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Would you still be admitted to a PhD if you were applying now?

(2 Posts)
dodi1978 Thu 08-Feb-18 22:46:32

I started my PhD in 2003. The proposal for my application stated a fairly vague subject area, I had not a clue of research methods at the time, and I was probably admitted on the strength of my teaching experience (I was applying for the PhD as part of a teaching assistantship which funded me). I ended up finishing the PhD in 3 1/2 years, but spent the first half year or so reading up in the general subject area and essentially writing a viable proposal.
I am now PGR director at another university and am regularly reading and assessing PhD proposals. I am also managing applications coming in to the Doctoral Training Partnership we are part of. This made me realise that I would never ever be admitted to a PhD with the sort of proposal I submitted these days. The Doctoral Training Partnership in particular seems to require that students have already had all their research methods training before starting their PhD - in my case I picked these skills up during my PhD.
I've discussed this with a colleague recently and she agreed. Is your perception the same?

user1494149444 Sat 10-Feb-18 21:59:23

Started PhD around the same time as you, at Oxbridge and we had to do a Masters in Research Methods to be considered for the PhD, I think it was required back then at some institutions.
I still think I could have done the PhD without the Masters but the Masters helped to refine the subject of the PhD. There wasn't much training on things like teaching or academic job applications; it was more about the research. I think the system is better now for people from completely non-academic backgrounds as it preps them better for academic life.

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