Part-time Masters (Pros and Cons)


Due to finding it very difficult to obtain the funds for a full-time masters I'm now considering undertaking a masters part time. I am however worried that studying a masters part time may put me at a disadvantage. Does anybody out there know how they work with regards to lectures, seminars etc? I would be very grateful for any feedback from people who have studied a masters part-time. My ultimate aim is to obtain PhD funding after the masters. Will I be at a disadvantage only studying part time?


It varies by individual course so you will have to make detailed enquiries about the courses you're considering. I took a part-time Masters several years ago, and it was structured around weekly afternoon seminars/lectures, one day a week. More recently my course has changed to be taught in the early evening, to make it easier for full-time workers to attend.

As for PhD funding I self-funded my first PhD year (after deciding very late to go on to a PhD) and applied for AHRC funding for the rest of my part-time PhD. I was successful, even though only about 1 in 5 of applications are. I don't consider my part-time status to have put me at any form of disadvantage. Would you be aiming to study a PhD part-time though? In some subjects availability of part-time PhD is much rarer.


======= Date Modified 07 Apr 2009 08:23:43 =======
======= Date Modified 06 Apr 2009 21:05:23 =======
I did a p/t MA, - only way I could with 2 young kids. It took me from 2004-2007, because I took a year out in the middle when my 3rd child was born.

I'm proud that I managed to complete it, with a Distinction for my Long Study, with 3 kids under the age of 10, - although I wouldn't recommend to anyone the joys of sitting exams when 8+ months pregnant.

I've recently applied to UEA to do a p/t PhD, and have yet to hear if having done a p/t |MA will prejudice my PhD chances. Doubt it, - it tends to be about the quality of ideas rather than time taken (?) As for the logistics, with the MA, it just involved selected modules and completing them over the agreed timespan, although it does require discipline to tackle a number of assessed written submissions simultaneously.


For starters, what subject area are you interested in? Because I doubt you will find many science Masters that are part time, especially if a large chunk of it is in the lab.

Second, I have a few friends who have done a Masters part time; in the case of one person they needed to work to suppport themselves as well as study. As far as I could tell, it wore her out and made her very stressed! Having said that, doing a Masters fullltime is just as stressful and if its not funded, with the extra pressure of funding your studies. In my opinion a part time Masters makes it much more stretched out which personally for me would have been a bad thing but it depends on your situation. Do YOU feel after weighing up the pros and cons that you would like to take less time over the masters in terms of years, or in hours per week?


I think P/T masters are becoming more common if for no other reason than it increases potential income streams for Unis, which is reasonable. My Masters is P/T and you just pick/pay for the modules you can attend. No difference really from a F/T option - it just takes longer.

Guess the thing to do if you're worried is to contact people who you think are likely to be key in deciding if you will get the funding and ask them.

Good luck.