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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 and insight into working with a supervisor we've covered the rhythms routines - and challenges - of doctoral research.

The PhD journey

From literature review, to chapter drafts, 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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PhD study - what students think

We've examined the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) to see what it's really like to do a PhD.

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Preparing for a PhD

What should you expect from the start of a PhD? This guide will get you ready for postgraduate research..

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The length of a PhD

How long is will your PhD actually take? Our guide looks at the length of a doctorate in different situations.

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Working with a supervisor

The supervision process will guide you through your PhD. Find out how it works - and what's expected of you.

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The MPhil upgrade

The MPhil upgrade or 'confirmation review' is an important stage in your PhD, confirming your status as a full doctoral candidate.

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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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PhD study experiences

There's no better way to find out what a PhD is like than to read real students' experiences. Take a look at the stories on our blog.

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