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PhD graduate

Is a PhD the right option for you?

Too often starry-eyed students rush into a PhD without knowing what it entails or how useful it will be. Daniel K. Sokol discusses what you need to consider before taking the plunge.

  • PhD or no PhD, explore a range of exciting careers on Guardian Jobs

Embarking on a PhD is a big decision. Not only will it consume three to five years of your life but, in some UK institutions, the failure rate exceeds 40%. During that time, the 'great work' (ie the thesis) will hover above the candidate like the sword of Damocles, even in moments of supposed rest. So when students say they are thinking of doing a PhD, I ask them why.

For most jobs, a PhD is unnecessary. I, and many of my PhD friends, dropped the title soon after our release into the real world. The initial buzz of having Dr before your name dims with time, and using the title in a non-academic context exudes more than a whiff of self-importance.

People also equate the prefix with a medical degree. On a plane back from Australia one year, I heard the call dreaded by doctors and title-wielding PhDs alike: "is there a doctor on the plane?" Sensing that my knowledge of grounded theory would do little to assist the feverish passenger, my wife, a medical doctor, volunteered to save the day.

If future income is a consideration, a PhD is worth little more than a master's. According to Bernard Casey, who published a study on the economic contribution of PhDs, male PhDs earn 26% more than those who could have gone to university but did not. However, men with a master's degree earn almost as much, with a 23% increase. For women, the difference is smaller still. Variations also exist within individual disciplines. Casey concludes: "PhDs in social sciences, languages and arts do not enhance earnings significantly for either sex."

When I enrolled on my PhD, I didn't care about so distant an issue as future income. Armed with three years of funding, I cared only about my subject and pushing the frontiers of knowledge, however modestly.

Enthusiasm fills the heart of most prospective PhD students, but this enthusiasm can soon fade. The drop-out rate for PhDs is high. In the United States, only 57% of PhD students obtained their PhD 10 years after enrollment. In the humanities, the figure dropped to 49%. In my department, four of us enrolled on the PhD programme in medical ethics; two completed it. Contrary to popular belief, a PhD is not intellectually difficult but it calls for discipline and stamina.

A PhD, especially in the humanities, is a lonely affair. Days are spent alone in front of a computer. Antidotes to the common ailments known as PhD fatigue and PhD blues are, first, choosing a subject that can sustain interest for several years. Often students realise after a few months that their topic is not as gripping as initially believed. An additional consideration, when selecting a topic, is whether the choice will bolster an academic career. Some topics lie on the fringes of the field and may raise eyebrows in reviewers of articles and conference abstracts and in interviews for lectureships. An obscure PhD is also poor preparation for teaching a broad curriculum to undergraduate students.

The second antidote is choosing good supervisors. Knowledge aside, a good supervisor should be willing to devote time to the thesis. Beware the elusive professor, however stellar his or her reputation. It is worth talking to a supervisor's past or current PhD students before making your request.

Sadly, stories of disastrous PhD experiences abound. Unsupportive or bullying supervisors, lack of institutional support, late or radical changes of topic, poor advice, unfair viva voce examinations – the list of potential woes is long. So common are such problems that, after representing an aggrieved PhD student at an appeals hearing, I founded a service to help university students appeal unfair decisions. A frequent fault of students is allowing problems to grow rather than nipping them at the bud; early intervention is key. When I ask eager students their reasons for enrolling in a PhD programme, I do not seek to dissuade them. My own PhD experience, and those of countless others, was positive. Meetings with my supervisors were regular and enjoyable. The viva (or oral examination), which lasted three hours, went smoothly. Although academic jobs were scarce, I was lucky to obtain a lectureship immediately after the PhD. My thesis may even have contributed, microscopically, to the field.

Too often, however, starry-eyed students rush into a PhD program with scant knowledge of what it entails or how useful it will be in the future. The drop-out rate would be reduced, and much misery avoided, if prospective students possessed a more balanced view of the challenges, as well as the joys, of the PhD.

Daniel K. Sokol PhD is honorary senior lecturer in medical ethics at Imperial College and director of Alpha Academic Appeals

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What is a PhD?

Are you considering a phd degree we take a look at what a phd is, how long it takes and how you can go about getting one..

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What’s a PhD?

What does phd stand for, how long is a phd, how much does a phd cost, how to get a phd, can you do a phd without a master’s, is a phd worth it.

A PhD is the highest postgraduate-level qualification offered by universities in the UK. It’s for those who are looking to build on what they studied during their master’s degree, or for those currently working who wish to research a particular area within their field.

PhDs are research-based degrees. The student comes up with an original research question, often in collaboration with a university professor, and explores that topic in depth. At the end of the degree a final thesis is produced that could range from 40,000 to 120,000 words.

The number of students enrolling in PhD degrees is increasing year-on-year. From 2015/16 to 2019/20 enrolments increased by 2.9%, according to 2019/20 HESA data on student enrolments . This highlights the growing interest in and demand for the postgraduate qualification.

PhD stands for Doctor of Philosophy. You’ll often find this abbreviated to just ‘Doctorate’ as a PhD falls under the umbrella of doctorate degrees.

They vary in length, based on what you decide to research and whether you choose to study part-time or full-time. Full-time PhD students often take three or four years, with part-time students taking up to seven. Some universities even offer deadline extensions of up to four years.

You can expect to pay anywhere from £3,000 to £6,000 per year. This applies to all UK and EU students, with other international students paying more. Most PhD students fund their degree through scholarships, bursaries, and grants. Many UK research organisations also offer studentships through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) , which can be another form of funding.

  • Bursaries and scholarships
  • Postgraduate funding

Having a strong interest in a particular subject is the first step to a PhD. You’ll either be applying for an already funded project being offered by a university, or you’ll be pitching your own research proposal. Admissions teams want to see your dedication and enthusiasm, so make sure you’re passionate about the subject first.

Universities tend to list available research projects and who’ll be supervising them on their website. Don’t hesitate to contact any professors you know that are doing research in an area you’re interested in. They may have a PhD position available they haven’t yet advertised.

When applying, you’ll need a:

  • Cover letter
  • Research proposal (if pitching an original research idea)
  • Reference (may be asked to provide three people, who know you in an academic setting or can comment on your research capability)

Use your application as a chance to really convey your passion for the subject. It’s important to expand on your interest, explain why you have that interest and cite examples of you pursuing this interest through past experiences. You’ll be studying for at least three to four years and the admissions teams will want to make sure you’ll be dedicated.

Yes, but this will depend on the course you’re applying for and what previous experience you have. Most PhD degrees will require you to have completed a master’s degree or equivalent, but exceptions can be made if you can demonstrate your capability. Universities want to see that you’re passionate, hard-working, and determined.

This is up to you and your career aspirations. Consider how important it is that you have a doctorate degree and what contribution it’ll make to your future.

Boost your employability

Many choose to do a PhD because it’ll increase their chances of employment. This’ll depend on what you want to study and what industry you want to work in, but doing so could increase your job prospects. Recent data from HESA on graduate activities by level of qualification found that 78.9% of doctorate students were employed upon graduating in the academic years 2017/18 to 2019/20. Only 3.4% were unemployed.

Helps you pursue an academic career

Many students use a PhD as a pathway into academia, progressing into full-time roles at a university or other higher education institution. This could be as a professor, researcher, or other role. PhD students are often employed by the university while they study, helping in lectures, labs, tutorials or as research assistants.

Make a significant contribution to your field

Doctorate degrees offer the opportunity to explore an original research question and advance your knowledge in your chosen field. It's a satisfying position to be in and comes with recognition from your peers. This could also open up a wealth of further research to be explored by either you or your peers.

Develop a range of transferrable skills

Through a doctorate degree you’ll learn a range of invaluable skills, transferrable beyond your studies. These can include:

  • Project management
  • Time management
  • Independence
  • Writing and presentation skills
  • Communication skills
  • Research skills
  • Teaching others

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How to apply for a PhD in the UK

Applying for a phd is not quite as daunting as you might think. a postgraduate student recruitment officer from the university of sussex shares his tips for putting together a phd application.

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Ben Osborne

Pad of paper with PhD written on

There are many different reasons for wanting to pursue a PhD – to move into an academic role at a university, to continue studying a subject you are passionate about or to further your career. 

Whatever your motivation, many students are now choosing to pursue a PhD abroad. This guide will help you understand how to apply for a PhD at a UK university and answer any questions you might have around doing PhDs.

How to apply for a PhD

Application rules and methods vary for each university. The number of courses that you can apply for in a year will vary. For example, at the University of Sussex , you can apply for up to three postgraduate courses per year using the postgraduate application system.

If you are applying for more than one degree, you must submit a research proposal/statement specific to each area of study you apply for.

You can also apply to different universities to improve your chances of being accepted to a PhD course of your choosing. 

What qualifications do I need?

Each PhD will have specific entry requirements and you will also need to meet a university’s general entry requirements.  This may be an upper second-class undergraduate honours degree (2:1) or an equivalent international qualification. For some PhDs you may need a master’s qualification, and you may be asked to attend an interview.

International students may also be required to prove language proficiency. This will vary across institutions so do check what level universities expect before starting your application. 

Applicants should always check the specific entry requirements in a university’s online prospectus before making an application.

When should I start applying?

This will depend on when your term start date is. Most research degrees will start in September but some courses offer additional entry points in January or May.

You can apply all year round for research degrees starting in September, January and May, and the deadlines for applying are usually one month before the course start date for UK applicants, and three months before for international applicants.

If you’re applying for funding from an external organisation you’ll need to be aware that they may have different deadlines for the funding application. So give yourself plenty of time to research your funding options, and ensure you know how long the application process takes. 

Many universities offer a number of funded PhD opportunities and PhD scholarships for UK and international students, and it’s always worth investigating funding routes such as research councils and other organisations, both in the UK and overseas.

In some cases, it may be possible to study a PhD by distance which means you’ll be able to learn online and have virtual meetings with your supervisor.

If this is something you would be interested in doing you should check before applying whether your university can accommodate this option. 

Nine things to know before doing a PhD Starting a PhD during the pandemic Studying for a part-time PhD: the challenges and the benefits Is it possible to do a three-year PhD as an international student?

How should I look for a supervisor?

Usually if you are applying for a funded project, or to a research centre or group, you will normally be asked to provide a statement explaining your suitability for working in that area, and if successful you will be allocated a supervisor.

If you wish to propose your own area of research, you need to decide on a research topic, and you will be expected to write a research proposal. In some cases you may only be required to provide a summary of academic interests and this can be used to match you to a researcher that suits you.

If you are proposing your own research topic, there may be a research database at your university that you can search, or your university will match you with a supervisor during the assessment of your application. It may be possible to request supervision by a particular member of faculty – this will be considered but not all requests can be accommodated.

If you do find a potential supervisor who matches your research area, check their online profile for indications of their doctoral supervision capacity. If they are open to doctoral applications, you can contact them directly to check their availability for supervising you.

It is a good idea to draw up a shortlist of two to three potential supervisors, and take an in-depth look into their research history. You can also find out more about your potential supervisors by looking in the reference sections of academic textbooks and searching for articles in research databases and academic blogs.

When you contact your potential supervisor, it is important to tell them something interesting about yourself, and explain your research interests and how you feel your research proposal matches their expertise.

How do I write a research proposal?

If you are proposing your own research you will need to write a strong proposal that formulates a precise, interesting research question, and establishes the relevance and value of the proposed research question in the context of current academic thinking.

You’ll need to make sure your proposal describes the data or source material your research requires, and outlines a clear and practical methodology that enables you to answer the research question and that states clearly what you hope to discover at the end of your research, and what new areas it might open up.

The precise content and structure of your research proposal will depend on your subject area, and the University of Sussex has some helpful resources on our website to guide you through the process.

How long does the application process take?

Completing an application and writing a research proposal may take some time and should not be left until just before the application deadline.

It’s not easy to give a definite idea of how long it takes to hear if your application has been successful, as it will depend on when the application is made and the nature of the specific PhD, and you would need to meet any conditions contained within the offer before you can start the PhD.

What are the associated costs?

There won’t typically be an application fee for PhDs but there are tuition fees. If a university does charge application fees they will usually be between £50-£100.

The tuition fees for students studying in the UK are set by UK Research and Innovation . Fees for international students are £18,975 for non-lab-based subjects, and £22,975 for lab-based subjects per year.

You’ll also need to factor in living costs, but there are a number of funding routes you can apply for to help with this. As well as PhD scholarships and funded research projects there are research council awards, PhD loans for those eligible, and various organisations to which international students can apply for funding, such as The Gen Foundation and Open Society Foundations.

It’s important to be aware of the costs involved, but it’s also worth remembering that the educational, career and personal benefits of PhD study can be worth it.

