What do you need to do before applying for a PhD Programme in the UK?

What do you need to do before applying for a PhD Programme in the UK?

PhD is short for Doctor of Philosophy (also abbreviated to DPhil or Dr.Philos). This is an academic or professional degree that, in most countries, qualifies the degree holder to teach their chosen subject at the university level or to work in a specialized position in their chosen field.

Doing a PhD in one of the UK Universities should be fun and rewarding, because you can spend all your working time discovering things and pursuing ideas — and getting paid for it, without any administrative responsibilities.

Unfortunately, most new students are not prepared before they apply for a PhD Programme, and as a consequence very few will fulfil their aspirations to be doctorate degree holder. The main reasons for this are the ‘grade creep’ inherent at most universities, making it difficult to identify the really talented first-class graduates from the rest, and the pressure on universities to graduate as many PhD students as possible. The consequence is that we enrol far too many of them without telling them clearly what doing a doctorate should entail. We, therefore, set ourselves, and the students, on a path of frustration and disappointment.


Here are few tips for students who want to apply for a PhD programme:

1. Choose a supervisor whose work you admire and who is well supported by grants and departmental infrastructure.

2. Take responsibility for your project.

3. Get ready to work hard: long days all week and part of most weekends. If research is your passion this should be easy, and if it isn’t, you are probably in the wrong field. Note who goes home with a full briefcase to work on at the end of the day. This is a cause of success, not a consequence.

4. Take some weekends off, and decent holidays, so you don’t burn out.

5. Read the literature in your immediate area, both current and past, and around it. You can’t possibly make an original contribution to the literature unless you know what is already there.

7. Be creative. Think about what you are doing and why and look for better ways to go. Don’t see your PhD programme as just a roadmap laid out by your supervisor.

8. Develop good writing skills: they will make your PhD life immeasurably easier.


Also note that to be successful you must be at least four of the following: smart, motivated, creative, hard-working, skilful and lucky. You can’t depend on luck that is why you must have better focus. And when you are ready to apply, you can find relevant PhD programme from FindaPhd who has the largest database of PhD opportunities.