Tel: 0208 123 3774


[email protected]
Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm

Original PhD Blog

Find out the latest industry news from PhD requirements, the top programs in the UK, to PhD level study tips.

Over 45 and thinking of going back to University? Here’s what you need to know

It is difficult to make the decision to go back into education especially after a period of time working or in a career. If you’re over the age of 45 and you’ve made the brave choice to give education another chance there are a few things you should know about tertiary education in 2019.  Re-entering…

Read More

How becoming a mature student could help to change your career

When thinking about students most people envisage the transition from teenage years to early adulthood, of partying and late nights in the library. However there is a portion of students who are choosing to undertake studies later in life. Becoming a mature student has the ability to elevate your CV beyond its previous iteration, and…

Read More

Top 10 Most Popular PhD Programmes in the UK

The UK has remained a pioneer in the history of offering top-quality higher education. It is also home to some of the most reputed and high-ranking universities in the world which offer excellent education along with world class amenities and modern infrastructure to its students. With so many universities offering a variety of courses in…

Read More

Top 10 Post-Graduate Programmes in Finance in the UK

In order to pursue a successful career in the field of finance, a post-graduate degree has become a must-have for any student. More and more students are enrolling in these courses so that they can further their career. The UK has a number of universities that offer such courses to students from around the world.…

Read More

Choosing between an MBA and PhD in Finance: Top 10 Things to Consider

Having an advanced degree has become a necessity in the professional arena today. However, it is not always a simple decision for Finance students. On the one hand, they could opt for an MBA in Finance, which could help their careers in blossoming, but on the other side is the option of enrolling a PhD…

Read More

How to Choose a Topic for Your PhD Thesis

A PhD is a degree that can not only boost your career ambitions but also help in improving your overall profile. Achieving such a degree involves the completion of several important tasks. One of the fundamental tasks is to choose the right topic for your PhD thesis. Without the right topic, you simply cannot expect…

Read More

Over 45 and thinking of going back to University? Here’s what you need to know

0 Comments

It is difficult to make the decision to go back into education especially after a period of time working or in a career. If you’re over the age of 45 and you’ve made the brave choice to give education another chance there are a few things you should know about tertiary education in 2019.  Re-entering the academic arena as a person over the age of 45 has both benefits and disadvantages, and we have listed the most common examples below.

You will stand out in class

This will probably go without saying, but I will say it anyway. You are going to be noticed by your fellow classmates, and while it shouldn’t really bother you by now it is an important point to remember. One of the most noticeable ways that mature students stand out from their younger peers is that the lecturers can often relate more closely to the older classmates. There are a good number of students who will blend into the group of teenagers, but you being older will mean you are easily identifiable to both the class and lecturers alike.  Communication with lecturers via email is often a lot easier and more specific when you are a mature student, mainly because the teacher is bound to know who you are but also because they will address you in a different manner.

Your age is an advantage and a disadvantage

While I doubt making friends was your primary aim when becoming a mature student, it is important to realise that being older than your classmates does alienate you a little bit. This is not to say that they mean to alienate you, nor does it mean that you can’t bridge the gap by taking the time to talk to them but to begin with you will be naturally more distant to them than people their own age.

Being older means that you tend to know your strengths and weaknesses, and will have an easier time planning out work. People tend to get more pragmatic as they age, so while you will probably witness your teenage classmates struggling with their social life and deadlines, you will have it under control.

You will need to be computer literate

The majority of people whether they be older or younger are coming to terms with basic computer literacy. However, it is important to remember that not everyone knows their way around a computer. If you are over 45 and you are thinking of heading back to university it is important to realise that you will be required to have at least a general understanding of how to use a computer. Word processing has taken over from the hand written essays of yesteryear and you will need to learn how to appropriately type up an essay using in a word processing document. Becoming familiar with basic university requirements with regards to how to appropriately process assignments is essential. The best advice when it comes to learning how to use a computer is to be diligent, keep an open mind and remind yourself that you’ve learn new things in the past. If you are still struggling it is always worth asking a classmate or a younger relative to show you the ropes, or give you tips on how to best use a computer.