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is phd in uk worth it

  • Is Doing a PhD Worth It?
  • Finding a PhD

Undertaking a PhD shouldn’t be a light decision. In fact, it’s one of the most challenging academic journeys you could embark on. This begs the question: Is a PhD worth it?

A PhD is the highest globally recognised postgraduate degree that higher education institutions can award. The degree, which is awarded to candidates who demonstrate original and extensive research in a particular field of study, is not only invaluable in itself, but can lead to improves job prospects, a higher salary on average, and sets you up for invaluable skills and traits. If you are a graduate student considering undertaking doctoral studies, read our guidance to help you make an informed decision.

Career Prospects

Although a full time PhD takes on average three to five years to complete, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a long-term goal, especially with the possibilities that come with it. It’s a common misunderstanding that PhDs only open the door for educational based roles such as university lecturers and training providers. Although obtaining a PhD does lend itself to an academic career, the opportunities extend far beyond the traditional academic job. In fact, recent data from the UK’s Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) indicates only 23% of PhD graduates take a position in educational roles. This low percentage is primarily because PhD graduates have a wide range of skills that make them suitable for a broad spectrum of roles. This is being seen first hand by the increasing number of PhD graduates who are entering alternative roles such as research, writing, law and investment banking.

Percentages aside, one of the most desirable post-doctoral fields is working within independent Research and Development (R&D) labs and new emerging companies. Both industries, especially R&D labs, have dedicated groups of PhD graduates who lead research activities, design new products and take part in crucial strategic meetings. Not only is this a stimulating line of work, but the average salaries in R&D labs and emerging start-ups are incredibly lucrative. In comparison, an undergraduate with five years of experience within their given field will, on average, likely earn less than a new PhD graduate taking on an R&D position. Completing an advanced degree programme demonstrates that you have developed a knowledge base in your research area which gives you a head start over other candidates who many only have an undergraduate degree or masters degree.

Pursuing your Interests

One factor to consider when asking ‘is a PhD worth it?’ is what your interests are. A doctoral degree is a fantastic opportunity to spend time learning about something that appeals to you. Having an interest in your research area as a PhD student is a massive advantage as you will always be motivated to push the boundaries of your research. Possessing an advanced degree in a field your are genuinely interested in can also help shape your career path and help you land your dream job.

Transferable Skills

PhD students are widely in demand for their wide range of skills they develop during their studies. Not only do these skills extend beyond that obtained by an undergraduate counterpart, but the transferability of the skills is what makes them stand out amongst employers.

Professional Networking

To successfully undertake a PhD, it’s paramount to have a good working relationship with your PhD supervisor and other students in your laboratory, workshop, or department. This relationship will also extend to undertaking short-term collaborative projects, delivering joint conferences and co-authoring research papers. The modern doctorate needs to demonstrate effective team working, collaboration and networking to be successful in their chosen field. This skill is highly sought by all employers, as open and effective communication is key to any project.


Although publishing isn’t a requirement of all PhD projects, all students will have the opportunity to produce technical or informative texts, regardless of whether it’s in the form of reports or academic journal articles.

The preparation, research, writing, and editing of such texts demonstrate your ability to amalgamate information and communicate complex ideas. Regardless of an employer’s field, the ability to record and summarise essential information is a fundamental skill they look for. Demonstrating you’re capable of delivering factual documents will help set you apart from colleagues, which will help make strides in your career.

Research Skills

One of the most valued skills you’ll gain during your PhD study is the ability to undertake original research. Not only does this demonstrate you are able to think independently, but also that you are prepared to take on responsibility and can contribute original ideas to the workplace. In undertaking a PhD, you will prove yourself as a professional expert in this area, making you a suitable candidate for research jobs.

Data analysis

A PhD programme, in particular a STEM PhD project, is likely to involve identifying, managing and analysing large amounts of complex information. In addition to this, you could be required to assimilate this information in an appropriate and understandable format. Because of this a data driven doctorate degree is highly desirable in numerical industries such as banking and engineering.

Public Speaking

Is Doing a PhD Worth It - Public Speaking

In today’s industries, excellent oral communication skills are becoming more and more essential. Although many individuals struggle with this skill, as a PhD graduate, you’re more likely to excel in this area. This is because of the many public speaking opportunities you’ll be exposed to during your course. Through conference talks, presentations, and posters, you’ll learn to become confident and engaging when speaking to a broad audience. You’ll also showcase to future employers that you know how to present complex ideas and defend them.

Project management

Even if your career goal isn’t to become a project manager, all jobs require some project management. Fortunately, PhDs are a project management exercise. To complete your thesis, you must design a project, establish a realistic timetable, manage stakeholders and overcome failures. While attempting to achieve the long-term goal set out by the PhD, you must also set, manage, and achieve short-term goals to make progress.

This scenario accurately represents any modern workplace. You’ll be given the autonomy to manage your projects and workload and be expected to do so at a competent level. With this in mind, PhD holders can show they are more than capable of managing a team, and in doing so broaden their career options when entering the job market.

Critical Thinking

Every doctoral student will gain unparalleled skills in exercising critical thinking. This is due to having been trained to address problems, identify connections and analyse information to come to sensible conclusions. A critical thinker is exceptionally beneficial for any industry.


Nearly all careers place a strong emphasis on team working and interpersonal skills. Although producing a PhD thesis is an individual task, to complete your doctoral degree you’ll need to collaborate with others, whether it be to conduct experiments, collect data, operate as part of a larger research group or co-write manuscripts. To complete these tasks, you must know how to divide the task, share with others, communicate effectively, and resolve conflicts. All these skills carry over to any workplace, not just those in an academic position. By demonstrating that you can work as part of a team, you’ll significantly increase your desirability for any role.

Many prospective PhD students see a future in academia. Strong communication skills are essential in this line of work as in addition to giving lectures you may be involved in the supervision of graduate students during their final year projects.

As a graduate student you will have spent the last few years in university and likely have some student debt. A doctorate programme is a further large financial commitment, in particular if you self-fund your studies which can take 3-5 years to complete as a full time PhD student. Even if you secure a funded PhD, the available living stipend will comparatively be less than you would potentially earn if you had gone into employment instead. Part time PhD programmes also worth looking at for PhD candidates, as they allow researchers to work during their PhD course who can then spend their earnings towards their living costs and tuition fees.

In analysing the career prospects and transferable skills gained in undertaking a PhD degree, it is clear that pursuing a PhD is an extremely worthwhile venture.

You will develop deep knowledge in your research area which gives you an advantage when applying to academic jobs (for example a professor or research advisor/PostDoc). During your doctoral years you’ll also gain many skills valued in any career path, from problem solving, to managing tasks and communicating complex ideas. Possessing a PhD correlates to higher median salaries, and can aid career progression as a PhD holder can use their specialist skills to seek out unique opportunities in industry. These skills, combined with the new roles that open up for doctorate holders, such as working within innovative Research and Development teams, presents an exciting and prosperous future.

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is phd in uk worth it

Should You Do A PhD? Here’s When A PhD Is Worth It

To phd or not to phd let’s find out what it entails and if it’s worth doing one..

There are tons of reasons to study (and not study) a PhD. A lot of it is down to your personal goals, career aspirations, passion for the subject and where you are in your career.

You may have heard of all the wonderful things academics gain after completing a PhD, such as a published piece of work, the “Dr†title and the general satisfaction of having attained one. But PhD student stress is a whole new level, so you may be a little daunted at the prospect of applying.

Today we’re going to discuss what a PhD is, if you get paid to do a PhD, if it’s worth studying a PhD, the benefits, drawbacks and how to attain a PhD.

What is a PhD?

A PhD, AKA a ‘Doctor of Philosophy’ or ‘Doctorate’, is the highest level of degree you can attain as a student. You may also see it depicted as a ‘DPhil’ or EngD (an Engineering Doctorate).

Studying a PhD degree involves a huge degree of independent study as it’s heavily research-led. It involves conducting original research in your chosen field and contributing to the world of academics, by publishing your very own thesis.

Are you a doctor if you study a PhD?

A “Doctor’ doesn’t refer to a doctor you find in a hospital, oh no. In the academic world it simply means someone who has studied the highest level of degree, a doctoral degree, at a university.

Do you get paid to do a PhD?

Yes. You get paid to pursue a PhD provided your subject is accepted by the institution. The typical salary is around £25,000 and up and depends on the faculty. Some universities even offer free accommodation, which is usually common among medical students.

While many PhDs are funded, it doesn’t always mean it’s free. In fact, it does cost to study one.

How much is it to study a PhD in the UK?

According to Discover PhDs , the cost of a PhD can be divided into three key areas

Tuition fees

Living expenses

Research expenditures.

The combined cost of these vary on what you’re studying, where you’re studying and the university’s fees (which can vary across the country). You’re looking at around £20,000 per year for UK students and can increase to over £40,000 per year for international students.

It is possible to study part-time to spread the cost. While this helps with the workload, you need to keep in mind that you may be paying the same amount at the end.

Overtime period fees

The institution will agree when you enrol in your PhD study; a time frame in which to complete it. This can usually take somewhere between 3-5 years, or 6-7 for part-time study.

Most institutions will charge an overtime registration fee if you fail to complete it on time. The fee varies between university and it’s always worth checking before you enrol.

Why do a PhD

While a PhD may sound financially demanding and the studies are super tough, there are plenty of reasons why it’s worth doing if you’re able to do so:

You can make a contribution to your chosen field

People who pursue a PhD usually want to work in academics and become experts in their field. You can make important discoveries, contribute valuable information that could lead to more discoveries, and most importantly, conduct your very own research.

You can satisfy your curiosity and long-term career goals

A PhD may be part of your study goals. But for those who want to stay in the academic world, then a PhD is necessary to teach undergrads.

And if that’s not your goal, then the skills you gain in a PhD are highly transferable to a variety of industries.

You want the challenge

A PhD is certainly a challenge and some people thrive off this. PhDs are mostly student-led, meaning there isn’t a set “structure†to your course.

You enjoy your area of study

There’s no better feeling than having a genuine passion for your industry. By undertaking a PhD you can explore this further, especially as contact hours are fairly minimal compared to other degrees.

When to not do a PhD

Maybe you think a PhD is the way to go, but that’s not necessarily the case. Here’s when a PhD isn’t the right path for you to take.

To ‘become a doctor’

While this is a serious commitment for a name change, years of research and financial investment aren’t worth the title of doctor if your heart isn’t in it. Ask yourself what having the Dr title will actually do for you.

If your heart isn’t set on working in academics, the prefix won’t really make people glance over twice.

You want to stay at uni

Sorry to break it to you, but a PhD is no different from a full-time job. Some would argue it’s far worse. It’s a sure fire way to lead to academic burnout too.

To make things even worse, your area of study may not even require a doctorate. So all those years of study and stress may become futile.

You think it’s the only way to work in the academic field

To lecture at a university yes, you may need a PhD. But if you want to teach at primary, secondary or even college level, then a PhD isn’t always necessary.

Plus, there are tons of roles you can apply for in academics if teaching isn’t your thing. Such as a research assistant, research administrator, or even a technician.

Because you have no idea what to do

To be successful in a PhD, you absolutely must know what you want to do.

Just because you landed 1sts and are academically bright, it doesn’t mean a PhD will grant you any favours. Have a break, work for a bit and figure out if research is actually something you see yourself being passionate about.

If you’re an undergraduate already thinking far ahead, why not consider studying a master’s instead ?

Because you feel pressure from family and friends

We get how this can be very challenging and it can feel like there’s no way out. Being made to do something takes all the joy out of it and will lessen your chances of success.

While a PhD can be very rewarding, the decision must come from you and you alone.

Is a PhD worth it?

A PhD is absolutely worth it if you want to make a difference, contribute to your field of study, gain tons of hard and soft transferable skills, and ultimately become an expert in what you do best.

By working on something you love that’s totally dictated by your area of expertise is a dream. Yes, you have a tutor to guide you and you’ll need to go through a bit if a process to get things agreed upon, but in the end, it’s totally worth the hard work.

The only time it’s really not worth doing is if your field doesn’t require a PhD, you don’t want to teach at university-level or you simply have no idea what you’d want to research.

How to get a PhD

Every university has their own entry requirements for a PhD, but typically, you must have an undergraduate and master’s degree (unless you’re pursuing an MRes).

If you’ve decided you’re interested in pursuing a PhD and you’re all psyched up and ready to go, there are a few ways to go about obtaining one:

Apply for a PhD by thesis

This is the most common route to getting a PhD.

Your thesis (think dissertation x1000) will be anywhere between 50,000-100,000 words. It varies between the universities and the type of PhD you study.

It involves getting support from a supervisor who’ll you need to negotiate with via a research proposal. Once the thesis is complete, you’ll need to ‘defend’ it in front of a university panel via a process known as a viva voce.

