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Are you thinking of doing a PhD? Maybe you’ve had some initial ideas but are not sure about the next steps? Maybe you’re ready to spend a bit of time planning how to go about it? This self study pack will provide you with the information you need to get started, helping you to decide whether it’s the right choice for you. It will take you through the process from start to finish, so you can consider the benefits of PhD study and the opportunities available to doctoral degree holders. This self study pack will guide you through step by step, from thinking about sources of funding to understanding what is meant by originality in research. It will hopefully demystify some of the language and concepts, so you’ll know how to apply for a PhD. You’ll then be equipped with the confidence and knowledge to begin your journey.

This course has been designed by four current PhD students working in collaboration. We wanted the course to be interesting, informative, colourful and fun. We’ve all had different routes to starting our PhD studies and we know what it’s like trying to piece together all the information that’s out there. So we wanted to include video interviews of ourselves, other current full-time and part-time PhD students, PhD holders and academics, talking about their own unique experiences, to show both diversity and similarity.

The self study pack is made up of five topics, each consisting of four or more ‘sprints’. The topics cover: what a PhD is and isn’t, debunking some of the myths around academic study; what originality in research means and choosing a research topic; diversity in academia with information for international applicants and people with disabilities, including how to access support; what to expect as a PhD student and steps on the application journey.

The course includes a mixture of reading and research, video interviews and practical tasks. The tasks will get you thinking about what you need to do to apply for a PhD, reflecting on your existing skills, identifying strengths and areas for development. You’ll learn about choosing a university and a supervisor.  There will be tasks to help you to focus on your interests, deciding how to go about finding an original research topic. You’ll be able to consider the options available to you for funding and gain knowledge in how to access these.

By the end of the course you’ll understand the process of applying for a doctoral degree, so you’ll be ready to start planning your PhD journey. And you will also earn a total of 40 Rise Points — these points are cumulative so feel free to enrol in other Rise self study packs offered by Man Met! (Once you earn 300 Rise Points, you will receive recognition for your effort on your transcript, and you can earn extra credits towards your degree.)

We hope you enjoy the course.

Important: To access this course, you’ll need to enrol:[

Key InformationPoints40Effort10 hoursPrerequisitesnoneRelease Date
Author Info

Sally Baker is currently studying for a creative-critical PhD in Place Writing at MMU. She teaches poetry and works as a gardener and flower grower. Her poems have been published in magazines and anthologies. 

Now a PhD candidate, Kristian Agustin investigates photographic media and regional geopolitics in Asia. Originally from Manila, Philippines, he lived in Hong Kong for three years as a communication research scholar before he moved to Manchester.

Anita Hashmi is a second year PhD researcher in the Department of Natural Sciences at MMU, studying the conservation genetics of endangered African herbivores.

Alice Thickett is a practice based researcher. Often collaborating with science researchers Alice makes cut and paste collage artwork under the pseudonym Keith Bloody Mary. Alice has worked with undergrads in gallery and university settings for a number of years.