You will learn from your young peers too

Should you be given the opportunity to work in a group then you might find yourself learning a thing or two off of your younger classmates. Attitudes and perspectives change from generation to generation and by interacting with classmates you will be introduced to a different way of thinking about specific information. By being introduced to new perspectives you will find yourself questioning a lot of opinions that you have formed over the years, and whether or not they might have been misguided. 

How becoming a mature student could help to change your career

0 Comments

When thinking about students most people envisage the transition from teenage years to early adulthood, of partying and late nights in the library. However there is a portion of students who are choosing to undertake studies later in life.

Becoming a mature student has the ability to elevate your CV beyond its previous iteration, and adding a degree to your experience means that in many cases you can progress further in your career, or even change your career path entirely.

Here are the ways that becoming a mature student could help change your career.

Change your perspective

Depending on your age it might have been a long time since you were in formal education. This can present itself as a challenge for many people; the good thing about challenges is that it helps you to change perspectives and adapt to new information. The proof of the ability to be flexible and have attitudes that transition based on experience is a key career skill. Small changes in your own perspective can make you view many different things in a new light. When you are introduced to and overcome different challenges it gives you a confidence to tackle greater challenges. Small successes promote the desire to achieve greater success.

Gives you the chance to learn new skills

Over the past 20 to 30 years there has been a huge change in what are considered to be ‘desirable skills’ since the advent of the World Wide Web in 1989 and the exponential growth in the importance of computer literacy.  As a mature student you may or may not be as i.t savvy as the younger people on the course, so you will be presented with the opportunity of using computers for academic research.

If you have never studied within higher education before then you will learn the importance behind effectively conducting your own research. You will also more than likely be required at times to work as part of a team, and to deliver presentations in front of an audience.

Add to your CV

It goes without saying that having a new degree will give you the opportunity to add to your CV, and that you will be able to list the new skills that you have learnt and mastered throughout the duration of the course. What is also important to remember is that you will have made new contacts, namely your lecturers, who can provide you with fresh references regarding your academic performance. Good references from lecturers are always desirable, and proving the adage ‘you can’t teach old dogs new tricks’ wrong goes a long way to letting people know that you’re hard working and versatile.

Change your career path entirely

Adding a degree, or indeed a second degree to your CV has the potential to help move you from one profession to another. One writer claimed that during their degree they developed a new understanding of what it was they wanted to be doing, and that thankfully by the end of the course their qualification was an official recognition of the skills they needed to make the transition. Many mature students undertake degrees in order to retrain for vocational roles, such as teachers or nurses, so it makes sense that taking a step in the direction of your desired career can start with gaining a new qualification.

Undertaking a degree as a mature student might not have been something that you have considered before but it can be an interesting and progressive way of changing your personal circumstances. There are many different services that provide help and financial advice for mature students looking for some assistance, so if studying later on in life is something you’re considering it’s a good idea to do a bit of research in this area as well. Good luck.

Top 10 Most Popular PhD Programmes in the UK

1 Comment

The UK has remained a pioneer in the history of offering top-quality higher education. It is also home to some of the most reputed and high-ranking universities in the world which offer excellent education along with world class amenities and modern infrastructure to its students. With so many universities offering a variety of courses in different fields, it becomes difficult for students to select an ideal PhD course. Our below list will take you through the top 10 most popular PhD programmes in the UK which will not only complement your existing academic qualifications but also will act as a gateway to the most rewarding jobs.

1. Computer Science

In this digital era, innovation has developed rapidly in the field of computers and mobile devices. By no doubt, this innovative spree will continue and will attract a large number of professionals in this field. Holding a PhD in computer science can help students obtain a detailed study on the design and manipulation of computers and their various processes. With computers being a critical part of each and every industry, professionals can even gain the benefit of working in their preferred sectors with high remuneration packages. The University of Wolverhampton and The University of Manchester offer some exciting PhD courses in computer science and encourage students to participate in various conferences and research training.

2. Medicine and Surgery

The science of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases is usually linked to medicine and healthcare. This is the only field which will never go out of date and will always find new ways to serve people better. With technological advances in the field of surgery, the students signing up for a PhD in this field can learn the latest techniques to treat the patients and improve their quality of living. Check out the PhD courses offered at the University of Glasgow and University of Leeds as they continue to conduct some serious research on the most critical issues in the field of medicine. 

