Is a thesis right for you?
Enrolling in a research thesis is not a decision that should be taken lightly. This chapter discusses some of the factors that all students should consider before they make the decision to invest so much of their time and money (in fees, or in lost salary) in undertaking a research degree. Perhaps by the time you read this you will already have enrolled, and you may think that any advice contained in the chapter will be too late. If you have already started a thesis, and encountered some of the inevitable hurdles, asking yourself ‘Is a thesis right for me?’ can be a very challenging question, in case the answer seems to be ‘Maybe not’ or even ‘No!’ There are no clear-cut indicators of who are likely to be the best research students at the start of their studies. Even the most experienced academics ﬁnd it hard to predict which students will succeed and who will fail. However, this chapter discusses some of the skills and personal attributes that can make success more likely. If you haven’t yet enrolled, you should consider whether you possess, or can develop, those skills. If you have already started, identifying the characteristics most consistent with success can help you determine what you need to work on to make success in your thesis more likely.