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Jack - PhD experience
Name: Jack
PhD discipline: Theology
Area(s) of work: University teaching; religious ministry
Year of graduation: 1995
Date of Interview: 29/07/2009

Now Playing: Jack - PhD experience
Jack recounts his PhD experience.

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What was your doctoral experience like? 

I realise now that it was rather isolated. I was very close to my supervisor who was someone who didn't have very many supervisees and we're still very good friends but I look back on it, as an intellectual experience, I think that perhaps it was rather limited and that he steered me in particular directions and didn't perhaps encourage me to explore as broad a canvas as I should have, so that when I finished my doctorate there were still large parts of theology that I knew absolutely nothing about which I now realise that might have informed what I did quite strongly. But that was partly my own immaturity you see. I knew nothing about the postgraduate process or about doing a doctorate and there was very little in Oxford in those days, very little was structured to help you. There was none of what we now have where we have lots of events for graduate students; lots of emphasis on teaching them various skills that you need to undertake research. We have compulsory seminars. We didn't have any of that. You know there was a small community of postgraduates working roughly in my area and we used to meet for a seminar. We all knew each other but it wasn't very serious so we sat around pooling our ignorance really more than anything else.

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