How to Keep your Doctorate on Track
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How to Keep your Doctorate on Track

Insights from Students’ and Supervisors’ Experiences

Edited by Keith Townsend, Mark N.K. Saunders, Rebecca Loudoun and Emily A. Morrison

The path of a doctoral student can feel challenging and isolating. This guide provides doctoral students with key ideas and support to kick-start a doctoral journey, inspire progress and complete their thesis or dissertation. Featuring observations from experienced supervisors, as well as the reflections of current and recent postgraduate researchers, this intimate and entertaining book offers vital insights into the critical moments in any doctoral experience.
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Chapter 41: My journey

Gerard Ryan


When I started my PhD in the UK, at one of the more highly rated business schools, I never imagined I would finish it at a Catalan university in Barcelona. At the beginning of my doctoral studies in the UK, I had just recently completed a two-year full-time research master’s (MBS, equivalent to an MPhil), so I thought I would simply extend that, beef up the contribution and finish it in two years. Little did I realise that I would change university, topic, supervisor and country. Oh, and the courses would be in a language I didn’t even speak yet! I didn’t like my topic much; only now I realise that was partly because I didn’t have the necessary undergraduate training to properly grasp it.

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