What Are The Different Steps Of A UK PhD Doctoral Program?
The PhD doctorate program, in another sense, is a high-level research degree. At this level, the students start designing their original research instead of replicating others’ work. In this way, PhD program is a tool to build scientists in every field. This is because the student cannot earn a doctorate degree without polishing his/her analytical or critical thinking skills. In the UK, for getting a PhD degree, students should pass through different stages or steps. In general, the steps of a UK PhD doctoral program start from proposal submission and ends with getting a degree. There are other steps in between these two as well. In this article, we will overview different steps that collectively form a UK PhD doctoral program.
Steps of a UK PhD doctoral program
In general, the PhD journey starts from the selection of a supervisor. After getting approval from a permanent supervisor at UK University, the next step is the submission of the application. If we narrow down the concept, the PhD journey starts from making a proposal. This is because for getting approval the students should have a PhD research roadmap.
Step 1: Writing A Proposal
Though writing a research proposal does not lie in UK PhD doctoral program’s steps, in a true sense, it is a part of the PhD application process. But since the whole the research is a part of the PhD doctoral program and mostly depends on the research proposals, we are listing some essentials here. In the UK, you must submit an outstanding research proposal to the supervisor. You can take help from a PhD dissertation writing service. After slight amendments, the supervisor allows you to get registered. Afterwards, the university will notify you about the next steps.
Step 2: Completing the coursework
The next step depends on the student’s choice. Universities in the UK allow students to complete PhD program in three to five years. During the suggested time, the student can either start the PhD doctoral program from course work or take research first. But most of the time, especially in life sciences, students choose the coursework first. The reason is that during coursework, students get enough time to prepare for the research. The life sciences students have to arrange chemicals and apparatus on the contrary. During coursework, they are used to arranging these things to smooth their research path. Apart from all, students have full choice to complete the credit hours as feasible for them.
Step 3: Comprehensive exams
Comprehensive examinations enable teachers to assess a student’s area of expertise before starting a thesis. Though the comprehensive exam has a slightly different process in different disciplines, students have to pass comprehensive exams after completing the coursework. So, it is another important step in PhD doctoral programs in UK.
Step 4: Writing a thesis
In the PhD doctoral program, the major part comprises a thesis. In other words, about two-thirds of a PhD course deals with dissertation writing. Remember, a PhD level dissertation is not as easy as an undergraduate or graduate one. In these programs, students often replicate others’ work and present them in their thesis. However, in PhD, a full proof research planning and its uniqueness is of paramount importance. It requires good writing as well as researching skills. For writing a PhD dissertation, the students also need to improve their critical evaluation. The thin critical analysis is the biggest pitfall that a doctorate-level student must avoid. In short, it will not be wrong to say that writing a PhD dissertation is the longest and toughest step in a PhD doctoral program.
Step 5: Research paper publications
At the doctorate level, the most common concern of both scholars and supervisors is research paper publication. The number of publications compulsory for students to get a PhD degree vary among different universities in UK. In some universities, one publication is more than enough. In contrast, others require a student to have at least three publications at this level. After all, the greater number of scientific publications is good for an academic career as well as the professional career of students. Despite this, the journey of scientific publications never ends. Even after getting the degree, PhD holders struggle to increase their number of research paper publications. Hence, it is another important step in PhD doctoral program especially, in UK.
Step 6: Preparation for viva voice/defense
No doubt the PhD journey is full of ups and downs, it sometimes gets on student’s nerves. Facing thick and thin and remain persevere is the ultimate faith of PhD scholars. Remember, the best way to succeed is persistence. Your persistence will surely bring you closer to earn this humble research degree. After completing the thesis writing step, the next thing to do is getting prepare for viva voice. In this step, the scholar’s enthusiasm and passion for research enlighten the path. Passing the viva voice leads a student towards the last step- thesis defense. In defense, the students have to give a presentation in front of the faculty members (both internal and external) and plenty of other scholars. After the presentation, the house remains open for discussions and questions. Actually, this is the last step in the UK PhD doctoral program.
Step 7: Waiting for becoming a PhD degree holder
Though, the last step in UK PhD doctoral program is thesis’s defense, waiting for becoming a PhD degree holder is one of the slowest stages in a scholar’s life. At this step, the scholars wait for getting the fruits of their non-stop effort in the PhD journey. Usually, in the UK, the time interval between defense and getting a degree is not as much longer as seem to students. Also, the excitement to finally become a Doctor of Philosophy in respective discipline dilates the period.
As a big picture, the UK PhD doctoral program lasts for three to five years. It is up to students whether to complete it faster or not. No doubt, everybody has his own experiences in the PhD journey; but the above eight steps are rather general. Almost all students, irrespective of the discipline, pass through these steps to grasp a PhD degree. In fact, all eight steps are important but writing a dissertation is the most difficult one. The students often complain about it, but it is solid proof of your academic efforts left behind. In the end, remember, your courage and persistence can help you to smoothly pass through these steps.
To conclude, the UK PhD doctoral program is an extensive journey that requires several steps to be completed in order to be a doctorate. From submitting the proposal to waiting for final degree, students in the UK go through some complex stages that eventually pay dividends to them for their hard work.