Full time PhD in my 40s: am I mad?!

(3 Posts)
GemmaB78 Wed 21-Sep-16 13:07:15

I'm just starting the dissertation of my (part time) MA in education. I work as a lecturer/maths tutor in an FE college and I do enjoy it, but carrying out research is what I really enjoy and as a result, I am seriously considering undertaking a PhD when I have finished (in about 18 months). It's about fulfilling an ambition rather than choosing academia as a career path. My partner is an academic and strongly recommends I don't go into it!

We also have a 1 year old, so I would need to fit it in around him, though he's at nursery so childcare isn't an issue.

So - am I mad? Any tips, hints, thoughts would be very welcome!

OutsSelf Thu 22-Sep-16 08:23:11

I will be 40 in November and am doing a full time PhD (upgrade in two weeks - yikes!).

Education is never a waste, is it? Also, you are doing it for intrinsic reasons, which will possibly make the whole thing more enjoyable than if you are doing it for rat-race reasons, like me.

I suppose the question will really be an economic one, but many places hand out fee waivers. I have a bursary (which took ages to get) which makes it easier financially. I think in the scheme of things, doing it when the children are young is good because of the flexibility it offers. That was a massive consideration for us - I have a 5 & 3 yr old and the thought of working pt plus working towards a PhD (now an absolute necessity for Uni jobs where it wasn't before) killed me. I was working as an academic before, though.

If you want to do it and can manage it in your life, why not? Age is not really a big question given that you don't need it to do something for you in your career by a certain date, do you?

forkhandles4candles Fri 23-Sep-16 13:13:59

Plenty of PhD students in their 40s in my gaff. I would say yes.

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