End of the line.


I have just entered into 2nd year and have put off leaving for the last 3-4 months , I decided that I might still pull something out the bag, or have a last minute dedication to the cause. Unfortunately I feel like I have been kidding myself on a little - putting of the inevitable, getting a job. Also the money - with a lack of jobs I thought I would work it like a job - this was near impossible.

I fell pretty bummed out by the whole experience, I found myself isolated more than I had expected (I found this difficult). I used to be enthusiastic and work hard but it is almost impossible - I assume I just never liked the subject. I feel brain dead more than when I started. This feels like my fault - but yet it seemed out of my control. I watched it happen. Strange experience. But I learn from it.

Does it look bad to have quit a PhD or can I still put a spin on it? How hellish is it getting a job? I feel lost how do I find my confidence again? If I decided to do a taught masters in a couple of years will this go against me?

A lot of confused questions...



I understand what you might be feeling right now. I dropped out of my PhD in 2007 after a year, took a year out and I'm currently on a taught masters. Its tough, but you will get over it eventually. I think once you find a job role you enjoy working in, then you will gradually forget about your PhD experience

To answer your questions: yes you can put a positive spin on things ( skills developed, communication, problem solving....) and you can say that your PhD was an excellent learning experience in many respects but that your best interested will be served by doing something else. I think most people will understand this

To be honest I think it is very hard for prospective employers to judge you for dropping out of a PhD given that most people who are likely to interview you will not have PhDs ( assuming you will not be applying for an academic or research and development position ) and even people with PhDs will understand how tough it can be and that not everyone takes to PhD work very well. This is not necessarily a bad reflection of your academic abilities just that you may be better suited to doing something else.

Have you considered registering for an Mphil instead of a PhD, if you can salvage anything out of this PhD then I would advise you to do so. What does your supervisor think about all of this?


Thanks for your response, .  My plan was to take a year out, get some work experience and then all being well doing a taught masters in 2010. I started this straight out of uni and regret that now.  It is nice to see someone who has made a full recovery. I think you are right, it is irrational to think that people will judge over dropping out of a PhD. I just wish I had done it last year.

The thought completing an Mphil makes me die inside - it is that bad.  I have still to talk to them about it...

How is the masters treating you?


Sounds like a good plan :-) The masters has been going quite well and I enjoy the field so it is all good. I am still thinking about doing a PhD again, although given that my last one didn't exactly go very well I am trying to be careful about my next move. Having said that Ill most likely get a job of some description, if the right one crops up.