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PhD Student Guides

As a prospective PhD student, you’re likely to have a lot of questions about the doctoral journey. Whether you’re keen to make your own research proposal or you’re applying for an advertised PhD project, the process is very different to what you may have experienced during your Bachelors or Masters degree.

Similarly, the funding situation can seem more complicated for doctoral candidates, with competition often tough for the most prestigious studentship schemes.

Over the years, we’ve written hundreds of guides on the topics that matter most to prospective PhD researchers. They cover everything from writing a research proposal and finding a supervisor to completing your thesis and acing your viva exam.

PhD FAQS - Common Questions About Postgraduate Study

We've answered some of the most frequently asked questions about PhDs, covering course types, applications, funding and the benefits of further study.

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Why Do a PhD?

If you’re wondering whether you should do a PhD, this page will walk you through a selection of the most common reasons for pursuing one, along with some of the benefits that a PhD can give you.

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Applying for a PhD - Information, Guidance & Advice

Getting ready to apply for a PhD? Our guides explain research proposals, references and entry tests for doctoral programmes.

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How to Write a Great PhD Research Proposal |

Understand what a successful PhD research proposal needs to include and how to go about writing one for your project application.

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Questions to Ask PhD Supervisors and How To Contact Them

Our guide explains how to contact a potential PhD supervisor to discuss your proposal or ideas with them before applying.

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PhD Employability and Earnings

Will a PhD help you get a job or earn a better salary? And what are your career prospects in and outside of academia?

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Funding Your PhD – FAQs From Our Study Fairs

Not sure how to fund your PhD? This guide answers some of the most common questions about PhD funding in the UK.

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Research Council (UKRI) PhD Studentships – An Introduction

The seven UK Research Councils provide government studentships for PhD research in different subject areas. Our simple guide explains how this funding works, what you can get and how to apply successfully.

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PhD Loans for Doctoral Students – A Guide for 2023

You may be able to get a PhD loan of up to £27,892 for a UK doctorate. Our guide explains eligibility, applications and repayments.

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PhD Application Advice for International Students

A checklist of the things you'll need to do when making an international PhD application, from meeting the entry requirements to sorting out your visa.

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