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

Author: Phillips, Estelle

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  • ISBN: 9780335216840
  • Author: Phillips, Estelle
  • Publ Date: 2005-06-01
  • Edition: 4
  • Pages: 240
  • Imprint: OPEN UNI.PRESS *#
  • Status: ACT
  • ID - 64610

Table of Contents :

Preface Chapter 1 - On becoming a research student The nature of doctoral education The psychology of being a research student The aims of this book Action summary Chapter 2 - Getting into the system Choosing the institution and field of study The scientific research programme Eligibility Grants and research support Distance supervision? Choosing your work context Selecting your supervisor Starting out as a research student Myths and realities of the system The 'ivory tower' Personal relationships Teamworking Action summary Chapter 3 - The nature of the PhD qualification The meaning of a doctorate Becoming a fully professional researcher Differences between the MPhil and the PhD Aims of students Aims of supervisors Aims of examiners Aims of universities and research councils Mismatches and problems Action summary Chapter 4 - How not to get a PhD Not wanting a PhD Not understanding the nature of a PhD by overestimating what is required Not understanding the nature of a PhD by underestimating what is required Not having a supervisor who knows what a PhD requires Losing contact with your supervisor Not having a thesis Taking a new job before finishing Action summary Chapter 5 - How to do research Characteristics of research Intelligence-gathering -- the 'what' questions Research -- the 'why' questions Characteristics of good research Research is based on an open system of thought Researchers examine data critically Researchers generalize and specify the limits on their generalizations Hypothetico-deductive method Basic types of research Exploratory research Testing-out research Problem-solving research Which type of research for the PhD? The craft of doing research Action summary Chapter 6 - The form of a PhD thesis Understanding the PhD form Background theory Focal theory Data theory Contribution Detailed structure and choice of chapter headings The concept of originality Writing the thesis writing as a process of re-writing different types of writers getting down to it the thesis itself Alternative thesis styles To publish or not to publish prior to submission? Action summary Chapter 7 - The PhD process Psychological aspects enthusiasm isolation increasing interest in work transfer of dependence from the supervisor to the work boredom frustration a job to be finished euphoria Others 'getting in first' Practical aspects time management the duration of the process the stages of the process Redefining long-term and short-term goals The importance of deadlines Self-help and peer support groups Internet groups Teaching whilst studying for a PhD casual teaching teaching assistantships Action summary Chapter 8 - How to manage your supervisors The supervisory team The supervisory team's limitations What supervisors expect of their doctoral students Supervisors expect their students to be independent Supervisors expect their students to produce written work that is not just a first draft Supervisors expect to have regular meetings with their research students Supervisors expect their research students to be honest when reporting on their progress Supervisors expect their students to follow the advice that they give, when it has been given at the request of the postgraduate Supervisors expect their students to be excited about their work, able to surprise them and fun to be with! The need to educate your supervisors How to reduce the communication barrier Improving tutorials Changing supervisors Inappropriate personal relationships in supervision Action summary Chapter 9 - How to survive in a predominantly British, white, male, full-time, heterosexual academic environment Part-time students Overseas students Settling in to Britain Expressing yourself in English The culture of British doctoral education Ethnic minorities Racial harassment Women students Difficulties concerning legitimacy of topics and methodology Problems of communication, debate and feedback Scarcity of academic role models Sexual harassment and exploitation Gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans-gender students Heterosexist harassment Mature students Students with disabilities disability legislation Harassment of people with a disability Action summary Chapter 10 - the examination system Upgrading to doctoral student status Giving notice of submission The appointment of examiners Submitting the thesis The oral examination -- the 'viva' Preparing for the viva The results of the examination The appeals procedures Litigation Action summary Chapter 11 - How to supervise and examine What students expect of their supervisors students expect to be supervised Students expect supervisors to read their work well in advance Students expect their supervisors to be available when needed Students expect their supervisors to be friendly, open and supportive Students expect their supervisors to be constructively critical Students expect their supervisors to have a good knowledge of the research area Students expect their supervisors to structure the tutorial so that it is relatively easy to exchange ideas Students expect their supervisors to have sufficient interest in their research to put more information in the students' path Students expect supervisors to be sufficiently involved in their success to help them get a good job at the end of it all! Establishing a role model Teaching the craft of research Giving effective feedback Introducing a structured 'weaning' programme Maintaining a helpful 'psychological contract' Encouraging students' academic role development Supervising non-traditional students Part-time students problems of access organizing work Overseas students Ethnic minorities Women students Gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans-gender students Mature students Disabled students Supervising your research assistant Outcomes of good supervision Training for supervision How to examine The oral examination Action summary Chapter 12 - Institutional responsibilities University responsibilities A university-wide research school for doctoral students Participation in a regional hub Support for students Facilities for departments to support doctoral research activity A university-wide structured induction procedure A handbook for university research degree students English language support where necessary Support for non-traditional students Resources for supervisors the training of supervisors teaching credit for doctoral supervision Faculty/departmental doctoral research tutor Providing appropriate regulations selection of doctoral students Monitoring of students' progress Upgrading from MPhil to PhD registration Appointment of external examiners A forum for review of the PhD The PhD as a series of projects Intellectual copyright and appropriate recognition for doctoral students' work The PhD in a practice-based discipline Professional doctorates Departmental responsibilities the departmental research tutor improving the selection of students into the department Selection of supervisors Guidelines on appropriate supervisory behaviour Support groups for research students A departmental doctoral programme The doctoral cohort system Action summary Conclusion Appendix References Index

Description:

Reviews of the third edition: 'This remains the best general...introduction to working on the PhD. It is well worth consulting by anyone considering the PhD as a route to take, either part-time combined with employment, or full time as a route into academia' - Social Research Association. 'This is an excellent book. Its style is racy and clear...an impressive array of information, useful advice and comment gleaned from the authors' systematic study and experience over many years...should be required reading not only for those contemplating doctoral study but also for supervisors, new and experienced' - "Higher Education".Since the first edition of this innovative book appeared in 1987 it has become a worldwide bestseller. Through it many thousands of students in all faculties and disciplines have been helped to gain their PhDs. Practical and clear, this book examines everything students need to know about getting a PhD through research in any subject. It also helps supervisors and examiners to better understand their role in the process. It is completely updated throughout. It includes a new section on increasingly popular professional doctorates such as EdD, DBA and D.Eng. It includes new material for overseas, part-time and mature students, and their supervisors. It also includes a new diagnostic questionnaire for students to self-monitor progress. It takes in the impact of the new Code of Practice of the Quality Assurance Agency. It includes stories of other PhD students, problems they encountered and how they dealt with them! "How to get a PhD" is the essential handbook for doctoral students!

Author Biography:

Dr Estelle M. Phillips is an independent educational consultant. She specializes in giving advice on appropriate provision for research students, and in conducting training for doctoral students and supervisors. Professor Derek S.Pugh is Emeritus Professor of International Management of the Open University Business School. He has considerable experience in the design of doctoral programmes and the successful supervision of PhD students.


 

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