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Would I be completely stark staring bonkers to contemplate a PhD?

(12 Posts)
2ndSopranosRule Sat 16-Jul-16 08:24:51

I have an MPhil by research (60,000 word thesis) and a postgraduate diploma related to the field in which I work. I've worked in HE for 15 years in a professional support role and am fairly senior now.

I really want to do a PhD. I've an idea of a topic. I know it'd be hard work.

Would this be a completely mad idea?

PotteringAlong Sat 16-Jul-16 08:36:54

No. Go for it!

PotteringAlong Sat 16-Jul-16 08:37:24

Well, it might be mad, but you should still go for it grin

TheMasterMurderedMargarita Sat 16-Jul-16 08:38:24

Why would it be mad?
The worst that can happen is you don't finish.
I managed to do it part time whilst working, also had a baby and some stressful life events along the way and still finished in just over 5 years.
I only did it for myself to prove I could although it obviously has benefitted me professionally.
Talk to people in the field, discuss your idea to see how feasible it is before you start...go for it!

2ndSopranosRule Sat 16-Jul-16 09:38:51

I was thinking you'd all say I was nuts.

I've identified where I'd do it so might contact them. Unfortunately my own hei doesn't support this particular subject but I'm also wondering if I can somehow make the research relevant to one they do (in the vague hope they may help with the fees!).

I'd probably to it by thesis, but we seem to have many students doing it by publication. Views? The university I've been looking at doesn't seem to offer that.

TheMasterMurderedMargarita Sat 16-Jul-16 11:13:57

It will probably be easier if you can do it at your own Institute (and as you say they are likely to help with fees or you will qualify for reduced rates).
As for thesis v pubs I don't have any direct experience as mostly in my field you need to write a thesis even with publications.
Do your research before hand to find out what all your options are ..it would be awful to start and realise you could have got a better deal elsewhere/doing things slightly differently. I think things are very dependant on the institutes themselves and also that things can vary wildly between departments. Good luck.

Jenijena Sat 16-Jul-16 11:19:17

Stark raving bonkers. But you work in HE so you know most PhD folk are stark raving bonkers don't you.

Presumably not a crossover with your MPhil subject?

I am also in HE support role after 14 years, middle rather than senior manager. Every time I contemplate doing another degree I come to my senses ;)

MarklahMarklah Sat 16-Jul-16 11:20:26

Why not?
I've managed to blunder my way through a BSc & MSc part-time in recent years. Having graduated last summer, I've been doing bits and bobs at home and am feeling a bit academically slumped. I've been told of a poss PhD project next year so am keeping my ears to the ground.

HarrietVane99 Sat 16-Jul-16 11:26:28

Doing a Ph.D. is tremendously rewarding, there's a great sense of achievement when you've finished. I can't think of many circumstances in which I'd advise someone not to do it.

I'd contact your own hei and the other possibility and see what they advise. Have you identified a potential superviser at the other place?

As you've already written a 60,000 word thesis, you've demonstrated that you've got the ability and commitment, so you're less likely to end up as failed to complete on their statistics.

I don't know very much about Ph.D. by publications, for me one of the attractions of doing a Ph. D. was the opportunity to get stuck in to a piece of extended research and writing.

2ndSopranosRule Sat 16-Jul-16 16:25:20

Some excellent advice, thank you.

No crossover wirh MPhil. I loved that field but a PhD in it wouldn't be particularly beneficial career-wise unless I wanted to lecture in it, which I don't particularly. A PhD in my current field absolutely would.

I do think having already done an MPhil (at the time they wanted to transfer me to PhD but that institution didn't allow it) would stand me in good stead.

OldLagNewName Thu 21-Jul-16 16:23:37

I too say go for it in these circumstances.

I'd be much more hesitant if your question was 'should I try to get an academic job after doing my PhD?'

WilfSell Fri 22-Jul-16 18:48:35

Oh OK, I clicked on the thread thinking I'd see another idealistic 22 year old who really likes the idea of an academic job because they think it is easy and fun but doesn't really know what they want to research and can I tell them what would be a good topic. Can you tell I see a few of those?

But in fact, you've already demonstrated your capacity to complete an independent research project, have some important professional experience, have a key idea in mind and an institution and you're a grown up!

In the circs, of course!

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