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I have been looking into PhD programs in the Engineering field, and I have found different types of programs, such as some with coursework, and others without any coursework.

What is the practical difference between them? (Besides the obvious coursework) What kind of student is expected for each of them?

EDIT: To be more specific, I have been looking into Robotics PhD programs, such as:

1 Answer 1

It seems to me that there are several advantages; none of these are suitable for every student. It's up to you whether enough of them apply to you, to make it worth doing a taught PhD:

  1. A PhD with a bit of coursework in the first year will help those who are crossing over into a discipline that they're not already deeply embedded in: it will give you some hand-holding through the things you'll need to know but don't yet;
  2. it should (if taught well) also teach you some extra research skills;
  3. it will give you some indication as you progress as to how well you're doing, compared to how well you should be doing if you're going to finish
  4. it will allow you to explore different aspects of the field, to help you finalise your thesis topic
  5. it may, depending on the country and institution, give you an intermediate degree at the end of the taught section, such as an MRes, which will count for something even if you then don't go on to do the full PhD
  6. it lessens the culture-shock for those going straight from fully-taught study to a research degree.