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Engineering PhD Advice Required

  1. Nov 17, 2014 #1
    I'm kind considering doing a PhD in engineering mainly because I have no idea what else to do with my life. I don't plan on being a researcher but I am happy delaying real life by 3 to 4 years.

    My questions:

    1. I am doing an integrated masters. Until just less than halfway through my final bachelors year I was a very good student (I even got an award for my first year results and a scholarship later on) but my motivation and work ethic plummeted to joke levels (after being nothing special initially) and haven't recovered. I didn't do well on my bachelors thesis (got a lower second).

    I'm in my masters year now. Half of my credits in my first term are from a course where you have to do two research papers. In my first one, worth 30 % of the course's grade, I procrastinated a tonne, handed in utter crap, and miraculously got an OKish grade (upper second). My second one is due in just under two weeks which is enough time to work extremely hard and hand in something reasonable.

    I mention those because they're my only research experiences and I'll end up being nothing special with respect to those. However, I'm pretty sure I'll get a 1st for my degree overall.

    How ****ed / un****ed am I? I am too embarrassed to ask any of my lecturers for references, although if I put in a huge amount of effort with this current assignment then I'd be ok from an academic point of view with this lecturer.

    2. I see lots of specific 3 year projects to apply to. I see EPSRC 4 year PhDs. I know what these mean, but any thoughts on the different options? Also how smart do you have to be to do the below ones (for example)?



    3. If I apply for varied things, it'll be obvious that I have no clue or goals about anything. How bad will my referees view that?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 17, 2014 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
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    It's pretty unusual to enter a PhD program just to kill time. Are you sure you can't find something more worthwhile to do than take up space in a doctoral program in engineering? Why does it have to be engineering? You could kill just as much time as an English Literature PhD or in another liberal arts program.
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