3. Sports Psychology

If you are passionate about sports and the well-being of athletes then sports psychology can be an interesting PhD choice for you. It generally represents the psychological factors affecting the sports performance and development of a sportsperson. PhD holders in this discipline can get direct entry as a mentor to offer coaching and guidance to renowned athletes. The University of Essex is well-known for the advancement and research it has made in the field of sport, rehabilitation, and exercise science. Through their independent PhD research programme and with the help of a dedicated supervisor, students can get comprehensive knowledge in this field.

4. Paramedic Sciences

The PhD programme offered by the University of Hertfordshire in the field of paramedic sciences offers the most theoretical and practical study to deliver spontaneous medical care. If you are passionate about helping others and wish to work in the front line of emergency, then a PhD in paramedic sciences can act as an essential tool in performing well in unforeseen medical situations.

5. Actuarial Science

The University of Kent is one of only a few schools in the UK which offers a PhD programme in actuarial science. In simple words, the technique of applying statistics and mathematics for calculating the risk in financial situations is known as actuarial science. It is an ideal career option for students who are interested in solving business problems and wish to progress their career in finance, banking, investment, and insurance industries.

6. Social Science

Social sciences include subjects such as politics, economics, social work, and anthropology. It is mostly concerned with society and the relationships between humans. Both the University of Bradford and the University of Birmingham offer 3 to 4 year PhD courses to students who seek a career in academia, business, government and non-profit organisations.

7. Engineering and Technology

The ever-growing advancements made in the field of engineering and technology have inspired professionals to constantly upgrade their skill set. Whether you specialise in electrical, civil, aeronautical, mechanical or chemical engineering, University of Nottingham offers various widely recognised PhD programmes in the field of engineering and technology. From a PhD in building technology to electrical, electronic and environmental engineering, you will find a wide range of courses available on their website.

8. Media and Communication

A PhD in media and communication can be useful for students who wish to explore the history and effects of the different forms of media and communication in between people and society. The University of Bournemouth offers excellent PhD programmes to students in media and communication holding a degree in various fields such as law, media production, computer animation, journalism and advertising. Through this programme, students can also learn the art of packaging content and effectively communicating it to the masses.

9. Law

A specialisation in law provides students with the necessary skills required in dealing with the legal procedures in their country. As each country has its own set of laws, these skills are mostly transferrable and will include research, analysis, and explanation of complex subjects. The PhD Law programme offered by the University of Manchester enables students to work with legal and socio-legal scholars, ethicists, criminologists, economists and sociologists. The programme is also beneficial for students who wish to secure a career as a policy maker, legislator or activist working in an NGO and other wide disciplines and sectors.

10. Architecture

If you are keen to gain in-depth knowledge about construction, planning, and building then, a PhD programme in Architecture from the University of Liverpool could be an ideal choice for you. Known as one of the best universities for the studies of architecture, University of Liverpool conducts research in collaboration with some well-established cultural partners like Tate Liverpool, the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology and National Museums Liverpool. Based on the environment and digital architecture, its research groups include Acoustic Research Unit, Digital Architecture Research Group and Sustainable Environments Research Group, which allows PhD students to conduct research based on their particular interests.

Top 10 Post-Graduate Programmes in Finance in the UK

0 Comments

In order to pursue a successful career in the field of finance, a post-graduate degree has become a must-have for any student. More and more students are enrolling in these courses so that they can further their career. The UK has a number of universities that offer such courses to students from around the world. Top financial services firms are always on the lookout for students who have completed their post-graduate education from these universities. So here is a look at the top 10 post-graduate programmes in finance in the UK:

1. MSc in Finance from London School of Economics

This course is one of the most popular post-degree programmes in the UK. The prestigious London School of Economics is one of the top brands in the industry. It is an ideal course for students looking to further their career in the financial services domain. Some of the top investment banks around the world including JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs recruit students from this particular programme. Apart from investment banks, the alumni from this course are working in a range of other financial organisations such as consultancies, banks, as well as other financial institutions. The course is conducted in London, and its duration is 10 months.