Study an integrated PhD

An integrated PhD is a “New Route PhD†which involves studying an MRes (a one year research-based masters degree), before progressing on to the three-year PhD. It’s offered by many universities across the country and is great for those who need that extra year to solidify their research skills.

You’ll be exposed to a ton of different research methods, practical knowledge and subject-specific methodologies you’ll need in your PhD.

Professional Doctorates

PhDs are typically research-led by the student, but a Professional Doctorate has a taught element to it which is typically studies by engineering and healthcare students.

This isn’t a route to take if you want to work in academics, however, your research is expected to contribute to theory and professional practice. Projects often revolve around a real-life issue that affects your employer.

PhD by publication

If you have a minimum of five to eight published pieces of work, they may be submitted together with a body of work as ample research towards a PhD. This route is often taken by mid-career academics that haven’t had the opportunity to undertake a standard Doctorate degree. It makes it great for those who’ve left study for a while to work in the professional field.

You’re more likely to be accepted into this type of PhD if you’re already a graduate of the same institution, while others will only limit this to their existing academic staff.

Honorary doctorate degrees

An honorary degree is a type of academic degree where the university will waive all of the usual requirements. It’s also known as honoris causa ( Latin for “for the sake of the honour”) or ad honorem (Latin for “to the honour”). It may be awarded to someone who has no prior connection with the academic institution or no previous postsecondary education.

It’s only possible to attain one if you’re classed as an “outstanding individual who has excelled in their fieldâ€. Celebrities like Peter Kay and Liam Fray are two of many who’ve gained Honorary Doctorate status.

Think you’ll apply for a PhD? We hope this has given you a well-rounded view of whether you should study a PhD, steer clear of them for now and consider one after a few years out of study.

is phd in uk worth it

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Doing phd in the uk: pros and cons.

Pete Alisher

PhD Sharing

A doctorate of Ph.D. is considered to be the highest level of educational degrees awarded to the students. Just like any other country in the world, the United Kingdom also has a wide range of subjects to choose from for pursuing a Ph.D.

Students from all over the world, including the resident students of the UK itself, prefer doing Ph.D. from the UK because of its worldwide recognition, and top-quality research work. It grooms students to become great researchers.

The UK is well-known for its extensive and enriched research resources which gives the Ph.D. scholars to carry out all the research that they want to without any boundaries or imitations.

is phd in uk worth it

If you are one of those students who are interested in getting a Ph.D ., but on the other hand are also skeptical whether you are a suitable candidate for it or not, then here are a few pros and cons that will somehow help you in making the right decision for yourself.

Pros of Pursuing a Ph.D. From The UK

  • Multi-cultural Environment: The UK is both a traditionally and culturally multi-diverse area. Even if you are a local citizen, you can use the UK’s environment in your favor. It is indeed a great place to carry out your research work and not only that, being an international student, you can enjoy a friendly and healthy environment, considering it a home away from your actual home.
  • Great Exposure: Once you are done with your Degree, you can easily enjoy good exposure to the markets and industry. This will not only help you get a good job offer but would also expose you in a better way to the competitive market, where you can easily make yourself known.
  • Increased Skills: Exploring your subject or field of interest, and working your way to make further discoveries in it would be a task that you would enjoy doing. The UK encourages participation in research, and this in itself would enhance your interpersonal skills and develop your talents further, thus grooming you as a confident individual.
  • Challenging Role: By enrolling yourself in a Ph.D. program, you would be aware that it is quite a challenging field and that you will be exerting all your energy towards it. But this is a very healthy and beneficial activity for you, for it would help you in staying motivated and sticking to the cause in this competitive world.

Cons of Pursuing a Ph.D. From The UK

  • More to Do in Less Time: The UK education system requires you to stay up-to-date with all the latest trends. For this, you need to hustle otherwise you are bound to get left behind. And this is where the need to stay focused on both your studies and current affairs becomes important. And this is quite difficult to manage for anyone.
  • Accommodation:   If you are planning to pursue a Ph.D., then you should also be quite aware of the fact that accommodation might become a problem for you. There are many students, both local and international who travel within cities to pursue their education and so, getting a good place to stay might become a problem if you are late in renting a good place out!
  • Job Uncertainty: Jobs are not promised for anyone. No one knows how much effort they would have to exert to land themselves a job that is convenient and well-suited according to their skills. Therefore, if you are looking to opt for a Ph.D. in the UK in hopes that you will land yourself a very rewarding job, then you might want to rethink your decision once again!
  • Feeling of Being Left Behind: It is very common for a person to feel left behind while pursuing a Ph.D. when he sees that his friends and colleagues are already ahead of him in terms of family and career, and so, he might often question his decision or think that he is left alone in all of this.

Keeping all these factors in your mind, it would become quite easy for you to decide if you really want to pursue a Ph.D. in the UK or not.

Tags: Doing PhD In the UK,PhD UK,Research UK

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The Savvy Scientist

The Savvy Scientist

Experiences of a London PhD student and beyond

Is a PhD Worth It? Should I Do a PhD?

It’s been almost a year since I was officially awarded my PhD. How time flies! I figure now is a good time to reflect on the PhD and answer some of life’s big questions. Is a PhD worth it? Does having a PhD help your future job prospects? Am I pleased that I did a PhD and would I recommend that you do a PhD?

In this post I’ll walk through some of the main points to consider. We’ll touch on some pros and cons, explore the influence it could have on your career and finally attempt to answer the ultimate question. Is a PhD worth it?

Before we get into the details, if you’re considering applying for a PhD you may also want to check out a few other posts I’ve written:

  • How Hard is a PhD?
  • How Much Work is a PhD?
  • How Much Does a PhD Student Earn? Comparing a PhD Stipend to Grad Salaries
  • Characteristics of a Researcher

Are you seated comfortably? Great! Then we’ll begin.

The Pros and Cons of PhDs

When I have a difficult decision to make I like to write a pros and cons list. So let’s start by breaking down the good and bad sides of getting a PhD. Although I’ve tried to stay objective, do take into account that I have completed a PhD and enjoyed my project a lot!

These lists certainly aren’t exhaustive, so be sure to let me know if you can think of any other points to add!

The Good Parts: Reasons to Do a PhD

Life as a phd student.

  • You get to work on something really interesting . Very few people outside of academia get to dive so deep into topics they enjoy. Plus, by conducting cutting edge research you’re contributing knowledge to a field.
  • It can be fun! For example: solving challenges, building things, setting up collaborations and going to conferences.
  • Being a PhD student can be a fantastic opportunity for personal growth : from giving presentations and thinking critically through to making the most of being a student such as trying new sports.
  • You are getting paid to be a student : I mean come on, that’s pretty good! Flexible hours, socialising and getting paid to learn can all be perks. Do make sure you consciously make the most of it!

Life As A PhD Graduate

  • The main one: Having a PhD may open doors . For certain fields, such as academia itself, a PhD may be a necesity. Whilst in others having a PhD can help demonstrate expertise or competency, opening doors or helping you to leapfrog to higher positions. Your mileage may vary!
  • You survived a PhD: this accomplishment can be a big confidence booster .
  • You’ve got a doctorate and you can use the title Dr. Certainly not enough justification on it’s own to do a PhD, but for some people it helps!

The Bad Parts: Potential Reasons Not to Do a PhD

  • It can be tough to complete a PhD! There are lots of challenges . Unless you’re careful and take good care of yourself it can take a mental and physical toll on your well being.
  • A PhD can be lonely ( though doesn’t have to be ), and PhD supervisors aren’t always as supportive as you’d like them to be.
  • Additionally, in particular now during the pandemic, you might not be able to get as much support from your supervisor, see your peers or even access the equipment and technical support as easily as in normal times.
  • You might find that having a PhD may not bring the riches you were expecting . Have a certain career you’re looking to pursue? Consider trying to find out whether or not having a PhD actually helps.
  • Getting a job with a PhD can still be tough . Let’s say you want to go for a career where having a PhD is required, even once you’ve got a PhD it might not be easy to find employment. Case in point are academic positions.
  • Even though you’ve put in the work you may want to use your Dr title sparingly , it certain industries a PhD may be seen as pretencious. Also, use your title sparingly to avoid getting mistaken for a medic (unless of course you’re one of them too!)

Is a PhD Good For Your Career?

If you’re wondering “Should I do a PhD?”, part of your motivation for considering gaining a PhD may be your career prospects. Therefore I want to now dive deeper into whether or not a PhD could help with future employment.

It is difficult to give definitive answers because whether or not a PhD helps will ultimately depend a lot upon what kind of career you’re hoping to have. Anyway, let’s discuss a few specific questions.

Does a PhD Help You Get a Job?

For certain industries having a PhD may either be a requirement or a strong positive.

Some professions may require a PhD such as academia or research in certain industries like pharma. Others will see your qualification as evidence that you’re competent which could give you an edge. Of course if you’re aiming to go into a career using similar skills to your PhD then you’ll stand a better chance of your future employer appreciating the PhD.

In contrast, for other roles your PhD may not be much help in securing a job. Having a PhD may not be valued and instead your time may be better spent getting experience in a job. Even so, a PhD likely won’t have been completely useless.

When I worked at an engineering consultancy the recruitment team suggested that four years of a PhD would be considered comparable to two or three years of experience in industry. In those instances, the employer may actively prefer candidates who spent those years gaining experience on the job but still appreciates the value of a PhD.

Conclusion: Sometimes a PhD will help you get a job, othertimes it wont. Not all employers may appreciate your PhD though few employers will actively mark you down for having a PhD.

Does a PhD Increase Salary? Will it Allow You to Start at a Higher Level?

This question is very much relates to the previous one so my answer will sound slightly similar.

It’ll ultimately depend upon whether or not the industry and company value the skills or knowledge you’ve gained throughout your PhD.

I want to say from the start that none of us PhD-holders should feel entitled and above certain types of position in every profession just for having a PhD. Not all fields will appreciate your PhD and it may offer no advantage. It is better to realise this now.

Some professions will appreciate that with a PhD you’ll have developed a certain detail-orientated mindset, specialised knowledge or skills that are worth paying more for. Even if the position doesn’t really demand a PhD, it is sometimes the case that having someone with a PhD in that position is a useful badge for the company to wave at customers or competitors. Under these circumstances PhD-holders may by default be offered slightly higher starting positions than other new-starters will lower degree qualifications.

To play devil’s advocate, you could be spending those 3-4 (or more) years progressing in the job. Let’s look at a few concrete examples.

PhD Graduate Salaries in Academia

Let’s cut to the chase: currently as a postdoc at a decent university my salary is £33,787, which isn’t great. With a PhD there is potential to possibly climb the academic ladder but it’s certainly not easy. If I were still working in London I’d be earning more, and if I were speficially still working at Imperial in London I’d be earning a lot more. Browse Imperial’s pay scales here . But how much is it possible to earn with a PhD compared to not having one?

For comparison to research staff with and without PhDs:

As of 2023 research assistants (so a member of staff conducting research but with no PhD) at Imperial earn £38,194 – £ 4 1,388 and postdoctoral research associates earn £43,093 – £50,834 . Not only do you earn £5000 or more a year higher with a PhD, but without a PhD you simply can’t progress up the ladder to research fellow or tenure track positions.

Therefore in academia it pays to have a PhD, not just for the extra cash but for the potential to progress your career.

PhD Graduate Salaries in Industry

For jobs in industry, it is difficult to give a definitive answer since the variety of jobs are so wide ranging.

Certain industries will greatly reward PhD-holders with higher salaries than those without PhDs. Again it ultimately depends on how valuable your skills are. I’ve known PhD holders to do very well going into banking, science consultancy, technology and such forth.

You might not necessarily earn more money with a PhD in industry, but it might open more doors to switch industries or try new things. This doesn’t necessarily mean gaining a higher salary: I have known PhD-holders to go for graduate schemes which are open to grads with bachelors or masters degrees. Perhaps there is an argument that you’re more employable and therefore it encourages you to make more risky career moves which someone with fewer qualifications may make?

You can of course also use your PhD skills to start your own company. Compensation at a start-up varies wildly, especially if you’re a founder so it is hardly worth discussing. One example I can’t resist though is Magic Pony. The company was co-founded by a Imperial PhD graduate who applied expertise from his PhD to another domain. He sold the company two years later to Twitter for $150 million . Yes, including this example is of course taking cherry-picking to the extreme! The point stands though that you can potentially pick up some very lucrative skills during your PhD.

Conclusion: Like the previous question, not all industries will reward your PhD. Depending on what you want to go and do afterward your PhD, it isn’t always worth doing a PhD just for career progression. For professions that don’t specifically value a PhD (which is likely the majority of them!) don’t expect for your PhD to necessarily be your ticket to a higher position in the organisation.

Is a PhD Worth it?

What is “it”.

