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The Academic Demands of a PhD

The subject of this post reminds me of an academic article I came across a while ago. The article, written by Gerry Mullins and Margaret Kiley, has the particularly apt title (in part): ‘It’s a PhD, not a Nobel Prize’. This refers to a comment made by one of the students of an interviewee:

[blockquote2]”The standard PhD entry requirement for a UK university is a 2:1 (Upper second class) degree or equivalent. That is, you need to be a very good student, but you do not need to be brilliant – unless of course you are hoping to gain a prestigious scholarship! This entry standard is a pretty fair reflection of the academic demands of studying for a PhD and anyone capable of getting an upper second class degree is likely to be capable of successfully completing a PhD.”[/blockquote2]

This is not to suggest that you will not find doing a PhD demanding. You probably will, both academically and emotionally. Studying for a PhD requires a lot of stamina and persistence and these qualities are as important to the success or failure of your work as your academic ability. However, I do not want to lull you into a false sense of security. There is a huge difference between the demands of being an undergraduate student and taking a PhD. Whenever I am asked for advice on this, I always recommend that, time and money permitting, it is better to bridge the gap by first studying at Masters level. But, although there is a steep learning curve for those who go straight from an undergraduate degree to a PhD, it remains perfectly achievable and the experts at the PhD Consultancy can help you with all aspects of your doctoral program to ensure you make the transition effectively.

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