Making the decision to do doctoral research
If you haven’t done so already, here are some things that you probably should consider as part of deciding whether to apply for a doctoral programme.
- Identify the broad (or narrow) subject area that you would want to research. Are you really so interested in this subject that you want to study a specific area within it at great depth?
- Try to think through how doctoral research would fit into a possible and realistic long-term career plan for you personally, whether that is an academic direction or another potential career path
- Talk to current and recent researchers to learn more about what it is actually like to undertake a research degree and the different impacts it has on their lives
- Make sure you are certain that you could fit this into your life. Is it the best time, bearing in mind anyother commitments?
- Think about the financial aspects. Even if you are a realistic prospect to compete for and secure funding for a doctoral programme, would such funding sustain you (and any dependants) so that you could continue to live reasonably comfortably?
- Discuss this with your friends and family - explain what you are thinking and seek some feedback
- Where in the world do you want to pursue this?
If you’ve thought about all these things and want to apply for a UK doctorate, see our advice on applications and funding.