When we’re asking the question “is a PhD worth it?” it is a good idea to touch on what “it” actually is. What exactly are PhD students sacrificing in gaining a PhD? Here is my take:

  • Time . 3-5 (more more) years of your life. For more see my post: how long a PhD takes .
  • Energy. There is no doubt that a PhD can be mentally and physically draining, often more so than typical grad jobs. Not many of us PhD students often stick to normal office hours, though I do encourage you to !
  • Money. Thankfully most of us, at least in STEM, are on funded PhD projects with tax free stipends. You can also earn some money on the side quite easily and without paying tax for a while. Even so, over the course of a PhD you are realistically likely to earn more in a grad job. For more details on how PhD stipends compare to grad salaries read my full analysis .
  • Potential loss of opportunities . If you weren’t doing a PhD, what else could you be doing? As a side note, if you do go on to do a PhD, do make sure you to take advantage of the opportunities as a PhD student !

When a PhD Could Be Worth It

1. passion for a topic and sheer joy of research.

The contribution you make to progressing research is valuable in it’s own right. If you enjoy research, can get funding and are passionate about a subject by all means go and do the PhD and I doubt you’ll regret it.

2. Learning skills

If there is something really specific you want to spend three year or more years learning then a PhD can be a great opportunity. They’re also great for building soft skills such as independence, team work, presenting and making decisions.

Do be aware though that PhD projects can and do evolve so you can’t always guarantee your project will pan out as expected.

If there is the option to go into a career without a PhD I’d bet that in a lot of cases you’d learn more, faster, and with better support in industry. The speed of academic research can be painstakingly slow. There are upsides to learning skills in academia though, such as freedom and the low amount of responsibility for things outside your project and of course if you’re interested in something which hasn’t yet reached industry.

3. Helping with your career

See the section further up the page, this only applies for certain jobs. It is rare though that having a PhD would actively look bad on your CV.

When a PhD May Not Be Worth It

1. just because you can’t find another job.

Doing a PhD simply because you can’t find a job isn’t a great reason for starting one. In these circumstances having a PhD likely isn’t worth it.

2. Badge collecting

Tempted by a PhD simply to have a doctorate, or to out-do someone? Not only may you struggle with motivation but you likely won’t find the experience particularly satisfying. Sure, it can be the icing on the cake but I reckon you could lose interest pretty quickly if it is your only motivation for gaining a PhD.

Do I Feel That My Own PhD Was Worth It?

When I finished my undergrad I’d been tempted by a PhD but I wasn’t exactly sure about it. Largely I was worried about picking the wrong topic.

I spent a bit of time apprehensively applying, never being sure how I’d find the experience. Now that I’ve finished it I’m very pleased to have got my PhD!

Here are my main reasons:

  • I enjoyed the research and felt relatively well fulfilled with the outcomes
  • Having the opportunity to learn lots of some new things was great, and felt like time well spent
  • I made new friends and generally enjoyed my time at the university
  • Since I’d been interested in research and doing a PhD for so long, I feel like if I’d not done it I’d be left wondering about it and potentially end up regretting it.

In Summary, Is a PhD Worth It?

I’ve interviewed many PhD students and graduates and asked each one of them whether the PhD was worth it . The resounding answer is yes! Now of course there is some selection bias but even an interviewee who had dropped out of their PhD said that the experience had been valueable.

PhD Profiles

If you’ve got this far in the post and are still a little on the fence about whether or not a PhD is worth it, my advice is to look at the bigger picture. In comparison to your lifetime as a whole, a PhD doesn’t really take long:

is phd in uk worth it

People graduating now likely won’t retire until they’re in their 70s: what is 3-4 years out of a half century long career?

So Should I Do a PhD?

Whether a PhD is worth all the time and energy ultimately comes down to why you’re doing one in the first place.

There are many great reasons for wanting to do a PhD, from the sheer enjoyment of a subject through to wanting to open up new career opportunities.

Nevertheless, it is worth pointing out that practically every PhD student encounters difficult periods. Unsurprisingly, completing a PhD can be challenging and mentally draining. You’ll want to ensure you’re able to remind yourself of all the reasons why it is worth it to provide motivation to continue.

If you’re interested, here were my own reasons for wanting a PhD.

Why I decided to pursue a PhD

Saying that, if you’re interested in doing a PhD I think you should at least apply. I can’t think of any circumstances where having a PhD would be a hindrance.

It can take a while to find the right project (with funding ) so I suggest submitting some applications and see how they go. If you get interesting job offers in the meantime you don’t need to commit to the PhD. Even if you start the PhD and find you don’t enjoy it, there is no shame in leaving and you can often still walk away with a master’s degree.

My advice is that if you’re at all tempted by a PhD: go for it!

I hope this post helped you to understand if a PhD is worth it for you personally. If it is then best of luck with your application!

Considering doing a PhD? I have lots of other posts covering everything about funding , how much PhD students earn , choosing a project and the interview process through to many posts about what the life of a PhD student and graduate is like . Be sure to subscribe below!

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4 Comments on “Is a PhD Worth It? Should I Do a PhD?”

Hi Thanks for the post . I have been struggling to make a decision regarding doing a PhD or doing a second masters . I’m currently doing an msc civil engineering online (because of covid) so for my research I am not able to conduct lab experiments. Therefore my research is more of a literature review / inductive research. So I feel I’ll be at a disadvantage if I were to apply for a phd program especially at high ranking universities like oxford , imperial etc What are your thoughts?

Hey Esther,

I completely appreciate that it’s not an ideal situation at the moment so thanks for reaching out, it’s a great question. A few thoughts I have:

• If you are already tempted by a PhD and would do a second masters simply to gain lab experience, there is no harm in applying for the PhD now. At the very least I suggest considering reaching out to potential supervisors to discuss the situation with them. The universities realise that current applicants won’t have been able to gain as much research experience as normal over the last year. Practical lab experience has halted for so many people so don’t let it put you off applying!

• If you don’t get in on the first go, I don’t believe it looks bad to apply again with more experience. I applied for PhDs for three years, it doesn’t need to take this long but the point is that there’s not much reason to give it a go this year and stand a chance of getting accepted.

• Although we can be optimistic, even if you were to do a second masters it may not be guaranteed that you can gain as much lab experience as you’d like during it: even more reason to start the ball rolling now.

I hope that helps, let me know if you’d like any other further advice.

Best of luck. 🙂

Funny, every one i have talked to as well as myself when we asked ourselves and others whether the PhD was worth it is a resounding ‘No.’

I guess it comes down to a Blue or Red Pill, LoL.

Hi Joe, thanks for sharing this. I’ve spent enough time on the PhD subreddit to see many other people who haven’t had good experiences either! On the flipside many people do have positive experiences, myself included. There is perhaps an element of luck as to what your research environment turns out to be like which could somewhat dictate the PhD experience, but ultimately I do think that answering whether or not a PhD has been worth it really depends a lot on why someone is pursuing a PhD in the first place. I’m keen to make sure people don’t have unrealistic expectations for what it could bring them. I really welcome hearing about different experiences and if you’d fancy sharing your perspective for the PhD profiles series I’d love to hear from you.

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Going to Study PhD in UK? Here’s What Your Life as a PhD Student Will Look Like!

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  • Updated on  
  • Jul 7, 2023

Life as a PhD Student in UK

Are you planning to pursue a PhD in the UK ? If yes, you might wonder what your life as a PhD student in UK will look like. How will you spend your days? What will you do for research? How will you balance your work and personal life? What are the challenges and opportunities that await you In this blog, we will give you a glimpse of what to expect from your PhD journey in the UK. So, let’s get started!

Also Read: Study in UK 2023

This Blog Includes:

Why study phd in uk, 1. traditional phd, 2. integrated phd , 3. professional doctorate, 4. distance learning phd, 1. application, 2. registration, 3. progression , 4. completion, researching, personal growth, academic achievement, career development, top universities offering phd in uk, scholarships for phd in uk.

The UK is one of the most popular destinations for international PhD study, with great opportunities to research, work and explore. Here’s why you should consider studying PhD in UK:

  • According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, 82% of UK university graduates find a job or continue their studies within half a year of finishing their PhD.
  • The UK boasts some of the top universities in the world , and many of them offer excellent PhD programs. The QS World University Rankings 2024 show that the UK has four universities among the top ten for graduate employability and five universities among the top 20 for graduate employability.
  • Studying in UK universities opens up many possibilities. Nearly 87% of PhD students start working after graduation and earn an average salary of 40,000 GBP- 60,000 GBP (40-60 Lakh INR) per year.
  • the UK Research Council,
  • The British Council ,
  • The Commonwealth Scholarships ,
  • The Chevening Scholarship s , etc.
  • You can also apply for teaching or research assistantships to earn income while studying.
  • Being a multicultural and cosmopolitan country with people from different backgrounds, cultures and religions, you can experience the UK’s rich history, heritage and traditions and enjoy the modern lifestyle, entertainment and cuisine.

Also Read: Intakes in the UK

Types of PhD in UK

There are different types of PhD programs in the UK, depending on your research area, your learning style, and your personal preferences. Some of the common types are:

This is the most common type of PhD in the UK, where you conduct original research on a specific topic under the supervision of one or more academics. 

An integrated PhD combines taught modules with research. You usually spend one-year taking courses related to your research area, followed by three years of independent research. 

This PhD focuses on applying research to professional practice. You usually spend two years taking courses related to your profession or industry, followed by two years of conducting research on a relevant issue or problem. 

This PhD allows you to study remotely from anywhere in the world. You usually communicate with your supervisor by phone, email or video conferencing and visit your university for one or two weeks each year. 

What are the Stages of PhD in UK?

A typical PhD programme in UK consists of four main stages:

This is where you choose your university, supervisor, and research topic. You also have to prepare your research proposal, which outlines your aims, objectives, methods and expected outcomes. 

You also have to submit your academic transcripts, English language proficiency test scores, references, and other documents required by your university. You may also have to attend an interview or a test as part of the selection process.

Enrol as a PhD student at your university and start your program. You usually have to attend an induction or orientation session, where you will meet your supervisor, your department, and other PhD students. 

You will also have to complete some administrative tasks, such as registering for courses, paying fees, opening a bank account , etc.

This is where you conduct your research and monitor your progress. You usually have to meet with your supervisor regularly, who will provide you with feedback and guidance. You will also have to submit periodic reports or presentations to assess your achievements and challenges. 

You may also have to undergo a formal review or examination at the end of your first year or second year, which will determine whether you can continue with your program.

This is where you finish your research and write your thesis. You usually have to follow the guidelines and standards set by your university and your discipline. 

You will also have to submit your thesis for examination, which will involve an oral defense (viva voce) in front of a panel of experts. You may also have to make corrections or revisions to your thesis before it is accepted.

Also Read: Top PhD Entrance Exams

Life as a PhD Student in UK: Daily Activities

As a PhD student in UK, your activities can vary depending on your subject area, stage of PhD, learning style, and personal preferences. However, some of the common activities are:

As a PhD student, you will have to read a lot of books, articles, reports and other sources related to your research topic. Keep up with the latest developments and trends in your field, review the existing literature, and identify the gaps and opportunities for your research.

You will also have to write a lot of documents, such as proposals, reports, presentations, papers, and chapters as a part of your life as a PhD student in the UK. Communicate your ideas clearly and convincingly, using appropriate language, style, and format, cite your sources correctly, and avoid plagiarism.

As a PhD student, you spend most of your time doing research on your chosen topic. Depending on your discipline, it may involve conducting experiments in the laboratory, collecting data through surveys or interviews, analysing data using software or statistics, or interpreting texts or images using theories or frameworks.

As a PhD student, you may also have some teaching responsibilities, such as leading seminars, tutorials or workshops for undergraduate or Masters students. You may also have to mark assignments or exams, provide feedback or mentorship, or supervise projects or dissertations. Teaching can help you develop your skills and knowledge and earn some income.

As a PhD student, you will also have learning opportunities, such as attending courses, seminars, workshops or conferences related to your research area. You may also have to take some training modules on research ethics, academic writing, presentation skills, etc. Learning can help you broaden your perspective and enhance your skills.

Life as a PhD student in UK also provides multiple networking opportunities , such as meeting other PhD students, academics, professionals or experts in your field. You may also have to collaborate with other researchers or institutions on joint projects or publications. Networking can help you build your reputation and connections and find potential mentors or partners.

As a PhD student, you will also need time to relax and unwind from your busy schedule. You may have some hobbies or interests that you enjoy, such as sports, music, art, etc. 

You may also want to explore the UK and its culture, such as visiting museums, landmarks, festivals, etc. Relaxing can help you maintain your well-being and happiness.

Also Read: Top Hangout Spots at/near Oxford University

What are the Benefits of Doing a PhD in UK?

