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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose my PhD?

The most obvious consideration is the topic of the PhD. Are you interested in understanding and developing knowledge for its own sake or are you motivated by working on something with an obvious application? Make sure the topic you choose is consistent with your interests.

Look at the reputation of the academic department by checking their research rating. In particular you can you can look at the publication record of members of staff and the reputation of the journals in which they appear.

You especially need to look at the quality of supervision provided. A good supervisor should offer practical guidance on research methods, be able to motivate you and be available to arrange regular reviews of your work. You could ask potential supervisors for a few key papers related to PhDs they’re offering. It would also be helpful to spend some time with a potential supervisor to discuss the project and you could talk to existing members of the research group to get an insider’s view of the department and institution.

There are also issues such as funding/sponsorship and location. If you go to a new institution for your PhD you will broaden your opportunities and show more initiative, but you may find it easier and more financially viable to remain where you are as you may have accommodation and a network of friends.