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Returning to academia after a 10 year gap.

(10 Posts)
winnie Sat 15-Sep-07 18:28:31

I have a BA (hons) and a Masters degree. I always wanted to do a PhD. However, after such a long time away from academia I have no idea how to get back there or indeed if it is possible after such a gap. Nothing that I've been doing between then and now relates to my areas of interest. Also I have no idea about funding a PhD. Any ideas, experiences, opinions?

dustystar Sat 15-Sep-07 18:30:45

No idea about funding but i had this gap between my degree and my masters. i found it hard work to start with as my brain seemed to have gone to sleep but once i got into it I really enjoyed how i was suddenly so much more aware of everything going on in the world.

Good lucksmile

fillyjonk Sat 15-Sep-07 18:32:20

My impression is that if you are willing to self fund, you should probably be able to get in somewhere. The competition is for funding, much more than places.

If you can't self fund though I assume you'd be in trouble after 10 years with no interim experience.

BUT I also think the funding situation is likely to depend hugely on what your subject is in. My impression is that for science/technology the situation is much easier than for arts, where you generally have to get, not just a first, but one of the top few firsts in the year to get funded.

fillyjonk Sat 15-Sep-07 18:33:02

SO if I am right, and I may well not be, is there any point in you doing another masters? Or one of those MPhil thingies?

winnie Sun 16-Sep-07 11:09:30

Thank you. I was wondering about doing another Masters to get back into it. Ten years is a long time hmm

Tamum Sun 16-Sep-07 11:26:12

Can you give us an idea of area? I can give you loads of advice if it's science, none of which will be the slightest use if it's arts. Kathy and Ellbell will be able to help with that though.

winnie Sun 16-Sep-07 11:39:47

Tamum, good point My background and interests are in the arts. My background and interest is in feminist literature specifically.

Tamum Sun 16-Sep-07 11:44:05

I think you need Kathy and Ellbell then I can just say that my mother did a literature PhD aged 70 though, so it is possible! She had been employed by the university previously, so she only had to pay the fees that employees paid, around £500 a year. That's not so easy to apply though as you'd be back to the same problems of getting back in, wouldn't you. There isn't anyone at the OU who would be a suitable supervisor, is there? I had a student who registered with them via the MRC and paid vastly lower fees than she would have done through the university. I honestly don't think a gap is as much of a problem as finance.

winnie Sun 16-Sep-07 11:58:24

Tamum, what an inspiration your Mother is
My MA supervisor now works for the OU. I have just downloaded the OU research prospectus. It is good to know that the gap itself isn't necessarily problematic. Thanks

Tamum Sun 16-Sep-07 12:03:22

Oh, that sounds very hopeful! To be honest, if you can pay the fees, find someone who is willing to supervise you and come up with a good idea between you then there really shouldn't be a problem. Let us know how it goes

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