There are many reasons you may wish to go on to further study after your Masters, such as a qualification or training which enhances your career options or the desire to deepen your knowledge in an area of interest.
Higher degrees by research
A PhD is often viewed as an ‘apprenticeship’ for aspiring academics, but can also be a basis for employment in research, either in industry, government or the voluntary sector.
If you choose to do a PhD as the basis for an academic career, be realistic - each year, roughly half of those who obtain a PhD in the UK move into a research or teaching post in a higher education institution but this is often on a fixed-term basis of one to three years.
Some estimates suggest that only about ten percent will eventually obtain a permanent academic position, although the actual number varies across different disciplines.
Tips to consider before you apply for a PhD
- Contact your prospective supervisor(s) first to find out as much as you can about their project outline or, if you are submitting a research proposal, their specific area of expertise. This discussion will also allow you to explore practical issues with them, such as whether they can offer you the time and support you will require as a research student
- Read our advice on CVs, applications and covering letters, which includes tips for writing a personal statement, CV or PhD research proposal
- Search the Find a PhD database, which lists prospective PhDs sorted by subject, institution and country
- Read the Postgrad.com - studying for a PhD website, which offers a practical guide to help you prepare for a PhD