2. Masters in Finance from London Business School

The London Business School is also one of the most reputed institutions in the UK. Masters in Finance is a highly specialised programme which focuses on imparting niche financial skills to the students. The programme aims to impart technical skills as well as hands-on experiences to its students. The course prepares students for working with a wide variety of corporations such as financial services companies, boutique consulting firms, as well as government sector organisations. The course is conducted in London, and its duration is 10-16 months.

3. MSc in Finance from Imperial College London

This is a well-known programme which has a great reputation amongst recruiters. It aims to impart the desired level of knowledge and skills by teaching students how to find solutions to real world problems. Its range of electives provides the students with a choice to carve out a niche career. The programme offers opportunities to meet and network with the top professionals of the financial services industry. The course is conducted in London, and its duration is 12 months.

4. MPhil in Finance from Cambridge Judge Business School

This course is a combination of advanced studies as well as research. It provides students with a platform to go on and complete their PhD in the future. This course also provides students an opportunity to learn the skills required for a successful career in the field of corporate finance. It is one of the oldest degrees available in the University of Cambridge. The course is conducted in Cambridge, and its duration is 12 months.

5. MSc in Finance from Warwick Business School

The MSc in Finance from Warwick Business School provides students with a unique opportunity to acquire new skills in the field of finance, and at the same time sharpen their quantitative thinking abilities. It has excellent links to key financial institutions in the UK as well as abroad, which can be of great benefit to students enrolling in the course. The course is conducted in Coventry, and its duration is 12 months.

6. MSc in Finance from Cass Business School

This programme provides students with ample exposure to a range of topics in the field of finance as well as corporate funding mechanisms. The course focuses on developing analytical skills among its students and at the same time imparting deep knowledge on the pertinent topics. The course also has a range of electives that allow the students to choose their path within the field of finance. The course is conducted in London, and its duration is 12 months.

7. MSc in Quantitative Finance from Alliance Manchester Business School

This is a specialised course which provides the students with an opportunity to acquire skills in the quantitative finance domain. These skills come in handy while making decisions in the financial services sector. The programme also offers scholarships to eligible students from the UK as well as the EU. The course is conducted in Manchester, and its duration is 12 months.

8. MSc in Finance and Management from the University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow is one of the most reputed institutions in the UK. It offers the students an opportunity to learn the nitty-gritties of finance in an environment which is interactive as well as inclusive. The course also ensures that the students attain the ability to evaluate the global macro as well as the micro environment in an in-depth manner. The programme allows students to gain real-life experiences in the financial domain as well. The course is conducted in Glasgow, and its duration is 12 months.

9. MSc in Corporate Finance from Henley Business School

This programme enables students to acquire knowledge pertinent to the corporate finance domain. Corporate Finance is one of the most common topics in the financial services industry. The course covers modules such as Private Equity, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Corporate Governance, which are beneficial for any student looking to further their career in the field of corporate finance. The course is conducted by the ICMA centre in partnership with the Henley Business School. The course is conducted in Henley-on-Thames, and its duration is 9-12 months.

10. MSc Financial Analysis and Fund Management from Exeter Business School

Financial Analysis and Fund Management are very common topics when it comes to the field of asset management. This is one of the most popular fields in the domain of finance. This programme allows students to acquire financial analysis skills which can help them in building a deeper understanding of financial statements. Additionally, the fund management domain allows the students to have practical experiences which can prove to be crucial for their careers down the line. The course is conducted in Exeter, and its duration is 12 months.

Choosing between an MBA and PhD in Finance: Top 10 Things to Consider

0 Comments

Having an advanced degree has become a necessity in the professional arena today. However, it is not always a simple decision for Finance students. On the one hand, they could opt for an MBA in Finance, which could help their careers in blossoming, but on the other side is the option of enrolling a PhD course in Finance. Both have their own sets of benefits, but there are various factors that need to be kept in mind before choosing one or the other. So here are the top 10 things to consider while choosing between an MBA in Finance and a PhD.

