First year PhD workload - advice needed!


Hi all:

Hoping that everyone's been keeping well.... It's been a good while since I've posted on here... Primarily because I've been going hell for leather to get my MRes finished (as part of my 1 + 3 ESRC award). It's getting there, despite a fairly disjointed year to say the least.

I'm hoping (fingers crossed) to transfer to PhD status within a couple of weeks - pretty scary stuff to be honest. Having said that I'm glad that I've done the MRes as it's really opened my eyes as towards what's required to get a PhD degree done.

I'm trying to plan my workload for next year - I've been pretty lucky and I've been offered a job at a local college whilst I finish my PGCE and a relatively close uni. This is going to supplement my income nicely though I am conscious of not letting things 'slip' in terms of the PhD work.

In short, what would people recommend (in terms of hours put in) on a weekly basis? I've got other commitments but my work ethic is pretty good. I know colleagues (doing a PhD who'll go in 5 days a week from 9 - 6 but they seem to spend half there time on Facebook). On the other end of the spectrum I've got a really good friend (who knows my work ethic and what I can produce) who says that I can 'get away' (cough) but doing 3 days a week full time, as long as I'm looking to read approximately 15 articles a week.

Any comments appreciated. I do have very easy access to my sample so I am hoping to finish within the three years.


S x


Hey mate, good luck on the transfer!

I wouldn't try to map out your hours or anything, the beauty of the PhD is that it is up to you. In other words, work as much as you feel you both need to and want to, not because you think you need or should do a set amount of hours a day/week.

Just take it as it comes and you always need to factor in youtube/facebook time it is just apart of your working life, just see it as time to drink your coffee and get warmed up :)

Finally, you will have days when you work amazingly well and days when you don't, just don't let them get you down, put each day behind you and move on.