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Faculty of Humanities

Finding a supervisor

As a doctoral student, you’ll have at least two supervisors who will support and guide you throughout your PhD or professional doctorate. These will consist of your main supervisor and a co-supervisor.

Staff and student talking

The relationship between you and your supervisor(s) is central to the success of a PhD. A supervisor will develop your ideas, skills, thinking and research. It is a close relationship over a long period of time. A basic rule is that you should be applying to work with people who are cited in your research proposal.

When you find someone you’re interested in working with, get in touch.

It’s important to have a clear outline of your ideas and an initial research proposal or abstract for the academic to read, as they’re looking for strong ideas which they can work with you on.

Once you’ve found a supervisor who is interested in supporting you, they should help you improve your research proposal and application with critical feedback.

If you’re applying for funding, the importance of a strong research proposal is even higher. Your proposal needs to be very sharp and may need substantial work to make it competitive. This will take time, and we would recommend you approach potential supervisors around October of the academic year before you wish to start – nearly 12 months before your proposed start date.

You can explore all the academics currently working in the Faculty on our database, with details on their research interests, publications and contact details.