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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must have if thinking about a PhD
Very good book. Detailed with lots of information on what a PhD involves and who is suited as well as each stage of the application process. I have decided to take a PhD and feel at ease after this read. Nearing the end of the process now and would have found it harder with out this book. Dont expect everything (writing a proposal can be daunting and hard work) but do...
Published on 16 Feb 2008 by W. Tayler

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A brief introduction, not a handbook -- general info as much as applications
Reasonable, in some places useful, helpful, but it really didn't tell me enough about applications. Meanwhile, there were references to public speaking and grammar, and a comment that "English is a very difficult language". Such a vague generalisation, and rather meaningless. I'm sure all the international students on my master's course with a pretty good grasp of the...
Published on 9 May 2011 by Stuart J Wright


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must have if thinking about a PhD, 16 Feb 2008
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W. Tayler - See all my reviews
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Very good book. Detailed with lots of information on what a PhD involves and who is suited as well as each stage of the application process. I have decided to take a PhD and feel at ease after this read. Nearing the end of the process now and would have found it harder with out this book. Dont expect everything (writing a proposal can be daunting and hard work) but do expect alot of guidance
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A brief introduction, not a handbook -- general info as much as applications, 9 May 2011
Reasonable, in some places useful, helpful, but it really didn't tell me enough about applications. Meanwhile, there were references to public speaking and grammar, and a comment that "English is a very difficult language". Such a vague generalisation, and rather meaningless. I'm sure all the international students on my master's course with a pretty good grasp of the English language, while not necessarily finding it easy, had already realised the level of complexity of the language and they too would find this section of the book meaningless when thinking about doing a PhD in the UK - and already three quarters of the way through reading a book, in English! Then there was the section about accommodation, budgets and landlords. Now, I'm a late 30s potential PhD student who left home at 18. Suddenly I felt like I was 13 again and someone was giving me a lecture on being away from home for the first time. I think most potential PhD students have already spent time away from home, paid rent, made budgets, and so on. So what about the PhD application? Didn't I open this book to read about PhD applications?
For a broad introduction to applying for a PhD and being a PhD student, then this book is reasonable, even if rather lightweight. If you really want more detailed information about different types of applications, then look elsewhere. Of course applications will vary depending on the subject area, but there simply wasn't enough about any of this. I was hoping to find SOMETHING about methodologies, conceptual frameworks, theories, research questions, literature reviews, and how these things should link together. And generally what makes a good application in different subject areas (not necessarily my own). I think potential PhD students need something a bit more challenging than this book (unless reading this while still doing A-levels but with the ambition to do a PhD later). A handbook is something you rely on and pick up again and again and again. This isn't one of those by any stretch of the imagination. Personally I found numerous free online resources much more helpful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fills in the gaps perfectly, 3 Feb 2010
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Ms. K. L. Dawes "surferg1rl" (Cornwall) - See all my reviews
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Applying for PhD after 10 years out of academia (although still working in my subject area) this was just invaluable to me. There's info out there on the web, but a lot is US-based, and this is UK-focused and completely authoritative. It covers everything you need to know and fills in all those 'but what if...?' gaps that you can't find the answers to anywhere else. With about 50 people applying for every funded place I needed any edge I could get...but the initial reactions to my application have been positive and using this book has made me feel very much more confident in exactly how to go about things. Not got in yet, but much more likely to having read this!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 20 Oct 2008
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C. Medcraft "cel" (uk) - See all my reviews
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This book is a must for PhD application. The most useful handbook I have read on the process to date including how to find funding and impress your supervisor to be.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I would definitely recommend if you think you want a PHD, 26 Dec 2009
I debated about giving this book 5 stars, but did not because of its heavy coverage of UK schools. While most of the information is applicable for any PhD student, it would have been better if it had spent less time on the history of UK schools and some time covering differences if you go to a university in the USA or another European country. From the standpoint of how to go about choosing a school, choosing an adviser, and what to expect this book is excellent. After reading it I realized that I was going about the process like I had for my bachelors and masters degrees, which was not how I needed to approach entering into a PhD. After speaking to some friends who had already completed the PhD process, I realize that they approached it as I had and some had paid a penalty due to their choice of adviser. I would highly recommend this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good digest, 9 April 2013
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A very useful guide as few universities really explain the secrets of the process. I found it slightly biased towards science Phds when I was exploring an arts one, but still very worthwhile.
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