There can be less optimistic opinions about taking postgraduate or doctorate courses. Some people consider postgraduate study and doctorate a mere waste of time and effort. Express your opinion on the problem. If you disagree with something, debate and give your arguments. Pamela Bain The idea of original research can conjure up thoughts of constant intellectual excitement and cries of eureka The reality maybe rather different. Studying fora research degree is very different to studying for an undergraduate degree. Consider carefully whether or not you would enjoy the basic research techniques you are going to use. Can you imagine counting black dots down a microscope for weeks on end OK spending a year, or two, building equipment before generating a single result Will you be happy working alone in a library for days on end The breakthrough, when it happens, can be euphoric, but when results refuse to come it can b deeply disappointing. Tom Sight Doctorates don’t count for much outside academia – and in fact they may count against you. If you can’t find a directly relevant area for subsequent professional work, then many employers are likely to look at you, a 25-30 year old person with three-six years of postgraduate work as being a strange and slightly worrying employment prospect – they’re going to be too smart for their own good. Another thing you won’t be told is how many people don’t complete their doctorates. I’ve heard various figures mentioned, but I believe that around 50% of people who start doctorates don’t get a PhD out of it. An enormous proportion of people simply never finish the things because it’s not quite what they were expecting when they started.