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How To Get A Phd: a handbook for students and their supervisors Paperback – 1 Oct 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Open University Press; 5 edition (1 Oct. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780335242023
  • ISBN-13: 978-0335242023
  • ASIN: 0335242022
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 1.8 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 53,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Dr Estelle M. Phillips has enjoyed a long career as an academic and independent educational consultant. She has published widely on the various aspects of the PhD process and has spoken at universities on four continents about the skills required to complete and supervise a PhD. Her involvement extends to helping with the transformation of the Australian PhD and the introduction of a European doctorate.

Professor Derek S. Pugh is Emeritus Professor of International Management of the Open University Business School, UK. He has published 17 books and over 100 papers in his field and has considerable experience in the design of doctoral programmes and the successful supervision and examination of PhD students. In 2009 he was the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the British Academy of Management. His personal website is: www.derekpugh.com


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for my current PhD student because I had used an earlier edition for my own PhD in the 1990s.

It is helpful to a supervisor because it provides a particular insight into the process of gaining a PhD. Particularly valuable is its insistence that the communication between supervisor and student needs to be regular and comprehensive to cement an effective relationship and successful development of the student's career.

It should take more account of electronic communication, which facilitates daily communication (and a "Good night" message to indicate that work is finished for the day!), but also requires a warning that the internet is only a starting point and requires supplementing with scholarly references.
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If you are considering whether to do a PhD and need some basic information, this book provides a good guide to the process. It is easy to read and is divided into sections so that you can pick out the relevant parts. Everything is covered from useful websites to how to construct and plan your PhD.
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This book is a great introduction on how to navigate the PhD journey. I found it really helpful as it pointed out exactly what I had been thinking about the way things work and attitudes within a research environment. It is informative about how to make the most of your time and use it effectively, and how to achieve great communication with relevant people. My only grievance was that it seemed to end quite abruptly, the sections meant for specific groups, supervisors and institution managers seemed to creep up very suddenly. Essentially, I was expecting a little more information.
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It is a very good book for those who intend to further study for PhD level in the UK. The book gives the step by step guidance for the reader what to do before applying for PhD, during the process of PhD, the expectation and the comparison process of getting a PhD between other countries and the UK.
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The University Head of Department advised me to read this book when I enquired about doing a PhD. I found it useful and quoted from it at the interview which showed the panel I had really thought about what it means to do a PhD. I also drew on information from the book in some of my answers, for example what qualities are needed to complete a PhD. I was offered a place, I think the book helped.
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This excellent text is informative, entertaining, and for those students on the Long and (relatively) Lonely PhD journey, perhaps the most useful tool (apart from data, of course).

It helped me and many of my fellow academics (and students) through our PhDs.

Strongly recommended :)
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Clear, accessible and good fun to read. Very informative and I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for an introductory guide about doing a PhD. It's not subject specific, but a good introduction.
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Format: Paperback
This book provides a useful outline of how to go about applying for a PhD and finding a supervisor. The PG research environment can be confusing to navigate if you don't have a mentor, in which case I would recommend this book. The author also stresses the importance of good communication with your supervisor, which is indeed vital. Personally, I found the book somewhat rigid in its recommendations; things go wrong during a PhD, it's not smooth sailing and no amount of guidelines will make it so. I also found the author's tone patronising and didactic in several places. In sum, useful for applicants, not so useful for anyone already invested in the process.
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