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What does PhD mean? - Definition and description

Mon, 01 January, 2024

PhD stands for Doctor of Philosophy and is the highest academic degree awarded by universities in most countries.

It is a postgraduate academic degree that requires the completion of significant research in a chosen field of study. In this article, we will discuss what exactly PhD means, what it entails, and how to complete a PhD.

PhD meaning and how to get one...

PhD, in simple terms, means that the holder of the degree has completed a significant amount of original research in a particular field of study. It is an academic degree that is awarded to individuals who have successfully completed doctoral programmes at universities around the world. PhD stands for Doctor of Philosophy (Latin : philosophiae doctor or doctor philosophiae), but it is not limited to philosophy alone. Instead, it covers a wide range of areas such as science, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and more.

What are the types of doctoral degrees?

There are different types of doctoral degrees, including professional doctorates like Doctor of Education (EdD), Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), and more. These degrees focus on applied research and are designed to prepare individuals for professional practice in their respective fields.

On the other hand, the traditional PhD degree requires students to complete original research and produce a thesis or dissertation based on their research findings. This degree is more focused on academic research and prepares students for careers in academia or research.

PhD programmes are usually designed to be completed in three to five years, depending on the field of study and the institution. During the programme, students are required to complete coursework, research projects, and defend their research proposals and dissertations.

PhD students are expected to conduct significant research in their field of study and make a valuable contribution to the body of knowledge in that field. They work closely with advisors and mentors who guide them through the research process and provide support and feedback.

PhD Programmes available with NSIRC include our full-time Industrial PhD Programme, and the part-time Innovation and Management PhD.

Completing a traditional PhD

Completing a PhD is a significant accomplishment and requires hard work, dedication, and perseverance. The first step is to choose a field of study and find a university that offers a PhD programme in that field.

When applying for PhD programmes, many universities require applicants to submit a personal statement. This statement is an opportunity for applicants to showcase their skills, experience, and motivation for pursuing a PhD.

Once enrolled, students are required to complete coursework, research projects, and write a research proposal. The proposal outlines the research that will be conducted and the methodology that will be used to carry out the research.

After the research proposal is approved, students begin conducting their research and collecting data. Once the research is complete, they write a dissertation or thesis based on their findings and defend it before a panel of experts in their field.

Part-time PhD programmes

For those who cannot commit to full-time PhD programmes, part-time options are available. These programmes usually take longer to complete, but they offer flexibility for students who need to balance work and other responsibilities.

Completing a PhD is a significant achievement and requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and perseverance. It opens up many career opportunities in academia, research, and other fields. PhD holders are highly respected and valued for their expertise and contribution to knowledge in their respective fields.