Enrolling on a part-time PhD but studying full-time

05-Jan-17, 23:35
by MaxS
Avatar for MaxS
posted about 3 years ago
Hello, I have submitted my PhD applications for philosophy. In the event that I don't get funding due to the high competition, I am considering other options such as self-funding. I was wondering whether it is possible to enrol part-time but with the (hidden) intention of completing within 3-4 years to save money on fees? Is there any university regulation which would prevent this? And do you deem this unethical? My subject is almost entirely independent research so I do wonder how the £5k cost of full-time tuition fees is justified even taking into account the services and journal subscriptions, etc. Part-time fees seem a fairer approximation, though perhaps I am being biased! Many thanks.
06-Jan-17, 15:05
edited about 24 seconds later
Avatar for Hanginthere
posted about 3 years ago
Hi MaxS,
I changed from full time to part time in my second year but continued to work on my research on a full-time basis. I was told that My first-year full-time is equal to a 2nd year part-time and that I can submit my thesis by the end of the fourth year if I have completed.
I don't know which institution you will be enrolling with, but at mine (based on personal experience), I can tell you that a part-time student is expected to pay 4 years part-time fees minimum.
I hope this helps?

I have to add however that your ability to work on a full-time basis is completely dependent on your supervisor's willingness to treat you as such. So you have to make sure you have spoken to them about it, and that they are on the same page with you.

Good luck.
08-Jan-17, 12:42
by MaxS
Avatar for MaxS
posted about 3 years ago
Hello, thanks for the reply.

That makes sense - I thought there would be a minimum completion time. Four years seems okay to me since (and correct me if I'm wrong) but it seems lots of PhDs in arts/humanities actually take longer than three years in the end? I would rather pay 4 years part-time than 4 years full-time!
08-Jan-17, 13:30
edited about 5 minutes later
Avatar for chickpea
posted about 3 years ago
It is common for the full-time PhD to take longer than three years, but most universities charge a 'continuation/writing up fee' for the fourth year, rather than full fees - at my university it is £130 for fourth year. Worth adding it all up to see what's the best option for you!

Edited to add: If you're calculating whole costs, consider stuff like Council Tax as well (full time students get Council Tax exemption/discount).


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