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Doing a PhD

No lectures, no modules, no coursework and just one (big) exam: it isn't hard to see that a PhD will be very different to any other degree you've experienced.

So, what's it like to actually study for one? Think of this section as your PhD crystal ball!

From an overview of the PhD journey, to a close-up of an average PhD week, we've covered the rhythms routines - and challenges - of doctoral research.

We've also looked in more detail at what it's like to work with a supervisor and what you should expect from yours.

The PhD journey

From literature review, to MPhil upgrade, to writing up, to viva. . . Every PhD is different, but most follow these key steps.

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An average PhD week

What's the day-to-day routine of a PhD like? We've had a look at the 'average' week for a PhD student.

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Working with a supervisor

The PhD supervision process will provide part of the overall structure for your degree. So how does it actually work?

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Supervisor expectations

Your supervisor is a mentor, not a teacher. What can you expect from them? And what will they expect from you?

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What's it like to do a PhD?

How does a doctorate differ from other degrees? What will be expected of you? What's it like to be a PhD student?

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PhD challenges

No one ever said getting a PhD was easy (that's part of the point after all). Learn how to overcome the challenges you'll face.

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Writing your PhD dissertation

Whatever your subject, a PhD eventually involves producing a substantial written dissertation. Here's how to go about it.

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How to write research papers

Writing research papers is an important PhD skill - particularly if it leads to a journal article or other academic publication.

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