The Unwritten Rules

This book is a classic guide to the realities of doing a PhD. It's irreverent, funny, supportive, and extremely practical. It's one of the standard texts that are recommended to new PhD students.

The authors are Gordon Rugg and our colleague Marian Petre. Gordon and Marian have both spent a lot of time helping unhappy PhD students, and this book is based solidly on those experiences.

It takes the reader through the process of doing a PhD from the very start (with questions like what a PhD actually is), through the stages of the PhD, to the very end (with guidance on the realities of job applications and career planning). It's particularly strong on explaining key concepts that most other books, and most supervisors, never think to mention because they assume that students know them already.

A running theme through the book is craft skills; hands-on, specific guidance and explanations about a wide range of topics, ranging from career planning to the implications of using one phrasing versus another when describing your research methods.

Student feedback on this book has been consistently excellent.


The book