Doing the PhD

a PORT for Modern Languages tutorial

1 Supervision

Supervision as a method of being taught has many benefits. You get serious teaching on a one-to-one basis, something that you may not have had access to until starting your MA or PhD course. You should find that this close critical attention to your work allows you to progress in leaps and bounds. You get a great deal of freedom, and indeed are largely responsible for the management of your own PhD. And of course this is one of the new, sometimes welcome, sometimes disconcerting aspects of a PhD (it doesn’t apply so much to an MA): your supervisor will not be ‘directing’ your studies, but aiding you to direct your own. So this tutorial is less about what to expect from a supervisor, than what to expect from yourself.

By the end of your PhD you can expect yourself to be able to

  •  conduct accurate and original research
  •  to write persuasively and construct a solid argument
  •  think analytically and critically
  •  evaluate your own work as well as others’
  •  work independently
  •  develop new lines of research