Why do postgraduate research?
Is postgraduate research for you?
Research degrees offer a rewarding and exciting opportunity to explore an issue in real depth. On completion you will be one of the world's leading experts in your field. During your study you will have the opportunity to meet researchers from around the world and present your work to them. However research projects rarely run smoothly, they are often frustrating and highly challenging; the so called roller-coaster ride of research. Being prepared for this and understanding why you are undertaking the research will help you to maintain your motivation and prepare for future opportunities. Indeed trained researchers offer experience that employers' value.
Planning your research degree
Before settling on a research degree and topic you should ensure you should understand how this fits into your chosen research field and the potential opportunities this could lead into.
- talk to researchers to learn more about what it is like to undertake a research degree and further academic research
- find out about different doctoral degrees to find the right one for you
- read the introductions to careers in higher education and doctoral careers in other sectors to help you consider the impact that your degree is likely to have on your employability and career. You may also find it useful to talk to a careers adviser
- discuss your thinking with friends and family. Your research degree will have an impact on you and those around you so explain what you are doing and seek feedback
- think about the financial aspects. Will you be able to get funding at a level that enables you to live comfortably? If your research goes on beyond the period of your funding, as is common, how will you support yourself?
- identify the experience you need to build during your research to enable your future plans and match this with the support available in your institution