Jd1982
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#1
Hi all,

For a couple of months now I've been mulling the idea of a PhD. I have an idea of the subject I would like to pursue - at least the subject area. I'm just not sure where to go from here?

I did an undergrad in journalism and an MA in English literature, the idea I have is very closely related to those fields, though perhaps crossing more onto the linguistics side of things. If needs be I'd do another MA in linguistics first... he says...

Hoping someone can point me in the right direction of what to do next - I can't find many sites that provide clear information on the PhD application process and what I have found is a little confusing...

The plan is just to contact my old unis, but I don't know how much of a concrete idea I need at this stage for them to actually offer me any advice?

Any responses greatly appreciated.
0
reply
DrSocSciences
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 month ago
#2
(Original post by Jd1982)
Hi all,

For a couple of months now I've been mulling the idea of a PhD. I have an idea of the subject I would like to pursue - at least the subject area. I'm just not sure where to go from here?

I did an undergrad in journalism and an MA in English literature, the idea I have is very closely related to those fields, though perhaps crossing more onto the linguistics side of things. If needs be I'd do another MA in linguistics first... he says...

Hoping someone can point me in the right direction of what to do next - I can't find many sites that provide clear information on the PhD application process and what I have found is a little confusing...

The plan is just to contact my old unis, but I don't know how much of a concrete idea I need at this stage for them to actually offer me any advice?

Any responses greatly appreciated.
To complete the entire process requires levels of engagement, enthusiasm, commitment possibly unlike any other that you have experienced to date. Only embark on this rocky road if you are absolutely sure that it’s what you want. If so, head over to findaphd.com, study listings by the AHRC, and follow #phdlife. Welcome to the dark side.
3
reply
Jd1982
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#3
(Original post by DrSocSciences)
To complete the entire process requires levels of engagement, enthusiasm, commitment possibly unlike any other that you have experienced to date. Only embark on this rocky road if you are absolutely sure that it’s what you want. If so, head over to findaphd.com, study listings by the AHRC, and follow #phdlife. Welcome to the dark side.
Thanks for the input.

Even those sites seem a little confusing at this stage! Given the commitment and enthusiasm required, I can only imagine pursuing a PhD if I had a good proposal. In other words, if I discover my ideas are not viable, then I doubt I will just think of another for the sake of being able to pursue further study. That being said, I notice that some placements already have a research subject and I am guessing few people approach the idea with a fully realised proposal.

I'm rambling a bit here as I haven't thougt about what I want to ask, but what is the normal state of play for starting a PhD programme? Is the initial idea one that needs to be viable from the get go? If not, do most people walk away from the idea until they come up with another proposal, or simply refine their existing idea until it fits the criteria?
0
reply
Notoriety
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#4
Report 1 month ago
#4
For funding, they tend to what a fleshed-out project (even if you're not going to keep to it wholly) and they will expect a provisional timeline for completion.
1
reply
gjd800
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#5
Report 1 month ago
#5
(Original post by Jd1982)
Thanks for the input.

Even those sites seem a little confusing at this stage! Given the commitment and enthusiasm required, I can only imagine pursuing a PhD if I had a good proposal. In other words, if I discover my ideas are not viable, then I doubt I will just think of another for the sake of being able to pursue further study. That being said, I notice that some placements already have a research subject and I am guessing few people approach the idea with a fully realised proposal.

I'm rambling a bit here as I haven't thougt about what I want to ask, but what is the normal state of play for starting a PhD programme? Is the initial idea one that needs to be viable from the get go? If not, do most people walk away from the idea until they come up with another proposal, or simply refine their existing idea until it fits the criteria?
When I applied for mine, it was very, very specific and followed on from both my prior degree dissertations. Not everyone does it this way, but I think it helps. I know it helps when looking for 3rd party funding, as Noto said

Your best bet is to get in touch with potential supervisors and see how interested they are in what you wanna do. They can then help you refine the broad idea into something specific. If they are excited about doing the project, this shouldn't be a big deal for them
Last edited by gjd800; 1 month ago
2
reply
QHF
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#6
Report 1 month ago
#6
(Original post by Jd1982)
I'm rambling a bit here as I haven't thougt about what I want to ask, but what is the normal state of play for starting a PhD programme? Is the initial idea one that needs to be viable from the get go? If not, do most people walk away from the idea until they come up with another proposal, or simply refine their existing idea until it fits the criteria?
The initial idea needs to look viable, which is a bit different to being viable. I suppose in a way the only real test of viability is actually trying to do the thing. It's normal for people's research to change a bit during the first parts of the PhD, so you won't be held exactly to the precise details of the research you propose, if that's any encouragement.

I'll second the advice that taking your idea to potential supervisors (and your past university/universities are good places to start with this) is a good way to work something like this up.

Perhaps you've already done this, but if not, it's good to think about your answers to some basic questions which will then guide your decision-making, e.g. why do you want to do a PhD / what do you want to get out of it afterwards? what will keep you going for three(+) years? how mobile is your life -- do you need to do it within a particular geographical range? do you absolutely need funding? (My advice is not to do self-funded doctoral study, but that's a personal decision for everyone.) You don't need to answer those questions publicly here for other people, but knowing what your answers to them are will help you sort through the possibilities.
1
reply
DrSocSciences
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#7
Report 1 month ago
#7
(Original post by Jd1982)
Thanks for the input.

Even those sites seem a little confusing at this stage! Given the commitment and enthusiasm required, I can only imagine pursuing a PhD if I had a good proposal. In other words, if I discover my ideas are not viable, then I doubt I will just think of another for the sake of being able to pursue further study. That being said, I notice that some placements already have a research subject and I am guessing few people approach the idea with a fully realised proposal.

I'm rambling a bit here as I haven't thougt about what I want to ask, but what is the normal state of play for starting a PhD programme? Is the initial idea one that needs to be viable from the get go? If not, do most people walk away from the idea until they come up with another proposal, or simply refine their existing idea until it fits the criteria?
I followed the funded route, by responding to an add in the Guardian: the research institution (university) had already partnered up with a collaborating organisation, and together they had applied for funding from the Arts & Humanities Research Council, who funded the doctoral studentship award. The main advantage of this route, apart from the funding obviously, is that there is a pre-existing structure, and agreed thesis title, solid supervision, and access to your research site already in place. On the flip side, stepping into a pre-existing project can bring its own problems, and of course, you have to submit a convincing proposal in order to get shortlisted for interview. It took me about a month to write a decent research proposal. Have plenty of practise before you face a live research proposal deadline (in terms of understanding the conventional structure of a research proposal), - if you follow this route.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • Cardiff Metropolitan University
    Undergraduate Open Day - Llandaff Campus Undergraduate
    Sat, 19 Oct '19
  • Coventry University
    Undergraduate Open Day Undergraduate
    Sat, 19 Oct '19
  • University of Birmingham
    Undergraduate Open Day Undergraduate
    Sat, 19 Oct '19

Why wouldn't you turn to teachers if you were being bullied?

They might tell my parents (20)
6.92%
They might tell the bully (29)
10.03%
I don't think they'd understand (44)
15.22%
It might lead to more bullying (106)
36.68%
There's nothing they could do (90)
31.14%

Watched Threads

View All