Doing a PhD in UK can offer many benefits and challenges for you as an international student. Some of the benefits are:

Doing a PhD in UK can help you grow as a person, as you will develop your intellectual abilities, creativity, confidence and resilience. You will also learn to work independently and collaboratively, manage your time and resources, and solve complex problems.

Doing a PhD in UK can help you achieve your academic goals, as you will contribute to the advancement of knowledge and innovation in your field. You will also produce a high-quality thesis that showcases your original research and findings.

Doing a PhD in UK can help you develop your career prospects, as you will gain valuable skills and experience that are sought after by employers and academics. You will also have a competitive edge in the global job market and access to various opportunities for further study or work.

Also Read: Best Countries for PhD

Here’s a list of the universities offering top-notch PhD programs in UK according to the QS World University Rankings 2023:

Here’s the list of scholarships for students wanting to pursue a PhD in UK:

  • Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarships
  • Gates Cambridge Scholarship
  • Commonwealth PhD Scholarships for Developing Countries
  • Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation Scholarships
  • Carnegie PhD Scholarships
  • Newton Bhabha Fund
  • Scotland’s Saltire Scholarships
  • Dr Manmohan Singh Scholarships

Also Read: PhD Scholarships in the UK

To sum up, doing a PhD in UK can be an exciting and rewarding experience for international students who want to pursue their passion for research and learning. But it can also be a challenging and demanding journey that requires dedication and perseverance. So, preparing yourself well before you embark on your PhD adventure in the UK is vital.

Ans. The average monthly stipend of a PhD student in UK is around 35000 – 48000 GBP (approx INR 36,32,748 – INR 49,82,054) per year.

Ans. Depending on your goals, interests, and circumstances, doing a PhD in UK can be a rewarding experience. Here are some pros of doing a PhD in UK: You enjoy a diverse, inclusive environment and interact with people from different disciplines and backgrounds. You get great exposure to the markets, industry, and academic community to build your network and reputation. You can upskill in research, analysis, communication, and problem-solving, which are valuable for any career. You get access to extensive and enriched research resources to conduct original and innovative research. You benefit from tax-free stipends that PhD students in UK universities receive, ranging from £15,000 to £17,000 (INR 15.5 – 17.6 LPA).

Ans. A PhD student typically spends 8 hours a day on research-related activities, such as reading, writing, conducting experiments, analysing data, teaching, or attending seminars, while balancing their personal and professional life and coping with stress, challenges, and uncertainties. 

We hope this blog has given you some useful insights into what your life as a PhD student in UK will look like. Want more information on how to pursue study abroad ? Get in touch with the experts at Leverage Edu today!

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Disha Kaira

Disha is an electrical engineer turned writer passionate about bringing a spark (and accuracy) to whatever content she comes across. Whether it's UI/UX Design or writing blogs on abroad education, she relishes every chance to learn and test the limits of her creativity.

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11 Secrets of a PhD in Europe vs USA that Matter

A PHD in Europe or USA?

They’re VERY different!

If you are trying to decide between pursuing a PhD in the USA vs a PhD in the UK, you should think more about which fits you best. There are 11 major differences between the two systems and you need to choose the one that fits you best:

Masters Degree

Typically, in Europe, you would join a PhD program after completing your Master’s degree. In the US, you would spend a few years taking courses (alongside research) to get your Master’s degree.

If you already have a Master’s degree, you may get a course waiver, which could reduce the time needed to complete your PhD.

Most of the US universities ask for GRE and TOEFL in your application for PhD program. But this not mandatory for PhD in europe, including UK and German universities. Though TOEFL, preferably above 90, is highly recommended for international students.

Choose your project before starting your PhD

For PhD in the UK (and Europe) , you need to choose a project before starting your PhD program.

This is different from the US , where you typically apply to a department for your PhD first and your thesis and research evolves in a year or two.

There are no class requirements for a PhD in the UK . You begin your research right away. The assumption is PhD students know their research areas. After all, you start by applying to a professor / lecturer with a research area in mind.

Now, that might be true for some students. Others may want to get exposed to new ideas and potential research topics. In addition, they may also want to have a wider peer group that gets formed in classes.

PhD in US vs Europe: Time to completion

PhD programs in the UK (and rest of Europe) take around 3 to 4 years to complete .

After a PhD in the UK, students generally go on to their postdoctoral research.

In the US , a PhD may take up to 5 or 6 years.

After a PhD in the US , students tend to go directly from graduation to academia or research jobs without a postdoc.

In many UK (and European) universities, there are firm guidelines on just how long a PhD takes and those are more important than individual decisions by a student’s advisers. In comparison, in the US, some students can fly through their PhD in 3 years with tremendous amounts of research, while others can take as long as 8 to 10 years to complete their PhD.

There are different systems within Europe.

In Sweden and other Scandinavian countries, a PhD takes 4 to 5 years and includes additional teaching duties. Students in these schools are considered as employees. They receive monthly salaries which are comparable to the salaries earned by graduate students working in various industries and are taxable as well. A PhD student is allowed to either present or attend at least one conference anywhere in the world, expenses for which are taken care of by the research group.

In Germany, a 4-year PhD is considered too long and funding might not be available after the first three years of the PhD program.

Work-life balance

This point is less about the PhD in question, and more about the cultural difference between the UK (and Europe) and the US, but this could be a factor in your decision making if you are particular about the type of culture around you and the kind of lifestyle you wish to have.

The PhD lifestyle is much more relaxed in the UK (and in Europe). You will have more time for yourself as well as your friends and family in the UK, while pursuing your PhD.

In the US, PhD students are often overworked with more teaching and grading responsibilities. They also have a lot of class work.

PhD in UK vs US: Hierarchical Structure

In the US, PhD students report to and directly interact with their professors, but some of the PhD programs in the UK are headed by the Professor but there is also a Reader and a Lecturer. Students sometimes feel this hampers their flexibility to work, while restricting their exposure to the lab as well as the head of the lab.

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Future opportunities.

Some students feel that the US offers more opportunities to PhD students in academia as well as jobs. This can be true as the US has many universities offering teaching positions as well as companies offering jobs to PhD students.

However, irrespective of whether you earn your PhD from Europe or the US, some experts say you may have to hustle to find a great job after your PhD.

Different Stipend (salary)

For most PhD in the UK (and Europe), stipend (or salary) comes centrally from the universities or from Government research organizations. These stipends (or salaries) may be limited to only 3 years.

In the US , stipend (or salary) comes directly from your supervisor without any limitation on the duration of the PhD. Unlike in big US universities, there are fewer TA responsibilities for PhD students in UK universities.

In many cases, you don’t need to pay tax on your income as a graduate student in the UK (and Europe).

In Germany , international PhD students are funded for 3 years by the German government.

Less Publications

In the UK , you have less chances of getting published . Your time is more focused on your thesis document.

Less Chance of Faculty Position Afterwards

In the US , students opt for faculty positions after receiving their PhD .

This isn’t necessarily the case with PhD students in the UK , who opt for postdoc positions to remain in academia.

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More Similarity Than Differences

The UK (and European) universities are being influenced by the US system. Many UK universities’ Computer Science schools have Doctoral Training Programs which are essentially 4-year PhD programs, with the first year focused on teaching. These programs offer more flexibility about what you end up doing and who you end up working with. Also, these programs often are sponsored by industries, which means these have higher stipends and you may get an adviser in industry.

So, which one to choose – UK (or Europe) PhD vs US PhD?

Apart from the factors mentioned above, you should focus on the quality of the research group and reputation of the professor. You should look at the top conferences about your topic of interest and note where the papers come from. That’s your best clue as to which university / school you should choose.

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Is PhD for me

Is PhD for me

Why a UK PhD is totally worth it for international Students?

Table of contents, 1. international phd students get paid to do a phd, 2. phd in uk may take less time, 3. phd may be easier if you are proactive, 4. a uk phd may turnout useful, faqs about is a phd worth it in uk.

In short, doing a PhD in the UK is totally worth it.

  • First, a UK PhD is shorter in time span but not less in value. You get rigorous academic training meeting highest standards of research internationally.
  • Second, as an international PhD student in UK you have multiple options to fund your PhD. The PhD stipend is usually enough to survive as a single person during your PhD years.
  • Third, you get a lot of opportunities e.g., ICASE studentships, PhD in industry and industry impact programs by UK universities. Such programs can help you gain an industry experience during your PhD.
  • Finally, the graduate work visa options allows you to explore reliable employment opportunities, and further settle in UK.

In this post I will explain why a UK PhD is still worth it. As an international student you may have multiple questions regarding the value of a UK PhD. Also, you may also be concerned about funding opportunities available to you in UK. Let me explain these one by one.

There are many options for international students to do a funded PhD in UK . (a) First, the UK research council (UKRI) allow 30% of funds to be allocated to international PhD students. It is a good amount of funding to fund thousands of students. (b) Second, the International PhD students can apply for independent/ third party scholarships like Commonwealth and many others . (c) Third, in some cases PhD students are funded by industry . In such contract an employer in the UK contact the university to hire a PhD student and sponsor him for the for a specific PhD project. 

International PhD students can also apply for university funds that are allocated to supervisors or any other grant money of the supervisor. However, with such funding PhD students may need to full fill some attached obligations such as assistantship work.

A PhD in industry is very lucrative because (a) PhD stipend offered by the employers offer a higher PhD stipend than university grant, (b) it helps in getting an industry experience during your PhD, and (c) a PhD in the industry extend your network for post PhD employment opportunities.

Usually a PhD take 3 years in the UK. However, there are some cases when PhD students have to extend their contract. If you are an international PhD student this may create problem for you. You are often dependent on your PhD funding. Usually this funding last for 3 years.

In UK, universities often extend their financial support to international PhD students. Anything that is taking longer than that may put you in a financial struggle.

There are some exceptions to 3 year PhD funding duration. Some universities offer an integrated one-year masters program before the start of PhD in UK. This can lengthen the duration as well as funding of your PhD.

Yes, a PhD in UK is a tough job. This is because it takes a lot more effort on average then your Masters or bachelors. A PhD is an independent project and much different than the course work you took during your undergraduate years.

In fact a PhD is a kind of training to make you an independent researcher. Keep in mind that academic research is hard no matter what your field is. That said, a PhD in STEM science can be much harder than a PhD in education or history, for example.

Usually a PhD can feel harder not because of the subject matter of study but it can be challenging in presence of some issues like supervisor and student relationship, the terms of funding, academic culture etc.

Benefits of a PhD in UK. On the other hand, a PhD can benefit you for settling in UK after your PhD. This happen due to the availability of post-graduate work visa which is usually allotted for three years to PhD graduates. On average, three years is a good enough time for a successful PhD graduate to develop a professional network and find an employer that can sponsor them for a skilled worker visa. A skilled worker visa is is a good path to permanent residency in UK which is named as indefinite leave to remain.

Deep Dive: What should I do after doing a PhD in the UK?

PhD in UK can give you many benefits.  On average a PhD student in UK earn a higher salary than an average employee. PhD can also increase your long term earning potential and growth.

Academic career in UK after PhD. If your intention is to pursue a career in academia after PhD than odds might be against you. The reasons are highly competitive UK academic market as well as precarious academic job contracts.

Furthermore, UK PhD graduates are usually not welcomed as post-docs in their own university. For their post-doc, they are expected to move to another institution. This might mean they may have to move out of country. This might be an issue for you if you want to settle in UK after your PhD.

Industry Career in UK after PhD. On the other hand, if you intend to join industry after PhD in UK . Your chances to get good work opportunities and eventually a stable academic career are much higher than academia.

An academic career is always competitive in developed countries because of large supply and low demand of PhD graduates in academia. Academia can only employ so many PhD holders. Thus, more and more universities are focusing on creating an industry impact program for their PhD students. These programs can help PhD graduates to align themselves to UK industry environment.

Further, a PhD is also positively valued by employers in UK, thus, giving you an edge over other applicants, especially in the case of complex and cognitive work opportunities.

Is PhD in UK worth it?

A PhD in UK is surely worth it. First, anyone coming from developing countries or struggling economies will get a fully-funded PhD in UK. Second, it also depend upon your final goals of what you want from your PhD. If you want to move further in academia than make sure your field is not saturated in the UK and good job contracts are available. If you intend to work in industry after your PhD make sure to search about what you are trying to achieve because you may get that industry position with your masters and investing your peak years in PhD might not be a good idea. Finally, a PhD cannot be a magic solution to all of your problems. Remember, PhD is just a training for specific purposes. You should only do the PhD if you intend to achieve those purposes. Otherwise you may regret investing your time in a 3-4 year project which may or may not be financially worthwhile for you.

Is a PhD in UK fully funded for international students?

