I’m currently in the process of applying for a PhD (eek!), so I thought I would give you guys some things I wish I had known a few months ago.
1. You do not need a Masters. I was under the impression that I needed a Masters to even be considered for a PhD, this is not at all the case. If you have relevant experience you will definately be considered.
2. You can apply for Open PhDs. Myself and some of my friends thought that you could only apply to set research projects advertised by the University, this is not true. I would recommend speaking to a lecturer whose research you are interested in, and seeing if they would be willing to take you on – if they agree you can go through a different application process.
3. Don’t doubt yourself. I know that pretty much every other student I’ve spoken to also feels that they aren’t good enough for a PhD yet – this isn’t true, it is 100% just nerves talking. Some of my friends have already received offers, despite doubting themselves.
4. Pick relevant modules. If you know what you want to do, make sure you pick relevant final year modules and try to fit in as much volunteering as possible. It will definitely help your application.
5. Start thinking of references. This is an odd one, but make sure you’re thinking of who you can use as a reference. You can definitely use your personal tutor, but sometimes it can be difficult to think of somebody else to use. Final year project supervisors are always a good choice, so make sure you speak to them and ask them if they wouldn’t mind being your referee.