Joe Hall

Joe is studying a PhD in Education at the University of Canterbury

Joe Hall. Photo credit: The University of Canterbury

Joe also studied a Bachelor of Sport Coaching and Postgraduate Diploma in Education at the University of Canterbury before starting his PhD.

It is not just the academic challenge but also the career opportunities that motivate Joe to study towards his PhD in Education.

"It is fantastic to be able to study exactly what I want and to put it into practice," he says. "There is a perception that a PhD can be overly theoretical, but I have been able to structure my research so that practical application is a central component, meaning that by the time I finish I will have a background of both industry experience and qualifications.

"A PhD allows you to explore concepts and ideas in a way that isn’t always possible in the working world, and it is an opportunity to make yourself unique in your chosen industry.

"I started my PhD because of the doors it can open to overseas and networking opportunities, as well as challenging myself to complete this level of qualification."

Joe’s long-term goal is to become a professional football coach, and he is currently working towards that by being the head coach of University of Canterbury Football, as well as running his own business, Inspire Coaching and Management. It all ties in with his research.

"My research involves a lot of reading and brainstorming, then assessing how ideas fit into practical coaching practice. I often test out aspects of my research within practical settings, such as my consultancy business and in my football coaching," he says.

Joe chose to continue at UC because he had a "great relationship" with academic staff and because he thinks "UC has some world-class programmes and facilities".

"I enjoy studying here because of the relaxed and positive atmosphere. Students actively help each other out and over the last year or two there has been an increasing feeling of community around the place."

He adds: "With all the new developments popping up around town it is also an exciting time to be in Christchurch."

In his spare time, Joe, who is originally from the UK, likes to travel, go to music gigs and play football with his mates.

He has some good advice for others considering university study to be sure that they are genuinely interested in what they are studying, "otherwise you will never put in the work and enthusiasm needed to make it a real success."