  Yes, international students are usually paid in UK. International PhD students who received PhD scholarship are usually offered 3 year guaranteed funding for their PhD studies. This means they will get (a) a financial support to survive in UK as well as (b) their tuition fee will be waived. To be eligible for PhD student visa you need to prove your own funds or show a full sponsorship documentation from a grant provider. PhD is usually funded by UK research Council (UKRI), universities, PhD advisor’s grants, independent funding offers for PhD, and scholarships offered by industry employers.

Does a PhD guarantee a job in UK?

  A PhD can boost your chances of getting hired in UK because (a) PhD holders have less employment rate then average industry worker in UK, (b) more and more universities are offering some hybrid form of PhD-including both an academic as well as an industry training component, and (c) UK employers usually do not discriminate PhD holders when hiring.

How competitive are PhD programs UK? 

Getting in a PhD program in UK is fairly competitive or we can say fiercely competitive. However if you are prepared to go extra mile in your application then you can make to a PhD program in UK. To be a successful applicant for a PhD in UK (a) you might need a good score in your masters, (b) a good score in your English proficiency test, (c) a good research proposal, and some other records and online proofs that you are an active student and you can participate in university activities such as teaching assistantships and research conferences.

Can I do PhD after Masters in UK?

In UK, a masters degree is often required for PhD application. In short, you need good grades in masters and an appealing research proposal to be considered for a PhD position in UK. There are exceptions to this when some programs offer an integrated PhD approach. In an integrated PhD international applicants can apply based on their bachelors. This means they need to complete a 1 year research masters training before pursuing their PhD project.

What are the benefits of doing PhD in UK?

There are many benefits of doing PhD in UK . First, you get the opportunity to pursue your research career in a well-structured and a develop academic system of UK. Second,  you are likely to get an industry experience as a postgraduate student. This may benefit you in getting hired after PhD. Third, your PhD will most likely be funded in UK this means you may not have to worry about your monthly expenses or your tuition fee during PhD years. Lastly, a PhD in UK can benefit you to work and settle in UK. Generous visa options like graduate work visa can help you to look for stable employment and apply for permanent residency.

Is it easy to get a PhD in UK?

A PhD is surely a tough journey. In fact, a majority of PhD students report it to be the toughest experience. It is likely to be harder than your undergraduate, masters or any job. In a PhD, you are solely responsible for your PhD project, its progress and success. The thing that makes a PhD harder is not the subject matter you study but the uncertainty on many levels. As a PhD student you are uncertain about the success of your research projects, funding, advisor and peer support as well as about the worth of you degree later.

Which PhDs are in most demand in UK?

In UK, almost all PhD graduates are in demand . Less than 2% people have PhD in UK. This makes the PhD a highly coveted degree. In particular, most of the PhDs in STEM, Business, finance and IT are in great demand by universities as well as industry employers.

Is a 3 year PhD from a UK university considered less valuable than a 5-6 year PhD from a US university?

Well, this depends on what you consider valuable. A UK PhD is shorter, require a masters qualification from you to start, and provide the opportunity to get into job market quickly. For 3 year PhD graduates, post-doc training is considered as a norm to acquire further research competence. On the other hand, a US/ Canadian PhD is longer (takes 7 years on average to complete), do not require a masters qualification from you and provide you an ample time to explore your research area. This may means entering in job market late or with more expertise in your subject.

Why are PhD students paid so little in UK?

Unlike many other European regions, PhD students in the UK are considered as students and not the employees of the university. This makes them eligible for a financial support package during their PhD studies. Financial support is not considered as a salary and is usually tax free. The purpose of a PhD stipend in UK is to just support a single PhD student. 

What should I do after PhD in UK?

After PhD, you are allowed to stay in UK on a graduate work visa. This visa is usually valid for 3 years after PhD. You can pursue post-doc (the next step in an academic career in UK), serve as lecturer, seek out non-teaching jobs, apply for a job in the industry, or start a a business if you are interested in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Is PhD losing its value in UK?

No, a PhD is not losing its value in UK. A PhD is a research degree and it is intended for a specific purpose that is to make you and independent researchers. Although fierce competition and low funding in academia may drown PhDs in low-paying and precarious postdoctoral contracts. Still, a UK PhD can be an asset for highly cognitive jobs, research and development roles and consulting in the industry. Despite stereotypes of the ivory tower, more and more hiring managers are realizing the potential of PhD graduates. This means industry in UK is recognizing that PhD holders can survive and thrive in fast pacing industry.

Is doing a PhD tough in UK?

Doing a PhD in UK is tough. First, the selection criteria is tough. At minimum, you need (a) appealing grades-usually strong upper second class masters degree. (b) a compelling research proposal-aligned with your prospective supervisor’s research as well as with PhD grant provider’s goals. (c) high English proficiency scores-usually more than 7.0 band overall in IELTS or equal in other acceptable tests by UK institutions to even meet the minimum requirements. Second, to complete your PhD in a short span for three years you need to be (a) able to execute and manage your research project independently. No body will spoon feed you like the undergraduate years. Consider it as a job and you PhD supervisor as a supervisor (not a teacher). (b) able to perform other assistantship duties assigned to you efficiently. The part-time on campus work may be consider mandatory for the financial support you get as an international student in UK. Balancing your own PhD project with other academic responsibilities might be tough. Third, PhD that’s worth is tough in UK. To make your PhD worthwhile in UK you need to (a) complete you PhD project as soon as possible-usually 3 years. This is because your PhD funding may run out after that. (b) get some industry experience during your PhD in UK. As more and more students are switching to industry after PhD-to get a stable career, work permit and eventually settle in UK.

Academia Insider

Is a PhD worth it now in 2023? [the data]

Deciding to pursue a PhD is a decision not to be taken lightly. Whether or not it is worth it for you depends on a number of circumstances such as your career goals, financial stability, stage in life, support networks, interest in the subject, ability to self-motivate and so much more.

Arguably, for most people, a PhD is not worth it. If you want to enter academia you have no other option than to do a PhD. However, there is often a much better return on investment from other educational pathways such as master’s, professional degrees and work experience.

For some people, the act of getting a PhD is more than for financial return or reward. They have a deep connection with the subject and want to research it. They are willing to put up with the sacrifices required to do a PhD because of their drive for a particular research field.

 These types of researchers are relatively rare.

This article will go through everything you need to know about whether or not PhD is worth it in 2023 and the most important things you should consider before launching into your PhD application process.

Should I Get A PhD?

Deciding whether or not to pursue a doctoral degree is a huge life decision. It can easily take up to 7 years to get a PhD in some countries.

This is a time when others are laying the foundations of their life and have a job starting to build up experience in their professional field.

Doing a PhD delays adult life for most young PhD students.

PhD regret is a real thing and in my youtube video, I share all of the things you need to be aware of when making the decision to do a PhD.

Study referenced in the video: click here.

A doctorate requires an immense amount of work and dedication. And therefore you need to be absolutely certain it is the right decision for you.

If you have a passion for:

  • teaching at a university,
  • public service,
  • or your job has pay scales that can only be reached with a PhD

then getting a PhD may be a perfect choice.

On the other hand, if you are looking for career advancement opportunities or increased earning potential, then it might not be right for you.

There are other options such as a Masters, graduate diploma, or work experience that could potentially open more career advancement opportunities.

If you want to know more about PhDs check out my other articles:

  • How long does it take to get a PhD? Complete a PhD quickly
  • How long does it take to get a PhD part time? Complete a PhD on your own time. 
  • How difficult is it to get a PhD? The real doctorate struggles.

Is getting your PhD worth it for your career?

A PhD is certainly worth it for many careers, especially those in academia, research and education.

A PhD provides you with the skills to:

  • perform academic research independently,
  • write for peer-reviewed publications,
  • present findings to peers
  • manage a multi-year project with multiple stakeholders
  • teach undergraduate classes
  • and much more

These skills are incredibly valuable and well compensated in some careers .

It is also important to consider that a PhD can also help you develop specialized skills and knowledge that are highly valued in certain industries, such as data science and analytics.

A PhD can open up doors to new opportunities that undergraduate and masters degrees do not.

However, a PhD doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to be compensated better in the workplace with a higher salary.

Let’s take a look at whether or not a PhD is worth it for your finances.

Is a PhD worth it for your finances? Whether a PhD will boost your bank balance. 

Whether or not a PhD is worth it for your finances highly depends on what you’re using your PhD for.

In my experience, a PhD does not guarantee higher wages upon graduation. In fact, it is often a better return on your investment to get a master’s degree and a couple of years of experience in a career to maximise your earning potential.

This is backed up with data.

You can see in the graph below that, on average, the maximum earnings someone can make is with a Masters or professional degree.

IS a PhD worth it? The data of earnings with different levels of education across fields.

Across all of the different subject areas, it is often better to get a professional degree that is directly related to your career rather than pursue a PhD.

It takes many more years to get a PhD and quite bluntly – it does not make financial sense to do a PhD.

For many, the stipend associated with being a PhD student can help to pay for grad school and other expenses during their studies but there is a huge shortfall compared to the wage if you had started a job.

Even if you don’t go into academia, many companies recognize the value of having a PhD but may not offer a financial benefit.

Why is a PhD a bad idea for most people?

Arguably, a PhD is a bad idea for most people because it requires a tremendous amount of time, effort and money to complete, and there are very few job opportunities in academia available.

Also, as we have seen above, it is quite often not financially sensible to pursue a PhD.

Many students embark on a PhD program with the expectation that they will get an academic job upon completion of their studies, but this is not guaranteed. And, is in fact, the exception.

The competition for postdocs and other academic jobs is high and there is no guarantee of job security once you get one.

Having an undergraduate degree already makes you eligible for many jobs outside academia so getting a PhD may not be the best use of your time or resources.

For all these reasons, many people opt out of getting a PhD and pursue alternative career pathways.

What are the Risks of Getting a PhD?

Earning a PhD can be costly both in terms of time and money, and it may take several years to complete a successful doctoral program.

Also, there are many other risks and costs associated with getting a PhD that are not talked about.

These include:

  • return on investment
  • opportunity cost
  • reduced earning potential in early years
  • reduce networking with professionals
  • and many more.

In my YouTube video below I talk about whether or not get a PhD is worth the effort:

Furthermore, there are risks associated with getting a PhD. One risk is that the long timeframe of earning a PhD may lead to burnout or fatigue for the PhD student.

Another risk is the fact that the value of a particular Ph.D may fluctuate over time, so it’s important to consider whether or not the Ph.D will be worth it in the long run.

There’s always a risk that humanity’s understanding of certain fields could change suddenly, rendering an individual’s doctoral degree obsolete or less valuable than anticipated.

For these reasons and more, individuals considering getting a PhD should evaluate their options carefully before making such an important commitment.

Have you thought realistically about your job prospects?

Some people can get very excited thought of doing a PhD. However, this excitement is incredibly short-lived once they realize that there are no job prospects upon graduation.

When considering job prospects, it is important to think realistically about the opportunities available for when you graduate.

For many PhD students, the dream is to secure a tenure-track position in academia. However, this can be difficult with so many PhDs vying for limited positions in universities and colleges.

Therefore, it is important to consider other options outside of academia as well. This isn’t something that many young PhD students want to hear – but it is where most of them will end up.

Many PhDs have found success in fields such as healthcare, finance, and technology.

Additionally, some PhDs have even gone into non-traditional fields such as teaching English abroad or starting their own business.

I chose the pack of starting my own business and have had a much more fulfilling life and satisfaction from that than I ever did during my years in academia.

No matter what path you choose after completing your PhD, it’s important to remember that there are many opportunities out there for PhD students – both inside and outside of academia.

They may not be obvious at the beginning – just keep searching into you find one that excites you.

PhD Degree Alternatives

There are many alternatives to getting a PhD that can still lead to successful career paths in different fields.

Sure, they may not be as prestigious. They may not even be particularly exciting – but for your career, they offer a much better return on your investment both in terms of time and money.

 We have seen, above, that it is actually much better to settle into a career with a Masters and then upskill with various professional degrees until you reach your desired earning potential.

It PhD is not a guaranteed ticket to a higher-paying job – building up credibility and experience in a particular role is.

There are many other degree alternatives including:

  • graduate diplomas
  • professional degrees
  • vocational courses
  • a much more

that can help boost your earning potential.

However, there truly is no alternative to a PhD if you want hard-core research experience and to open up the career pathway to lecturing and research.

For people that want to enter academia I often say that they should have a fallback plan so that when their ideas of becoming a researcher fall away they have a comfortable and realistic backup plan that they would enjoy.

You’ll be amazed how many people don’t know what they would do if they won’t in academia. In today’s highly competitive world that is not good enough.

It is important to explore all of one’s options before committing to pursuing a PhD degree so that they can make an informed decision about their future career path.

Wrapping up

This article has been through everything you need to know about whether or not a PhD is worth it now and all of the important questions you need to ask yourself.

You need to look at your career goals, the financial gains you expect to make with a PhD and what other opportunities open up upon graduation.

