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Alan - reasons for doing a PhD
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Name: Alan
PhD discipline: Spanish Literature
Area(s) of work: University teaching
Year of graduation: 2003
Date of Interview: 16/06/2008

Now Playing: Alan - reasons for doing a PhD
Alan reflects on his decision to embark on a PhD.

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Can you remember why you wanted to do a PhD? 

I'm not sure I can actually. I was the first person in my family to even go to university and get a Bachelors degree and I think there was kind of perverse pleasure, and then kind of going as far as I can, you know, I'm going to get a PhD just so I can have one because I can do it. Although, if I hadn't had the money to do it, I wouldn't have done it.  

I enjoyed doing the MPhil, I enjoyed being in the institution and actually taking part and understanding what was going on in the institution. I think taking a PhD was something I wanted to do in order to get into academia and I want to be in academia because I enjoy thinking and researching but I do actually enjoy teaching as well. As a finalist in my BA I got myself a place on the PGCE course, you know, interviewed and everything and got offered the place. I spent some time, several weeks, in a school in the city where I was studying, observing French classes, and I suddenly thought ‘no, I can't do this, this is just crowd control. I mean I would like to teach but I don't think I would like to teach in this kind of environment.’ And so I put in an application to do the MPhil and because the funding came through I withdrew from the PGCE course and took up the MPhil instead. And so I think it is kind of a double thing there. 

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