PhD Candidates (PGR)

 “For students, the move to university is a personal investment of the cultural capital accrued through school and college education. It is also a signification social displacement, which may be intensified where the student is mature, is the first in their family to attend university, or is from an ethnic group under-represented in the university population.” (Briggs, Clark and Hall, 2012).

The context of the challenges faced today:

  • The pressure to finish within the time limit set.
  • Pressure to publish.
  • The relationship between a PhD candidate and their supervisor.
  • Psychological challenges and poor mental health, such as Imposter Syndrome.
  • Funding a PhD and living costs simultaneously.
  • Balancing competing pressures of work, life, teaching, research and family.
  • Precarious teaching commitments and earnings.
  • Lack of desk space on campus.

PhD study is a time of extended and potentially slow-paced, independent learning. The transition from being taught directly to learning by research requires development of a different set of skills that may not have been exercised before. Considering the average length of a PhD, it is also incredibly difficult to maintain focus and motivation on the same project that spans over a few years. It is natural, then, that the pressure placed on PhD students can feel unmanageable.

The Students’ Union is here to support you through the ups and downs from start to finish.