Sounds pretty absurd to me,
What type of PhD is it, if it's arts or literature based, and therefore working from home, and going in maybe once a week, or once a fortnight is ok you could probably do it. If it's lab based and you have to be in every day plus some weekends, you've got no chance.
Have you worked out which will be cheaper, commuting daily or living in London?
It'd also depend on the field/uni/department/supervisor you choose. Some students are expected to be in their office 9-6, 5 days a week, where as others (like myself) only need to go in once every couple of weeks or so.
I think, to be frank, that sounds like utter insanity. Once or twice a week, maybe. But everyday? The trip would take several hours each way each day. Say 3-4 each way - 6-8 hours a day commuting - that is a huge amount equal to the kind of hours of productivity a humanities PhD is looking at each day alone. If you are going to be lab based, you will need to be around almost daily for meeting and to monitor experiments/simulations - these could go on late at night and on a practical level you will either have to a )stay in a hotel or b) sleep in the office - it will get difficult to get late night trains to North Wales, even from London.
If it is a humanities PhD, then sure give it a go. You don't even really need to go on daily and you could go down once a week for library etc.
An everyday commute from Wales would leave you fatigued and prob make you ill long term. Imagine getting home at say 22:30 in the evening, and waking up at 05:00 the next day to travel to work. Not conducive to doctoral work the next day! And unless you are wealthy, it would be cheaper to rent a place in London.
I know of people who commute from large citie like Manchester or Leeds to London on a near daily basis (academics) but this is a regular 2 hour, to 2.5 hour journey which runs late into the night on a daily basis. I think they only do it for their families and career so no choice.
Hey, thanks for the replies. The PhD in psychology.. a direct train takes just over two hours, the hours are regular office hours so I will intend on staying over a few days during the week as I have friends with who I can stay with. I am married and live on a farm which is why I am unable to commit to a complete move, but think I may give it ago.
Thanks again for your advice guys :)
That seems more manageable - staying over - and I suppose two hours isn't that bad. I suppose it is a matter of handling the expense and making sure that the partner is okay with you coming home late and missing a few days. But is seems more possible than your earlier post suggests. My older brother studied at Cambridge, but actually lived in London. He did the "staying with friends" thing twice a week.
Best of luck. Try and find a way of working on the train. That way you can arrive home with what little time you have to best use relaxing and spending quality time with family.
Two hours there and back may not seem alot but in reality it is. When I first started my PhD I commuted from my parent's house which took 2 hours there and approximately the same time back. I lasted 6 months of doing this, but was absolutely knackered! I'm doing a lab based PhD though, and I found that it severely affected my ability to do work early in the morning/late in the evenings and at weekend as well. My first 3-4 months I spent doing my literature review and so was mainly office rather than lab based for that time, but it was still horrendous. I really wouldn't recommend it at all.
I commute (by car so much more stressful and no possibility of reading enroute) 3 hour round trip daily (although I do get occassionally to work at home and at this time of year I can focus on PhD and so be at home more). I regulalry leave home at 6.30 and get home at 7 or later. Like you I live on a farm, I also have children who are settled so I wouldn't move. I've been doing this for 5 years. it is possible and lots of people have to do this (and worse for a job).
What would concern me about your situation is the cost.
Brilliant, thank you for your comments, I'm lucky in that my husband doesn't mind the possibility of me staying over during the week, I think he's actually looking forward to the peace and quiet..
It's nice to hear that it is possible to do it, and I like the idea of doing work on the journey. I'll have to just keep an open mind and take it as it comes.
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