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Part-time PhD while working full-time

Quote From bob86:
Hats off to anyone who has managed to complete a part-time PhD while holding down a full-time job. Truly, you have my utmost respect. Personally, however, I have to echo what AislingB says. I started my part-time engineering PhD in 2014 and realised around the 2 year mark that in order to have a realistic chance of ever completing it I had to quit my (engineering) job. So I did in 2016. However, the stress and feeling of isolation of those 2 initial years had such a profound impact on me that I’ve been suffering from depression and anxiety ever since. I think what contributed to my issues in particular was the fact that I went into the whole experience completely unprepared for it: I went straight from a (1st class) BEng into the PhD without first doing an MSc/MRes in the subject matter of my research. As a result, I have always felt like I’m playing catch up in the foundation knowledge department which has massively hindered my confidence. Despite these deficiencies, however, I have worked extremely hard and am now at the writing-up stage with 1 core chapter and introduction/conclusions still to write.

Although nothing can truly prepare you for a PhD, having a relevant masters with an element of research in my opinion can go a long way. Also, as AislingB points out it might be worth considering an EdD which is generally more structured than a PhD.

All the best!

I'm considering to do a PhD in engineering as well, while maintaining my full time job. Besides trying to figure out if it is possible to do this, I'm also trying to find possible offers from Universities. All posts that I've come across refer to full time PhDs. So whether or not I will be able to cope with such a workload, I couldn't really find anything available out there.