However, there are some extreme costs that come with letting a PhD including reduced earning potential for many years, stressing and anxiety, reduction in professional experience, and many others which will need to be addressed if you decide to go down the postgraduate PhD route.

Whatever you decide I hope that this article has provided you with enough formation to help make a decision one way or another.

is phd in uk worth it

Dr Andrew Stapleton has a Masters and PhD in Chemistry from the UK and Australia. He has many years of research experience and has worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate at a number of Universities. Although having secured funding for his own research, he left academia to help others with his YouTube channel all about the inner workings of academia and how to make it work for you.

Thank you for visiting Academia Insider.

We are here to help you navigate Academia as painlessly as possible. We are supported by our readers and by visiting you are helping us earn a small amount through ads and affiliate revenue - Thank you!

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is phd in uk worth it

How Long Is a PHD UK?

  • Katie Baker
  • September 26, 2023

is phd in uk worth it

For full-time students, a PhD in the UK typically takes three to four years. For PhD candidates who opt to study their doctoral research around work or other commitments, completing a PhD can take six to seven years. Thesis deadline extensions can be granted for up to four years; however, this will always be at the university’s discretion. 

Whether you want to complete your PhD in the UK full-time or part-time; it is a big commitment, which shouldn’t be taken lightly. The gratification may not be immediate, but the rewards can be lifelong when considering the professional careers that are more accessible for PhD holders, the increased earning potential and the sense of satisfaction that comes with creating unique knowledge and gaining a title only a minute fraction of the global population will only acquire.

How Long Is a PhD UK?

In addition to the average durations for part-time and full-time PhD study, there are additional time limits on how long students can be enrolled on a PhD program; this applies to students who have self-proposed their research idea and students who have been selected for a PhD program with pre-defined aims and objectives.

Full-Time and Part-Time PhDs in the UK

Typically, from start to finish, a full-time PhD in the UK will take 3 – 4 years to complete. Most full-time PhD students will spend the first three years undertaking independent research with the support of PhD supervisors, designing research methodology, collating data and analysing it. Most students will then take an additional academic year to write their thesis and sit their oral examination.

Of course, these timelines will vary with every PhD candidate. Some PhD students start their doctoral research with a solid idea of how they will approach their methodology and thesis, while others will need to go through more of a process of trial and error. Some PhD students get to the writing up stage quicker than others, writing a thesis should never be a race to the finish; doctoral research is a valuable and vital contribution to academic knowledge.

More often than not, it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dedicate your time and energy to research. Although, it isn’t unheard of for people to have multiple PhDs.

For part-time PhD students, researching, collecting data and outlining it concisely in your thesis typically takes twice as long. This timeframe is based on the assumption that part-time PhD students will dedicate 20 hours weekly to their doctoral research, while full-time students will, on average, spend 40 hours a week on their PhD. 

Of course, there is no clocking in or out when you are a PhD student. The vast majority of your time will be spent partaking in independent research, and there will always be periods that are busier than others. Many PhD students find that the writing-up stage is the busiest. 

Blonde woman wearing a blue jumper drinking a coffee while deciding to study a PhD in London

How Long is a PhD for Distance Learners in the UK?

Completing a PhD by distance learning is similar to being a part-time PhD student. Many distance-learning doctoral students need six to seven years on average to finish their research, thesis, and viva. This timeframe typically boils down to how much time PhD candidates need to spend commuting to universities, which usually restricts the ability for full-time learning. 

The duration for distance learners is also highly dependent on the research in question. For example, PhD students digging into STEM research will take longer to complete their doctoral degrees – compared to those conducting research into non-STEM disciplines, such as the arts, humanities and social sciences. For non-STEM disciplines, students can conduct the majority of their research remotely, whereas STEM students will need access to labs or other equipment to carry out their experimental work. 

Does Funding Affect PhD Duration in the UK?

In an ideal world, funding wouldn’t affect how much time a PhD student can dedicate to their research and thesis. Unfortunately, for many full-time, part-time, and distance-learning PhD students, funding is a primary factor in the duration of their studying.

Typically, funding and studentships will only cover PhD students for three and a half years for full-time students, while part-time students can expect funding for seven years at a rate of half the stipend. However, this depends on the program you have applied for, and who is providing the PhD funding. 

For example, if you are a physical sciences or engineering student and your funding is being paid by the EPSRC, you will need to follow the timescale which is indicated on their length of PhD Studentship guidelines. Due to this timeframe, most students funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council aim to complete their PhD within 3.5 years. Failing to complete the PhD within the 3.5-year timeframe could incur additional fees, which need to be independently covered. 

Furthermore, several funded PhD positions and programs have additional components attached to the eligibility requirements that require PhD students to undertake duties such as undergraduate teaching, laboratory session hosting or attendance at conferences and presentations. Even though these additional conditions shouldn’t prolong the duration of your PhD to an excessive degree, they can marginally add to the time it takes to complete a PhD program. For PhD candidates with these kinds of studentships and funding agreements, it is vital to have exceptional time management skills. 

Finally, self-funded PhD students can also feel constricted by their financial situations and feel the pressure to complete a PhD quicker than students who enjoy the security of attached funding. In addition to annual tuition fees, there are other associated costs and living expenses to account for. However, this isn’t always the case; some self-funded PhD students feel free to take their time to ensure their research is as valuable as possible.

PhD Deadlines in the UK

Each university in the UK has its way of setting deadlines. However, typically, the PhD deadline for full-time and part-time students is the date by which you need to submit your final thesis. 

For most UK universities, the deadline date is four years on from the start of your doctoral degree for full-time students and seven years for part-time PhD students. The start date will be when you were registered for the PhD program. Some UK universities also opt to set a minimum period of years or adjust the timeframe around relevant integrated studies.

Can PhDs Be Completed Faster Than the Average Timeframes?

While full-time students can complete their PhDs within two years or even 12 months from enrolling on their program, it certainly isn’t something that you should realistically aim for. Completing a PhD in under three years is a significant achievement, so much so that it is rarely heard of in the UK. 

The only students who have managed to complete their PhD thesis and pass their viva are students who enrolled on a program with extensive pre-existing experience and knowledge.

It is marginally more common for part-time students to complete their PhD in under six years. This largely depends on existing experience and knowledge and which commitments you are studying around. If you are a PhD student with part-time employment, it is highly unlikely that you will have the time to complete your PhD a year sooner; attempting such an achievement could leave you at risk of burnout. Alternatively, if you are a freelancer and your workflow often permits you to dedicate more time to your PhD, it can be possible for you to allocate more time to your research and writing.

Male student typing on his laptop

Other Factors in the Rate of Progression for PhD Students

Many international students who choose a UK university to complete their doctoral research wonder if it will take longer to complete their PhD compared to domestic students. The good news is, as an international student in the UK, there is no indicative data to dictate that your period of study will be longer. 

Similarly, students who chose direct entry into a PhD program from a bachelor’s degree instead of studying a master’s degree beforehand are often anxious that they will find it hard to keep pace with their master’s degree-holding counterparts. Again, no evidence only holding an undergraduate degree will limit the rate of progression. A PhD differs from a bachelor’s and most master’s degrees due to its independent research focus; there are no right answers or curriculums to follow. With that being said, studying a Master’s degree before a PhD could help you to get more acquainted with a speciality topic, which was only briefly introduced to you in your bachelor’s degree.

EU & US vs UK PhD Durations

UK PhD programs follow the same structure and timeframes as European PhD programs. However, there is a slight difference compared to US PhD programs, which take longer to complete, based on a 2017 study. The study revealed that it takes 5.8 years on average to complete a PhD in the US.

The average timeframe is even longer when looking at arts and humanities PhDs in the US; they typically take 7.1 years to obtain. The primary reason for this is the additional directed study requirements imposed on US PhD candidates.

Is a PhD worth it?

So, you might be asking yourself, is a PhD worth it ? Well, that’s subjective. career prospects for students upon finishing their PhD will be influenced by the nature of their research as well as their prior experiences and skills. While we can’t outline all potential job opportunities, it’s important to recognise that numerous diverse paths and organisations typically seek individuals with specialised expertise and advanced educational qualifications.

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Is a phd worth it, published by steve tippins on may 26, 2020 may 26, 2020.

Last Updated on: 30th August 2022, 04:22 am

Is a PhD worth it? That depends on who’s asking. If you’re talking about the educational benefits, the opportunity to make new discoveries, or the chance to make a difference, then the answer is almost always a resounding “yes.” However, if you’re talking about purely economic benefits, the answer is almost always “no.” A combination of them both? It depends.

In this article, I’ll explore two answers to the question, “Is a PhD worth it?” and the reasons for each. Ultimately, whether a PhD is worth it for you depends on your reasons for getting it. So let’s dive into those.

A PhD is worth it when what you gain–by way of knowledge, experience, credentials, and opportunities–is more valuable to you than what you gave up in order to get it. In terms of time, money, cost to relationships, and stress, a PhD costs an incredible amount. So what makes it worth the cost? Let’s explore that below.

When a PhD Is Worth It

Here are some of the reasons a PhD is worth it for some people.

group of women working together all on separate laptops

Is a PhD worth it if you’re motivated by learning? Absolutely. A PhD program is one of the most intense learning opportunities available anywhere. If you are passionate about a certain subject and want to work at a high level in the field, then a PhD program is the right bet. 

As one former PhD candidate said to me, “There’s so much learning that happens. I didn’t finish but I still think it was worth it to do the program because of all the things I learned about my subject area and about research and about myself. All the things I learned about how I related to the topic.”

Critical Thinking

When you go through a PhD program, you become a much better consumer of information–and not just academic information. You begin to question, “where did that come from? What’s the source?” This includes advertisements, news, and anything else you may be reading or listening to.

You also understand what studies are actually saying. You’re better able to understand research and consider its implications and shortcomings.


woman in a white jacket smiling while handing documents to somebody

Just having a PhD affords you a level of respect and assumed expertise that is difficult to come by. We used to have calling cards–that was the way people introduced themselves to a new place, which would come along with recommendations from friends. Now a PhD takes the place of that. 

Generally, people have positive assumptions about you if you have those letters after your name. You’re controlling what people think about you just by having those three letters after your name. 

For example, If you want to publish a book, having a PhD in the field you’re writing about you’re much more likely to be published. And once you’re published, more likely to be promoted, interviewed about your book, etc. Having a PhD can also open you up to grant opportunities, giving you credibility for these types of opportunities.

Social Change

For better of for worse, having this credential is one of the ways that people run the world. It gives you more social capital and economic power. If used for the betterment of the community, this can be a huge opportunity to affect positive social change. It puts you in a position to make changes to some things. In education, it can put you into leadership positions.

african american woman with short hair and a white jacket smiling towards the camera

Besides being recognized as an expert, having a PhD can also give you the confidence to go out and do things that you wouldn’t have done before. As one of society’s experts, you are trusted to be on the cutting edge of your area of expertise. Whether that means starting a business or non-profit, writing a book, giving talks, or something entirely different, you can make great strides. It’s not just because society trusts you, but having a PhD increases your trust of yourself–and your moral responsibility to use the power of your position to benefit others.

Ability to Get Through Anything

A PhD program is one of the most challenging experiences you can put yourself through . By going through the rigorous process of getting a PhD, you gain the confidence and experience necessary to handle challenges in just about every other area as well.

Academic Career

african american professor asking questions to his students

If you want an academic career today, you’ll pretty much need a PhD. Community colleges used to hire people with master’s degrees. Now when they’re searching, they pretty much ask for a PhD. While a PhD can’t guarantee an academic career, it is a prerequisite. 

Non-Academic jobs

If you want more flexibility in the work that you do, a PhD helps. Many PhDs go on to do consulting work in their field.

A lot of organizations need people with PhDs for accreditation purposes. This is true of colleges, of course. But there are also other organizations, like consulting firms. They need a high number of people with PhDs to give the organization credibility.

Intrinsic Reward

A PhD program is a level of rigor that not many people get to. Finishing it produces an intrinsic reward that comes from accomplishing something extremely difficult. There’s a feeling of accomplishment that you don’t get with anything else. It’s not an easy thing to do, and there’s some reward in that. 

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When a PhD Is not Worth It

The rewards for a PhD may be great, but it can also cost an incredible amount, in all areas of your life. Let’s consider these costs.

The Cost of Not Finishing

woman stressing about calculating her budget in her home kitchen

Fifty percent of the people who start a PhD program don’t finish. Nobody goes into it thinking “i’m not going to finish,” but half of them don’t. It’s incredibly expensive to not finish since you don’t get the payoff that comes with the degree. 

“I got a lot of psychic rewards, but I’m still paying lots of money in student loans and will be for the rest of my life–and will be for the rest of my life,” said one former PhD candidate who did not complete her program. 

