Everything PhD!

Published on:
5 October 2020
Pranitha S.
of Unisource Consultants


What is a PhD? Am I eligible? Should I do a PhD? These are some of the questions we have answered for you here. Much research is required when deciding to venture into a PhD. You might be getting the opinions of our parents, friends, professors, and the Internet and might be confused about what is best for you. We have compiled the information you would need to decide on pursuing your PhD. For further information, please contact one of our agents who will be able to give you more specific details of PhD suited for you.

What is a Doctoral Degree?

A doctoral degree is an academic degree awarded for the completion of a thesis or dissertation by comprehensive innovative research in a specific field of study. A doctoral degree is the final stage of study a student can pursue. Those who complete a doctoral degree can use the title Doctor.

There are many types of doctoral degrees around the globe, the most common being PhD. Most are created to be more focused on a specific field of study.

  1. • PhD – The traditional concept of the Doctor of Philosophy has evolved through the years. The word ‘philosophy’ coming from the Greek word Philo Sophia means lover of wisdom. In recent years a PhD has become a pure research degree gained by conducting original research. A full-time PhD generally will take 3 to 4 years to complete.
  2. • The MPhil – While being quite often misunderstood to be an MSc in Philosophy, the MPhil is called Master of Philosophy and is an advanced research degree where a student will need similar expertise as needed to complete a PhD. Students may sometimes favor an MPhil as it is can be completed in a shorter period (1-2 years) and is more cost-effective. Students may start with the MPhil and upgrade to a PhD if they wish to.
  3. • DBA – The Doctor of Business Administration is a professional doctorate similar to a PhD in terms that it requires original research and analysis for business theory and practice. DBA consists of more in-class learning and practical training and provides students with a new perspective in the business world. This is perfect for those in senior management and leadership roles.
  4. • EdD – A Doctor of Education is a research and professional degree directed towards those that wish to pursue educational and leadership roles. Professionals from various industries such as business, healthcare, military, criminal justice, etc. go on to do an EdD and provide their expertise. This programme is suitable for those interested in roles related to education policies, senior leadership, and want to contribute to research.
  5. • Joint-PhD – A PhD that is jointly-awarded by two or more universities. This allows a student to gain the expertise of supervisors from two different universities, sometimes across the world, which will in turn provide the student with more exposure to their approach to research and will remove any biases. They will also have access to more resources. A Joint-PhD is not suitable for everyone. While being a great experience and holding a lot of opportunities, it will take a lot of resilience and diligence to be able to cope with the requirements of two universities.

There are many more doctorates available. Though they might not be as popular as a PhD they are equally reputable.

Should you do a PhD?

It is common knowledge that a PhD is a strenuous programme. Therefore, great thought must go into it before pursuing this degree. You should only do a PhD if your ambition is to learn something new, to challenge yourself, and you have a passion for knowledge. It is not going to be an easy road to take. You must be diligent and assiduous to be able to get through this programme.

Who can do a PhD?

The requirements for a PhD vary according to country and institution. Most PhD requires you to hold a relevant master’s degree. In some cases, students who hold a first-class or an upper second class in their bachelor's may progress straight to a PhD.

Students will have to undergo a language proficiency test as well. The score required may vary according to the field of study, country, and university.

Which PhD Programme Should You Undertake?

There are many countries where you can undertake your PhD, and even more universities and thousands of programmes to choose from. Do thorough research to find out which country, university, and the programme will suit you best. You must narrow down your scope to your preferred sub-discipline in your field of study. You must then decide if you are applying for an advertised project or doing your research.

Finding a Supervisor

This is probably one of the most important steps. More than finding the best universities, doctoral programmes are dependent on you having the best supervisors. The success of your PhD could be contingent on how good your supervisor is. Once you have made a decision on which programme you wish to undertake you can begin your search for a supervisor. Do not limit this search to just one university. Do research on various supervisors. They are the ones who will guide you through your PhD.

How to Apply for a PhD?

