Hi, I'm new, how I wish that I had known this forums years ago.
I'm in my 4th year now, but I haven't finished my thesis yet, just half way i think. Do we have to finish it in 4 years? cos I once received a confirmation letter from Mphil to PhD, saying the maxmium period is till Oct 2007. I don't think I could have and pass the viva before Oct. Can I apply for an extension without any good reason? I just find it really hard to write. English is not my first language, but I don't think the language really matters, though it does make writing more difficult for me.
And I keep feel ashamed that I won't be able to finish it soon, and dare not talk to my supervisor. I really don't know what to do, could anyone give me any advice please? Thanks a lot.
Hi, I think you should talk to your supervisor really, really soon! It might be hard but he should be aware of it anyway as he should exspect to have something to read by now. I am not sure whether there is a difference between the universities but mine states in its postgraduate handbook that you have to finish within four years otherwise it is a fail. Exceptions are only if you have been ill for a longer period of time or on parental leave etc. however, it says as well that you have to request the extention at this time as it cannot be considered at the end.
... Perhaps you can go to your Gradschool as they might have tutors who give you advise on writing and time managment and as a foreigner you may qualify for help from your "english as a foreign language centre" I am sure you have enough to write as you passed your transfer reports. Be brave and speak to your supervisor - best today as it is over and done with, have a look in your handbook and perhaps ask for a tutor for help with writing. If everything fails go to your GP and talk to him whether he might be able to write you ill for a while so you can breath and reflect what to do.
Good luck and it will be ok
Hi there, I think it probably depends on your university. At my university they pressure you to finish within 4 years because otherwise in the reporting back to funding bodies or RAE it goes down as a fail. However, my university does allow you to go over 4 years (I know one person who took 5 years and one who took 4 and a half years) - they just discourage it as much as possible. But you do have to pay continuation fees. Don't panic though - there are a lot of us who take the full 4 years! I for one am an English speaker but still taking an age (4 months left). However, do check with your supervisor too - you may find you're doing more than you need to for a PhD & might be able to chop something out. It's easy to think it's never good enough (I know!).
I agree with Oz, talk to your supervisor now! They should already be aware of your difficulties surely?
I think though you don't need to panic quite that much. I would imagine (it certainly is where I am) that the four year deadline is to submit - viva can happen afterwards. So I think you need to devote your summer to writing and get something to hand in by the end of September. Use the deadline to focus yourself! Because I'd be very suprised if you are allowed an extension without extenuating circumstances.
Thank you all, very much.
I'll email my supervisor and talk about this when I finish the third chapter, hopefully, this afternoon.
Can I ask here, how many hours do you normally work on your thesis everyday? I get up 7.00am, go to bed around 10.30/11.00pm, and I try to eat a lot of vegetables and fruits (fishes and meat are not missed out), and drink herb teas, and I go to gym. I think I've been living a healthy life. But i still get tired very easily, and have to have a nap after lunch. To be honest, I could focus on the thesis only about 2-4 hours everyday, and I sit in front of the computer during the other time, but just day dreaming, surfing the internet, etc. I couldn't stop doing this, but feel guilty about this.
anyway, thank you again for your advice and support, i really appreciate it,
At my university you have to submit your thesis within 4 years, so you could have a viva after that. It can take months to arrange a viva sometimes, submitting is the important thing.
My funding body has information on this sort of thing, so I'd check any information you received.
You have still got 5 months to go, which is enough to write a whole thesis so you might be OK anyway.
My uni is the same as SeaBird, in that the uni report it as a fail if it takes longer than 4 years, but you would still get your PhD if you pass, but you have to pay extra fees.
Sounds like you might have enough time to write up though, good luck I'm sure you can do it
It's only unfair if it was the students who were to blame for their failure to complete. Withholding funding from a department which was to blame (if ANYONE was to blame - it's not clear cut) gives an incentive for them to try harder, and it will mean new students will have the best chance of completing.
My tuppence worth - almost all of the PhD students in my department take right up to and often over the 4 years (and yes funding bodies etc really don't like it). But we do behavioural neuroscience, and animals take ages to learn stuff. I did three experiments for my PhD - each took 1 year +!! In our field its hard to finish on time, but that dosen't stop the university being pain. And the funding body only fund us for 3 years - you either have a nice supervisor who pays, or like me find the money to live on yourself!!
I'm still aiming for 4 year deadline, but its gonna be tough. If I make it I will be the first PhD student in my dept to do it in 6 years!
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