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    I'm currently a second year battling with a billion and one ideas of what I want to do with my life!

    I'm a second year BSc Animal Behaviour student and my course has made me really interested in disease mechanisms and public health and I have been looking into post graduate courses for those topics to see what is available as I really enjoy it, HOWEVER I've just stumbled across a PhD in outdoor education, something I've spent a lot of time doing as a volunteer (especially forest school!) and I absolutely love it whole heartedly, and it made me think that I've messed up again and again with courses and it's too late to change again and possibly integrate into BSc Geography that is on my campus which would be more suited (I recently looked at it because of severe disappointment in my course, and there are much more options available to me)!!

    Problem is, the PhD in Outdoor Education is only done at Edinburgh Uni which is far from ideal with my current situation (I'm a career for my dad who has degenerative MS and every mental illness in the book, and a financial aide for my family and my OH's work going to be in either London/Bristol based: he's studied BA Theatre hoping to get into acting after he graduates this year). If anyone knows of any courses in the south of England that do Outdoor Education to PhD level (I have my heart on research and getting a doctorate, no matter what the course!) and then I have thought of many careers I could do involving Outdoor Ed, as well as careers in Public Health so I'm very stuck!

    I may be adding all of this onto a long list of worries and problems that I already have, so any help and advice on applying, when to think about it and what to do is also greatly appreciated!!!!
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    I recommend that you calm down and not create this confusion and pressure for yourself.

    Remind yourself why you pursued animal behaviour and stick to the opportunities you can do, not the billion and 1 opportunities you could do.

    Do you have any idea what is possible with your current study?
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    To do a PhD you need a) an academic background in that area, preferably to Masters level, b) a realistic academic thesis proposal. You also need to be asking yourself why you want a PhD - ie. what do you actually want to do with your life, because academic jobs in this area are practically zero.

    Get your undergrad degree. Get a job, do some travelling and enjoy life. Then look at postgraduate if that still interests you.
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    (Original post by Minion#1)
    I'm currently a second year battling with a billion and one ideas of what I want to do with my life!

    I'm a second year BSc Animal Behaviour student and my course has made me really interested in disease mechanisms and public health and I have been looking into post graduate courses for those topics to see what is available as I really enjoy it, HOWEVER I've just stumbled across a PhD in outdoor education, something I've spent a lot of time doing as a volunteer (especially forest school!) and I absolutely love it whole heartedly, and it made me think that I've messed up again and again with courses and it's too late to change again and possibly integrate into BSc Geography that is on my campus which would be more suited (I recently looked at it because of severe disappointment in my course, and there are much more options available to me)!!

    Problem is, the PhD in Outdoor Education is only done at Edinburgh Uni which is far from ideal with my current situation (I'm a career for my dad who has degenerative MS and every mental illness in the book, and a financial aide for my family and my OH's work going to be in either London/Bristol based: he's studied BA Theatre hoping to get into acting after he graduates this year). If anyone knows of any courses in the south of England that do Outdoor Education to PhD level (I have my heart on research and getting a doctorate, no matter what the course!) and then I have thought of many careers I could do involving Outdoor Ed, as well as careers in Public Health so I'm very stuck!
    Firstly, funded PhDs are one-off projects. You can't graduate, get your Masters and do that particular PhD - it's on offer now and you're a few years away from even thinking about it. So take this immediate worry out of your mind.

    With your current position as a second year, it's good to be exploring postgrad options, but not a great idea to fixate on an opportunity which isn't available to you. I suggest talking to your current teaching staff and spending a bit more time investigationg online.

    It's very unlikely that you'd be able to transfer degrees after your second year, so try to work out how to build on your current degree.

    As a word of caution, I have a nephew heading down the Outdoor Education/Activity Leader route. It is a very physically demanding career, requiring a high level of fitness and activity. I haven't yet seen a way of managing it around a serious health condition. It isn't a theoretical career. I know that MS has many degrees of physical impact, but also that its development can be highly unpredictable.

    I should add that I'm deeply sympathetic. The only funded PhD I've ever seen which would be appropriate for my skillset, came up at my ideal uni when I was in my third year. They wouldn't even consider me without a Masters, so I missed it by a year.
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    (Original post by Klix88)
    As a word of caution, I have a nephew heading down the Outdoor Education/Activity Leader route. It is a very physically demanding career, requiring a high level of fitness and activity. I haven't yet seen a way of managing it around a serious health condition. It isn't a theoretical career. I know that MS has many degrees of physical impact, but also that its development can be highly unpredictable.
    I think it's the OP's father who has health issues, not the OP.
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    Hi guys,

    Yeah, its my dad who has ms, not me. He's the sole reason for my love of being outdoors and everything animal and environmental related.

    I've always wanted to do a PhD as I do want to go into some form research as a career, then I want to become a teacher as I'd have plenty of life experience - that or a youth worker looking at getting people interacting with the outdoors, especially disadvantaged kids ams those that live in cities.
    My interest in disease stems from that too with people constantly being cooped up, which is why I'd suck at an office job where I am always indoors! I've become interested in immune evasive pathogens and how they affect wildlife and humans, but I suddenly feel my interest is not as strong as it should be as of being outdoors and helping others connect with the outside world as an advocate or some sort of activist (even as a kid, I used to condemn people for littering and buying tested products and not doing things sustainably) but I've always held the interest in everything gross and creepy like parasites and the inner workings of the human body.

    I've seen on a lot of doctorate programs that all you need is a minimum 2:1 to get onto them or is this false and you need a masters? I'd love to combine everything in interested in and work on it from a personal and research level.

    I think i will probably have to take a break after my degree to go over everything.

    Thanks for all your advice.
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    (Original post by Duncan2012)
    I think it's the OP's father who has health issues, not the OP.
    Whoops! Good catch. Beg pardon OP.
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    (Original post by Minion#1)
    I've seen on a lot of doctorate programs that all you need is a minimum 2:1 to get onto them or is this false and you need a masters?
    The requirement for a Masters is more usual in the Humanities. In the sciences it's common to go straight from undergrad to PhD with the right background. In your position, a Masters might help bridge the gap between subjects.

    The requirement for a 2:1 is just the basic. Funded PhDs are fearsomely competitive - it's like applying for a really good job that loads of good people in your field want. There are definitely folks who get funded PhDs with a 2:1, but it can make it harder depending on your field and how much funding is available. A First would give you a better chance, plus you'd need excellent academic references and a really good case for taking you on for the project over your competitors.

    Getting accepted as an unfunded PhD researcher would be easier, but you need your own source of funds - savings etc. You'd need to pay research fees (which may be increased by bench fees if there's lab work involved), research costs (travel to conferences, travel to data gathering locations etc) and of course your normal domestic living costs for three+ years.

    I think a chat with some staff where you are, might be very useful. They may not know much about your ideal PhD research topic, but they can talk you through the basics. It would be good if you can establish the types of relationship which might result in good references.
 
 
 
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