Self-funded Part-time Success Stories


I am new to the forum and just wondered if anyone could share any success stories about part-time students who went on to academic careers? Every part-time student I have encountered has quit! I therefore don’t know of anyone else who had managed to either do a post-doc or secure a lectureship. I should just add although I would have loved to do my PhD full-time (part-time mode is a nightmare- no social life, isolated from other students through working long hours for my job, bags the size of suitcases under your eyes!) and applied for funding, I could never have afforded to give up my full-time job because of personal commitments.


Good morning! It's true that the part-time route is a very different animal to a full-time one, and it's a great shame that you know only of those who quit. I completed my PhD in 6 years while working as a full-time teacher in a further education college. A few months before submission I successfully applied for a research post within the NHS & then passed the PhD in May. I've changed the sign on my door to 'Dr. Mog'! I now have the freedom to do independent research within my new role, so though my job isn't in academia per se it does enable me to undertake academic research. I consider myself a very lucky & happy Mog!
I wish you equal success in your venture, it is worth it in the end!
Mog :)

Avatar for Pjlu

What a nice story Mog. Thanks for sharing it :)

Have to agree with both of you on two counts esp.

1 It is certainly true that a part-time PhD is a completely different animal to a full-time one-very different animal indeed but no less worthwhile.

2 For the part-time phder with a full time job social life and bags under one's eyes seem to form a balancing partnership or see saw relationship-as the one rises so the other falls and vice versa!


Thanks both for the responses. I am going through a sticky patch (hate my area- it's rubbish, I won't be able to use it, why am I doing this when I could be at the pub? ) at the moment so it good to hear about your success Mog :O)

My supervisor told me that this would probably be the hardest thing I do (combining work and a PhD) so I guess I was warned! However, as Mog proves it will be worth it in the end!


Avatar for Pjlu

Hi Steph,
I agree with your supervisor-it is hard. And you have to have the sort of determination and quiet persistence of an amateur marathoner, someone who knows that they are only going for a personal best-they are not necessarily going to be a top place-holder in the main event.

However, it does carry career benefits as well. I recently applied for and gained a job starting next year, which is a real promotion in terms of responsibility, a pay increase and other things such as autonomy and leadership, and doing and making progress with this doctorate really gave me the edge with regard to my competitors. It certainly wasn't the only criteria they were looking for but it really helped.

It helped extrinsically (I was better qualified than all other applicants-in term's of actual qualifications (including units that I had completed as part of my 3+1 Phd-which is part-time so double those figures!) but it helped intrinsically as well-in term's of persistence, understanding about data, evidence, thinking logically and with regard to managing knowledge. Don't give can be done/

Avatar for Eska

Noam Chomsky did his PhD over about 7 years while flipping burgers to support his family.

ooooops,or at least that's what I as told ages ago but I just looked him up on Wiki and he did his PhD in 4 years. So who knows...

I'm part time, although I've had a year full-time too. I think I will get it. I don't see being part-time as an obstacle to finishing. I'm pretty stubborn! Plus there's a bit of me that thrives on an up hill struggle. Perhaps you have to be bloody minded to do this...