Is it possible to finish writing and field work in 14 months



I am a second year PhD student. I have exactly 14 months two finish my PhD including data collection, analysis and write up. My field is social science. I have my questionnaire ready and also have decided on my methodology.

Does it sound plausible to finish on time? Any tips anyone?



I think it will be pretty difficult. My field is social science and I have just finished my data collection and have 15 months so do the analysis and write up and I am stressing. But my work is qualitative so the analysis may take a while and I am quite behind on writing. I think sometimes it can be quicker with quant but I'm not really sure.

How much writing have you done so far? You could be ok if you have a few chapters written up already.


Hi, I'm also doing a qual PhD in social sciences. I think you'd be pushing it to get this all done in 14 months - but it depends how long your field work will take. My field work took a year, and I was writing background chapters throughout this time, and now have 9 months to do the writing up and get it finished - and am majorly stressing about that. Even if you can get your survey out and back again quickly, analysis takes longer than you think, and then there's the writing...

So realistically, I think it could be difficult. But good luck!


Anything is possible. People naturally work at different speeds and encounter different problems along the way. I know someone who did a qualitative PhD and did data collection and write up in 8 months and passed with no corrections. I know that this is highly unusual but does show you that things are achievable if you put your mind to it!


I don't know how much data you have to collect/analyse, but I think it should definitely be possible! Last november I had just finished developing the instrument I was going to use but still had to collect and analyse all my data and I had NOTHING written. Now I am done and will be handing in at the end of next week, woohoo!!! So that is 8 months... Get that questionnaire out ASAP though because I would be worried about getting enough responses in that timeframe!


Thanks everyone. My initial sample size is 500 excluding 50-70 in a pilot study and some focus group discussions. My methodology is quantitative though initially I might do some qualitative analysis. I have nothing written so far except a literature review, questionnaire and methodological issues. This is very negligible. I know, if I put my mind to it and do nothing at all except the PhD then it might be possible. The past three months has been so for me, but it took my strength away from me and I became very sick. Moreover, I have to move to my country from my university for the field study and have to work in a split office without any institutional set up. It has an effect as I have experienced in the last visit to my country. Realistically, things seem hard enough. Yet I am having my fingers crossed....How long do I have to work each day to achive it?


That's a bit of a subjective question and depends on so many things e.g. how productive you are each day, how long certain tasks take you etc etc.

I suggest that you start by working out exactly what tasks you have to do to complete and break down into manageable chunks and then just work through each day. It might be that some days you achieve a lot and other days you don't.


Thanks Pepps, the thing is when there is so much to do, it is hard to plan the whole thing all at a time. And I am having a bad time doing it. Unless I have the whole plan, I cannot break it down to chunks. I am not being able to be a good planner at the moment. I am having some serious family crisis and may be, about to break up. It is also taking a lot of my time, energy and concentration...:(
Positive things seem not to happen very often and when they do, the impacts only stay for a while.....:(


Hello Agniparbon,

I'm in a similar situation to you. I'm a 2nd year and am doing a mixed method social science PhD. I am planning on collecting data from NHS patients and I have been struggling to formalise my research, develop interview schedules and/or questionnaires and complete the IRAS form for ethics committes submission before I can actually collect data. I am a bit worried as this ethics permission can take a while. Realistically, I won't be collecting data until probably Oct/Nov at this rate. So that gives me 11 months for data collection/analysis/write up!!!

I think by 'finishing on time' means using the 4th year to finish (although I'm concerned about combining employment and write up) but i doubt I have a choice.
I think if you can get all the data collection and analysis done and know the format of your thesis and what'll be in each chapter, then at least you'll have the 4th year to finish. Not ideal, but it seems that whoever I speak to at my Uni and other ones that no-one finished within the 3 years.

So it's just head down and keep ploughing on. Good luck.