1. Career Choice

The first and foremost consideration for you has to be the field which you want to enter. If your interest lies in the world of academia, then a PhD would be much more appropriate. For example, if you wish to move into core academic research, then a PhD would be the way forward. On the other hand, if you are looking at the business side of things, then an MBA would suit you much better. Ultimately, it should be your choice of career that should determine your course of study.  

2. Timeframe

Most MBA Finance degrees are limited to a two year timeframe. On the other hand, a PhD might require you to invest a significantly longer period of time. Additionally, the possible effort required for a PhD is often much more compared to an MBA in Finance. Merely choosing your topic can be a tricky aspect of a PhD, while MBA courses are much better defined in terms of their modules. A PhD degree is also dependent on your thesis being accepted, while this is not the case in an MBA in Finance where the rules are much more lenient.  

3. Cost Involved

Another aspect that needs to be considered in comparing the two has to be the cost involved. While an MBA in Finance is expensive in itself, obtaining a PhD degree can prove to be much more expensive without university grants. Such grants are not available to students in every case. Without the grants, the investment required for a PhD can be too much to bear for individuals who are not from a wealthy background.  

4. Practical Experiences

An MBA in Finance would teach you a lot about the corporate world. This includes the ability to handle tricky situations in the workplace, the ability to adhere to tight deadlines, as well as the soft skills that are needed in order to get work done from others. All such skills are invaluable for your career in the long run. On the other hand, if you wish to focus on the theoretical, then a PhD would be a more suitable avenue for you to pursue.  

5. Ability to Switch

Furthermore, an MBA in Finance also gives you the ability to switch fields and industries at a later stage in your career. This is because there are so many spheres of work within Finance, such as investment, taxation, research, treasury, etc. On the other hand, a PhD might restrict your options in terms of switching from one field to another. This holds especially true when your research is limited to a particular field of study. It becomes quite hard to venture outside that particular field.  

6. Wage Factor

If you are looking to make more money in the future, the prospects are brighter for an MBA in Finance. This is because the theoretical research of a PhD limits your ability to grow professionally. By pursuing an MBA degree in Finance, you have the option of becoming a successful entrepreneur or to join a multinational organisation where the wages can be lucrative. On the other hand, if you are pursuing a PhD then the wages in that particular field can be limited.  

7. Location

Almost all full-time MBA Finance courses require you to attend classes throughout the duration of the degree. This means that there is little chance of you working remotely in order to achieve your degree. Whereas during a PhD, your physical presence is not required on campus on a daily basis. You could visit the campus occasionally and continue your research elsewhere.  

8. Collaboration

In terms of collaborating with others, an MBA in Finance will provide you with more opportunities. This is due to the fact that there are numerous group projects during an MBA degree. Throughout these projects, you have to communicate, deal with your team-mates and create synergies with them. This is not possible during a PhD since in most cases you are working alone on projects. Also, working on a PhD alone can require you to collect a lot of market data individually, whereas an MBA in Finance allows you to work in groups.  

9. Enrolment Criteria

The enrolment criteria for an MBA in Finance is usually much more relaxed compared to a PhD. For pursuing a PhD, you need to be enrolled on a post-graduate degree, which is not necessary for an MBA. Further, most MBA colleges around the world will take international students based on your entrance test scores. For you to enroll onto a PhD programme, you need to have a consistent academic performance throughout and also have degrees in relevant subjects all the way through your career.  

10. Mental Strength

Enrolling in a PhD degree can be extremely challenging for you in terms of mental strength. This is because the degree can be extremely taxing and can include numerous revisions of your work. There are multiple cases wherein a student even has to tear up his/her entire body of work and start afresh. Such drawbacks can be extremely hard to deal with. On the other hand, an MBA in Finance is not that tough on you. In fact, there are various MBA degrees which have special modules to lighten up the burden on their students. This ensures that the fun factor remains alive.

How to Choose a Topic for Your PhD Thesis

0 Comments

A PhD is a degree that can not only boost your career ambitions but also help in improving your overall profile. Achieving such a degree involves the completion of several important tasks. One of the fundamental tasks is to choose the right topic for your PhD thesis. Without the right topic, you simply cannot expect fruitful results. The topic that you choose needs to be different from the existing research in your field of study, and at the same time, it should be realistic in terms of data availability as well as the research scope. This guide will help you in understanding how to choose the right topic for your PhD thesis, and at the same time make a clear distinction between PhD topics and Masters Dissertation topics.  

