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Applying to study for a PhD in psychology

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UK psychology students and graduates will have some interest in doing a PhD, without knowing what that would involve or how to apply. A new OpenLearn course – Applying to study for a PhD in Psychology - will enhance this understanding, focussing on the distinctive experience of studying for a research degree. The course compares PhD study with other pathways for psychology graduates, including practitioner qualifications and professional doctorates. It sets out the challenges and the rewarding aspects of PhD study, providing quizzes to help students assess their own skills and readiness to undertake a PhD in psychology. There is practical advice on identifying PhD study opportunities and guidance on developing an initial idea into a proposal that can be presented to potential PhD supervisors.

The course is intended to bridge a gap. Many psychology graduates will have heard of PhDs but may not understand how PhD study differs from study on a taught course like a BSc or MSc. It is likely that many undergraduates, especially in The Open University, haven’t encountered research students or had the opportunity to talk through what PhD study entails and the opportunities it can offer. After doing the course, students will be able to decide whether studying for a PhD is a pathway they would like to follow, and they will understand how to take the first steps on that pathway.

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