You are here

Getting Your PhD

Getting Your PhD
A Practical Insider's Guide

Additional resources:

August 2007 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
How to get your Ph.D is an original study guide aimed at prospective and current postgraduate students, covering the process of accessing, undertaking and completing doctoral research in the social sciences and the humanities.

The content is unique in incorporating discussion of the less recognised personal, emotional and organisational demands of independent study. Drawing on a variety of student experiences, the authors apply a case study approach to examine the dilemmas and complexities of postgraduate study. The book is organised into four parts covering the research process; writing, publishing and networking; shifting identities and institutions and relationships of support. Each chapter includes an easy to use format including real-life accounts, tips and strategies for problem solving and guidance for additional resources.

The guide includes accessible advice and guidance across a spectrum of methodological, personal, emotional, practical and institutional issues.

Motivations for Doing a PhD
Formulating a Research Question
Choosing and Changing Supervisor
Managing the Ethics of Academia
What to do With Your Data
Writing Up and Writers Block
Papers and Publishing
Missing the Deadline
The Viva & Beyond
Non Traditional Routes into the PhD
Undertaking a PhD Part-time
Combining Teaching and Doctoral Studies
Reconciling the Research Role with the Personal
What to Expect From Your Supervisor
Enabling Research Environments
Combining Family Commitments
Coping with Stress


SAGE Study Skills hub

Visit the SAGE Study Skills hub for tips, resources and videos on study success!

Packed with practical advice on all aspects of the PhD process, new and continuing research students should find this book of great help.


Professor Malcolm Tight
Lancaster University

Getting your PhD will no doubt establish itself as a firm favourite.


Embarking on the journey to obtain a PhD is a significant and challenging endeavor that requires not only academic excellence but also strategic planning, perseverance, and practical know-how. "Getting Your PhD: A Practical Insider's Guide" is an invaluable resource that provides prospective and current doctoral students with comprehensive guidance to navigate this complex process successfully.

This book stands out as an essential tool for several reasons:

Comprehensive Coverage: It addresses all stages of the PhD journey, from selecting a program and advisor to completing the dissertation and preparing for the job market. This holistic approach ensures that students are well-prepared for every aspect of their doctoral studies.

Insider Perspectives: The book offers insights from experienced academics and PhD holders, providing readers with realistic and practical advice that goes beyond theoretical knowledge. This insider perspective is crucial for understanding the nuances and unwritten rules of the academic world.

Practical Strategies: It includes actionable tips and strategies for time management, research methodologies, academic writing, and overcoming common challenges. These practical tools are designed to help students stay organized, focused, and motivated throughout their PhD journey.

Supportive Guidance: Recognizing the emotional and psychological challenges of pursuing a PhD, the book also offers support and advice on maintaining well-being, managing stress, and finding a healthy work-life balance.

Career Preparation: Beyond the PhD, the book provides guidance on transitioning from student to professional, with advice on publishing, networking, and job searching. This forward-looking approach ensures that students are not only successful in their studies but also in their subsequent careers.

Adopting "Getting Your PhD: A Practical Insider's Guide" as a key resource for our university will greatly benefit our doctoral students by equipping them with the knowledge, skills, and support needed to successfully complete their PhD programs and transition into their professional careers. This book will serve as a cornerstone of our academic support resources, contributing to the success and well-being of our students.

Mrs Karina Gorkovenko
Business and Enterprise, Global Banking School
June 7, 2024

This was not received

Mr Julian Ayres
School of Education and Community, Wrexham Glyndwr University
June 29, 2021

A brilliantly written text, that is easy to read and informative. It will be re-considered when we re-instate our MSc programme as it would be a good tool for students to consider their long-term education. However, it is a little high level for the programme I requested it for.

Mrs Jen Pogacic
Vocational Education, Moulton College
November 29, 2019

Excellent book and it is insightful and informative for my students.

Mr Rohit Sagoo
Health & Social Care (Cambridge), Anglia Ruskin University
October 31, 2019

what an easy read for PHD students, it give a good insight of the expectations of the PHD, also very good for Ed D students

Mrs Thamara Bulmer
Centre for Educational Studies, Hull University
December 18, 2014

This book is most helpful to Ph.D. students. The authors of this book managed to cover most of the aspects Ph.D. students encounter. These include the motivations of doing a Ph.D., formulating the research question, choosing and changing supervisors, managing the ethics of academia, what to do with data, writing up and writer’s block, papers and publishing, networking, missing deadlines, non-traditional routes into Ph.D. study, undertaking part-time Ph.D. work, combining teaching and doctoral studies, managing emotions in the research, what to expect from supervisors, family commitments, and coping with stress. Every chapter is conveniently divided in topics and summarized in a recurrent section, “Key Points to Remember.” Every section contains boxes with questions to ask or issues to pay attention to. A key advantage of this book over similar books on Ph.D. study is the attention devoted to part-time Ph.D. students and to less visible issues, such as the home front, emotions, and stress.

Dr Ruben Gowricharn
Humanities, Tilburg University
October 16, 2015

A well structured book covering the many aspects of a PhD from initial motivations and designing a research question through to writer's block and the viva and beyond! Overall, an interesting read with a real human feel to it. A good book for anyone studying a PhD to have on their desk and dip into as and when needed.

Dr Rachel Curzon
Birmingham School of the Built Environment, Birmingham City University
April 10, 2013

A well structured book covering the many aspects of a PhD from initial motivations and designing a research question through to writer's block and the viva and beyond! Overall, an interesting read with a real human feel to it.

Dr Rachel Curzon
Birmingham School of the Built Environment, Birmingham City University
April 10, 2013

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase this book and request an instructor sample on our US College site:

Go To College Site

This title is also available on SAGE Research Methods, the ultimate digital methods library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.