Think about what interests you

In order to arrive at the topic, it is important to conduct a thorough study of previous academic research in the field that interests you. This can help you in gaining knowledge and at the same time help in shortlisting a few broad areas of interest that have gaps in research.

Consider your Masters’ Dissertation

It is often a good idea to choose a field for your PhD study related to the field of your Masters’ thesis. For instance, if you wrote a Masters Dissertation in Physics you may look into related but more advanced areas in Applied Physics to choose as a potential area for your PhD research. Previous research can also often be very helpful in giving you new ideas for a topic of research.  

Research previous studies

Students are often worried about choosing the right PhD topic since they know it could have a great impact on their future career. The criteria for assessment of the PhD thesis can differ across programmes. However, one common factor is that the work should be original and not similar to previous research. Thus, the most important factor is that your topic and the field of study should be uniquely different and contribute to knowledge. This will also ensure that your PhD thesis will make a significant contribution to the reputation of the university you are applying to. It is often helpful to scan through limitations of previous empirical studies to find out what others failed to account for or research. Then, you need to assess if you have sufficient resources to fill in the existing gap.

Formulate a strong question

If you formulate your PhD topic in the form of a research question, it will raise the probability of being accepted. However, you need to note that not all questions are equally strong. When you formulate your research question, make sure it cannot be answered with yes or no answers. Thus, the questions that start with “Are” or “Is” are usually weak questions. Strong questions will begin with words such as “How”, “To what extent” and “What”. Also, keep in mind that if you already know or can guess the answer to your question, it is most likely a weak question.  

Check the availability of data and scope of research

Your PhD topic, while being challenging, must be researchable, and this depends greatly on data availability and the scope of research. Many times, students choose topics or even write proposals that are unrealistic to accomplish. In these cases, proposals will be rejected by universities. So, before you formulate your final topic, check all the available data at your disposal, make a list of all possible variables you can realistically access and then start looking for connections between the variables to come up with the final topic for your thesis.    

Ensure flexibility in your topic

While your PhD topic should not be broad, it must have sufficient flexibility to be adjusted if your research encounters obstacles. For example, if you have chosen a specific phenomenon to be studied in the context of a specific country, you may want to consider formulating your research topic in the context of a region of this country. In this case, if your research meets a dead end or insufficient data for the country, you would have sufficient flexibility to compensate for this by looking at other countries in the region you mentioned in your research topic.  

Check with the experts

Before submitting your PhD proposal with the topic you have developed, it is a good idea to talk to experts. People with experience such as professors, senior students, and professional writers will provide a fresh look at your topic and share their expertise. They will also be able to notice inconsistencies and weaknesses in your topic. This will allow you to make timely changes and increase your chances of being accepted. 

How unique and original is your proposed topic?

A PhD is a unique degree in the sense that it is extremely comprehensive. When you choose a topic, a PhD thesis usually covers all aspects related to this particular topic and involves thorough research. On the other hand, a Masters Dissertation is often associated with more narrow research, and it is not expected to bring as much originality and contribution to knowledge as PhD thesis. During your PhD, you will be expected to do independent research, and this is often spread out over a longer period of time. This time is needed to include as many relevant details as possible in your thesis.

PhD thesis vs. Masters Dissertation

On the other hand, a Masters Dissertation is usually submitted in the last semester of your degree and the research is not as deep as in PhD. In terms of the topic, many Masters’ dissertations are written on topics that are not 100% unique. For example, Masters’ dissertations could explore an existing topic in new contexts with new methods, and this will be considered a contribution. However, this is not enough for a PhD topic as more originality is required.  

Final Note

To sum up, choosing the right topic for your PhD can be a really tricky task. It needs to be carried out with great care since this can often impact your career in the long run. In order to arrive at the right topic all the steps discussed above need to be taken into account. This will ensure that you arrive at the right topic and achieve success in your quest for a PhD.