Will you be totally devastated financially or otherwise if you don’t finish? That’s a very real possibility, so it’s important to consider what the consequences would be, even if you fully intend to finish. You have to ask yourself that question, is it worth it if I don’t end up with a degree? 

Family Sacrifice

Sacrifice to the family is a big reason why a PhD program may not be worth it. Some people get divorced during the process–not only because it’s so much time away from the family but also because the person getting the doctorate is very intellectually focused, and that can be hard on a relationship .

If you have children, the sacrifice can be double. You will miss baseball games, recitals, vacations, and weekends. You’ll be in your PhD program for several years, and you won’t be able to be as present in your children’s lives for that time period. While many parents do successfully complete PhD programs and manage to be wonderful, loving parents at the same time, it’s an incredibly difficult balancing act.

man with a beard holding his child in his lap while working

Foregone Earnings

When in a PhD program, you don’t get to work full time at your regular job for around 3-6 years. There are PhD programs that allow you to work while you’re doing it, but it’s very difficult. And if you have a family too? That’s incredibly difficult. There are some professions where people make enough yearly income where it’s not financially worth the lost income to get a PhD. That’s why you don’t see many Accounting PhDs.

Proving Yourself

If you’re getting a PhD in order to prove to parents or an ex-boyfriend that you have value, that’s not going to get you through it.  It doesn’t carry you through the whole degree. It might give you a lot of energy at the beginning, but it won’t last for three or six years. It won’t provide you with the resilience and fortitude necessary to make it through the toughest times. And anyway, counseling is cheaper.

Other Costs

I know from experience that getting a PhD increases your cheez-it consumption. Alright, that may just have been me. But it is important to consider what the costs will be to you in your particular situation. Give these costs serious consideration.

Is a PhD Worth It? An Economic Perspective

top view of coins and dollar bills on a white table

Will your salary go up enough to justify the cost? The answer is almost universally “no.”

If you’re going to continue working for the same company, you could ask them how much more your pay would be (if they would raise it) if you had a PhD. You could amortize that over how many years you plan to work.

However, generally speaking, the economic gains do not justify the economic costs .

If you can combine the economic and psychic reasons, it can be worth it for some people. But if you’re just doing the numbers in terms of how much you’ll make and how much you’ll pay, it’s probably not worth it.

Getting a PhD will likely boost your income and it does give you more options, but that may not justify the costs, economically speaking. Unless there are other bolstering reasons, I’d say it’s not worth it.

Steve Tippins

Steve Tippins, PhD, has thrived in academia for over thirty years. He continues to love teaching in addition to coaching recent PhD graduates as well as students writing their dissertations. Learn more about his dissertation coaching and career coaching services. Book a Free Consultation with Steve Tippins

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Jeremy Kyle Show guest felt ‘life not worth living’, inquest hears

Steve Dymond was found dead at his flat in Portsmouth in 2019, seven days after filming for ITV programme

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A man who died after appearing on the Jeremy Kyle Show felt that “life was not worth living” and had considered jumping out of the taxi on his way home, an inquest has heard.

Steve Dymond, 63, was found dead at his flat in Portsmouth, Hampshire, seven days after filming for the ITV programme in May 2019.

He had taken a lie detector test for the show after being accused of cheating on his ex-fiancee Jane Callaghan, from Gosport.

Hampshire coroner Jason Pegg has previously ruled that Kyle had called Dymond a “serial liar” and told his guest he “would not trust him with a chocolate button”.

Claire Overman, representing Dymond’s brother, Leslie Dymond, and son, Carl Woolley, told a preliminary hearing at Winchester that Leslie Dymond said his brother had told him that the audience had “booed and hissed” at him.

Overman said Dymond had told his brother that he was “incredibly stressed”, in tears and on the “point of collapsing”.

She added that his brother also said that Dymond had told him that he was “completely broken” and was “consumed by what happened on the show” and had talked about considering “jumping out of the taxi on the way home”.

The brother said that it was “like he had been brainwashed, he [Steve Dymond] said he was worthless and couldn’t go on living”, Overman added.

Neil Sheldon KC, representing Kyle, said that footage from the programme showed the reality of what had happened.

In submissions to the court about the admissibility of Leslie Dymond’s statement, Kyle’s lawyers alleged that Leslie Dymond had visited his cousin, Gerald Brierley, in early May 2019 and “speculated” over whether his brother’s experience on the Jeremy Kyle Show might have triggered his death.

They alleged that Brierley had agreed to help Leslie Dymond with the preparation of his evidence, including the statement, in return for a share of any compensation obtained from ITV.

Pegg said that Leslie Dymond had been ruled as medically unfit to attend the full inquest. He said that he would accept his written statement as evidence but then make a decision on its reliability.

The coroner said that the scope of the inquest would cover Steve Dymond’s involvement with the ITV show but also his personal relationships.

He said: “It’s quite relevant there were other things going on in Mr Dymond’s life at the time of his passing.

“He had been on the Jeremy Kyle Show but I intend, and have always intended, that clearly the breakdown of Mr Dymond’s relationship with Jane Callaghan, which appeared to be the catalyst for going on the Jeremy Kyle Show, and interactions with others around him are relevant and fall in the scope of the inquest.”

Pegg added: “This inquest must focus on the death of Steve Dymond, other matters or other systemic issues that may or may not have existed at the time in relation to other production companies or programmes on TV.

“The inquest will focus on the processes in place with regards to his selection, his attendance for filming and the after care in filming, the other systemic issues are not.”

Pegg said that the full inquest would be held from 3 to 9 September.

In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on freephone 116 123, or email [email protected] or [email protected] . In the US, you can call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 988, chat on 988lifeline.org , or text HOME to 741741 to connect with a crisis counselor. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at befrienders.org .






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    Measuring worth in a purely financial and employment point of view, PhDs have better outcomes than masters or first-degree graduates. Across the UK, 95 per cent of PhDs 15 months after leaving ...

  3. Is a PhD Worth it?

    Is it really worth doing a PhD and getting a doctorate? We've looked at careers and employment prospects as well as the skills you'll gain. ... The vast majority of university researchers and lecturers in countries like the UK do have a PhD. But that doesn't mean that the majority of PhD graduates go on to become university researchers and ...

  4. PhD Study in the UK

    Priority research areas - On top of all the support the UK already provides for PhD study, additional funding is currently being made available for pioneering work in AI and related fields. New post-study work visas - A Graduate Route visa is available to international students completing a PhD from summer 2021 onwards. It allows you to ...

  5. What a PhD Actually Looks Like in the UK

    A UK PhD viva usually involves two examiners: one 'internal examiner' from within your university and one 'external examiner' from another institution. Both will read your thesis in advance and then question you about it. It is your job to 'defend' your findings and conclusions in order to prove the value of your research and confirm the PhD is ...

  6. Is a PhD Worth it UK

    If you are wondering if it is worth doing a PhD in the UK the answer is yes! Whether you want to become a PhD candidate through an unquenchable thirst for knowledge in any given field or to further your career by becoming more employable, PhDs are highly valuable in the UK. PhDs provide candidates with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ...

  7. What is a PhD?

    A PhD is the highest postgraduate-level qualification offered by universities in the UK. It's for those who are looking to build on what they studied during their master's degree, or for those currently working who wish to research a particular area within their field. PhDs are research-based degrees. The student comes up with an original ...

  8. How to apply for a PhD in the UK

    There won't typically be an application fee for PhDs but there are tuition fees. If a university does charge application fees they will usually be between £50-£100. The tuition fees for students studying in the UK are set by UK Research and Innovation. Fees for international students are £18,975 for non-lab-based subjects, and £22,975 for ...

  9. Is Doing a PhD Worth It?

    A PhD is the highest globally recognised postgraduate degree that higher education institutions can award. The degree, which is awarded to candidates who demonstrate original and extensive research in a particular field of study, is not only invaluable in itself, but can lead to improves job prospects, a higher salary on average, and sets you ...

  10. Should You Do A PhD? Here's When A PhD Is Worth It

    A PhD is absolutely worth it if you want to make a difference, contribute to your field of study, gain tons of hard and soft transferable skills, and ultimately become an expert in what you do best. By working on something you love that's totally dictated by your area of expertise is a dream. Yes, you have a tutor to guide you and you'll ...

  11. PhD In UK 2024: Fees, Top Colleges, Placement And Salaries

    The table below showcases some of the prominent universities for PhD in the UK for international students: Name Of The University. Average Tuition Fees. QS Ranking 2023. University of Oxford. £25,000 - £30,000. 4. Imperial College London. £20,000 - £40,000.

  12. Doing PhD In the UK: Pros and Cons

    By enrolling yourself in a Ph.D. program, you would be aware that it is quite a challenging field and that you will be exerting all your energy towards it. But this is a very healthy and beneficial activity for you, for it would help you in staying motivated and sticking to the cause in this competitive world. Cons of Pursuing a Ph.D.

  13. Is a PhD Worth It? Should I Do a PhD?

    When a PhD Could Be Worth It. 1. Passion for a topic and sheer joy of research. The contribution you make to progressing research is valuable in it's own right. If you enjoy research, can get funding and are passionate about a subject by all means go and do the PhD and I doubt you'll regret it. 2.

  14. Going to Study PhD in UK? Here's What Your Life as a PhD Student Will

    Is it worth doing a PhD in UK? Ans. Depending on your goals, interests, and circumstances, doing a PhD in UK can be a rewarding experience. Here are some pros of doing a PhD in UK: You enjoy a diverse, inclusive environment and interact with people from different disciplines and backgrounds.

  15. Top 20 UK Universities for PhD Study in 2024

    With 11 universities in the top 100 THE ranking, the UK has more top-ranked universities than any other European country. In fact, the only other country to beat the UK globally is the USA. But, unlike the USA, all the UK's top universities are publicly funded, reflecting their substantial investment in higher education.

  16. 11 Secrets of a PhD in Europe vs USA that Matter

    PhD in US vs Europe: Time to completion. PhD programs in the UK (and rest of Europe) take around 3 to 4 years to complete.. After a PhD in the UK, students generally go on to their postdoctoral research. In the US, a PhD may take up to 5 or 6 years.. After a PhD in the US, students tend to go directly from graduation to academia or research jobs without a postdoc.

  17. Why a UK PhD is totally worth it for international Students?

    A PhD in industry is very lucrative because (a) PhD stipend offered by the employers offer a higher PhD stipend than university grant, (b) it helps in getting an industry experience during your PhD, and (c) a PhD in the industry extend your network for post PhD employment opportunities. 2. PhD in UK may take less time.

  18. Is a PhD worth it now in 2023? [the data]

    Published on: February 24, 2023. Deciding to pursue a PhD is a decision not to be taken lightly. Whether or not it is worth it for you depends on a number of circumstances such as your career goals, financial stability, stage in life, support networks, interest in the subject, ability to self-motivate and so much more.

  19. Is a PhD Worth It? The Pros and Cons of Getting a Doctorate

    A doctorate degree commitment can affect more than just you, so be sure you're factoring that into your decision. Review specifically which PhD would be best for you and your field progression. Research your chosen field carefully and evaluate the job market before you finalize your degree choice. Once you've selected your degree, stay ...

  20. How Long Is a PHD UK?

    For PhD candidates who opt to study their doctoral research around work or other commitments, completing a PhD can take six to seven years. Thesis deadline extensions can be granted for up to four years; however, this will always be at the university's discretion. Whether you want to complete your PhD in the UK full-time or part-time; it is a ...

  21. Is a PhD Worth It?

    Is a PhD worth it? That depends on who's asking. If you're talking about the educational benefits, the opportunity to make new discoveries, or the chance to make a difference, then the answer is almost always a resounding "yes.". However, if you're talking about purely economic benefits, the answer is almost always "no.".

  22. Applying for a PhD in the UK| FindAPhD.com

    There are over 150 universities in the UK. The vast majority are public universities, meaning that they receive funding (including budgets for PhD studentships) from the UK Government.All British universities are free to pursue their own research objectives, but the amount of funding each institution receives is partly based on regular assessments of its performance as part of the Research ...

  23. The Realities of Funding a PhD with the UK Doctoral Loan

    The simple answer is no, not if you are intending to use the loan to fund your whole PhD. I started my course full-time in October 2019. Having applied for the total amount according to my start date (£25,700), I receive £6,425 a year. The average tuition fees for PhD study in the UK are around £4,327 per year, which leaves about £2,000 for ...

  24. Jeremy Kyle Show guest felt 'life not worth living', inquest hears

    A man who died after appearing on the Jeremy Kyle Show felt that "life was not worth living" and had considered jumping out of the taxi on his way home, an inquest has heard. Steve Dymond was found dead at his flat in Portsmouth, Hampshire, seven days after filming for the ITV programme in May 2019. He had taken a lie detector test for the ...