How to Get a PhD: A Handbook for Students and Their Supervisors

How to Get a PhD: A Handbook for Students and Their Supervisors

How to Get a PhD: A Handbook for Students and Their Supervisors

How to Get a PhD: A Handbook for Students and Their Supervisors

Excerpt

The gratifying response to the previous editions of this book testifies to the need of research students and their supervisors to understand the processes of effective doctoral education. The number of translations into other languages – Reformed Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Classical Chinese, Russian, Arabic and Korean (in chronological order) - demonstrates that the issues covered here are highly relevant in many countries. This need to understand is reinforced by the considerable institutional change taking place in the higher education system in the UK. Since our first edition in 1987 opened up the subject for debate, many of the developments we have advocated have come about: greater university recognition and support for doctoral students, effective monitoring of student progress, training for supervisors in teaching the craft of research and so on. And the changes are continuing apace. It is therefore appropriate to offer a fourth edition, revised and updated to the present situation.

One comment made in the generally favourable reviews of the first edition deserves attention here. In our analysis of the complex tasks of PhD study, we describe the difficulties which may be encountered. This is in order to enable both students and supervisors to avoid such problems or to overcome them. It has been suggested that this inevitably gives too great a focus on the ‘pathologies’ of the doctoral process. We fear that this may be true, and so we should like to reiterate here the positive aspects of being a PhD student. The joys of doing research are considerable, and anyone in a position to carry out research is indeed privileged. Feelings of exploration, excitement, challenge, involvement and passion are frequent and are commented on in this book. The enormous feeling of achievement on the award of the degree lasts for many throughout their whole lives. Clearly . . .

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