD and I would seriously ask each supervisor what do they think or do they know of any options.


Indeed I make the same questions when I approaching my referees to seek their advice, they both advise me to approach those who have sufficient knowledge and experience on my proposed study. I know PhD is not as same as undergraduate and taught postgraduate one that I have to make most of my time on my own, but you need a certain level of guidance and recommendations from the supervisor.
posted
06-Sep-19, 10:50
Avatar for kenziebob
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From rewt:
I wouldn't be so open with real names on a public forum. It makes you semi-identifiable and shows that you don't care at all about these people's privacy.


THIS. And good advice from rewt up there. You do want a supervisor to guide you but I don't think you can tell how good they will be for this until you have a proper meeting with them and lay out expectations.
posted
07-Sep-19, 21:37
edited about 14 seconds later
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 2 months ago
If you are worried about not getting a certain level of guidance, consider your own strengths and weakness with regards to the project requirements. If you want general guidance you can choose anyone but if you feel you specifically want help with lets say disability studies, choose an expert in that field. There isn't a perfect recipe for choosing a supervisor, so go with the person who you think will help you the best. Also you can possibly get co-supervisors who can help with specific areas. I have a supervisor who only talks to me a bout section of my PhD as my main supervisor is utterly clueless about it.

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