Unlike undergraduate and masters programmes, getting into a PhD programme is much more complicated. You will either have to create a research proposal yourself and be accepted on its basis, or you will have to apply as a PhD candidate for an advertised ongoing PhD programme. Thereafter there might be interviews and entry examinations to assess your suitability.

PhD Interviews

PhD Interviews come in various forms. An interview intends to see if you will be a suitable candidate to fill the required positions or whether you deserve funding for your project if you have your research proposal. Interviews could either be formal or informal. You may have a formal interview with a recruitment panel, or a presentation based on your proposal, one-to-one interview with the head supervisor. Informal interviews such as a lunch meeting or informal visits could be held as well for you to get to know who you will be working with and where, and in turn, they will get to know you too.

Preparing for an Interview

First, review your research proposal. You should have in-depth knowledge of your line of research and be ready to defend your claims. Have thorough background knowledge of past and current research being done that is related to your proposal. This includes knowledge of your previous study (Bachelors's or Master's degree) as well as of people in your research area and their findings that are related to which you wish to reference. If you are applying for an advertised position go through and understand the job description and requirements.

Secondly, know your supervisor. Familiarise yourself with the research your prospective supervisor is currently doing. Know his previous work. You will have to express why you believe he/she is the right supervisor for you and how they will be able to help with your research.

Finally, the interviewers will want to know why you have decided to pursue a PhD and how it will help with your career goals. Persuade them that you are willing to make a commitment towards the research and have a real passion for it.

Furthermore, take care of what you wear. Dress professionally even if you are having a Skype interview. If presentations are required, do not wait until the last minute to make it. Do it early and practice your presentation until your confidence in yourself.

Benefits of doing a PhD in Australia?

Many PhD options have opened up in Australia. You will be able to do your PhD in top research laboratories in world-class universities. Australia also provides the opportunity for those who complete their PhD studies there to be eligible for post-study work visas up to 4 years. Doing your PhD in Australia will be advantageous for your career prospects. You will be able to complete your PhD in one of the best multi-cultural environments and gain insights from a broader perspective.

How long does it take to Complete a PhD?

International students would have to study a PhD on a full-time basis. It is estimated that a student would take about three years to complete the programme.

Cost of Completing a PhD

The cost of a PhD will vary according to country, institution, and field of study. In Australia is it estimated to be between 2 to 5 million rupees, whereas in the states it could be between 5 and 8 million per year. The living cost will also need to be considered when deciding on the place of study.

How can an Agent Help You?

We will help ease some of the stress you will face with applying for your PhD. Gain expert advice into writing your EOI, Expression of Interest, and narrowing down universities and supervisors. We will undertake all visa handlings as well for you.

For more information on applying for a PhD please contact one of our agents.

Sources of Information

  1. https://www.findaphd.com/advice/phd-types/
  2. https://www.findaphd.com/advice/phd-types/doctor-of-business-administration-dba-guide.aspx
  3. https://www.findaphd.com/advice/phd-types/doctor-of-education-edd-guide.aspx
  4. https://www.northeastern.edu/graduate/blog/careers-with-doctorate-in-education/
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_of_Education
  6. http://findaphd.com/advice/phd-types/joint-phds.aspx
  7. https://www.findaphd.com/advice/finding/why-do-phd.aspx
  8. https://www.findaphd.com/advice/doing/phd-challenges.aspx
  9. https://www.findaphd.com/advice/finding/what-is-a-phd.aspx
  10. http://findaphd.com/advice/finding/phd-applications.aspx
  11. https://www.findaphd.com/advice/finding/phd-interview.aspx
  12. http://findaphd.com/advice/doing/
  13. https://www.findaphd.com/advice/finding/choosing-phd-research-project.aspx
  14. https://www.studyin-uk.com/study-options/research/
  15. https://www.aeccglobal.co.id/blog/5-reasons-to-study-phd-in-australia/#:~:text=A%20PhD.,Australian%20PhD%20is%203.5%20years
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