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Part-time PhD with children

(4 Posts)
britgirl1982 Fri 03-Dec-10 09:53:46

Does anyone have any experience of studying for a p/t PhD whilst also being a mummy?

DD is currently 4m old and I'm in the process of applying for a p/t PhD to start next October at a uni about 2hrs away from home (which will last at least 5 years). We'd like more children fairly soon..

Am I being crazy or can this work? I'd be really interested in hearing how other people manage - do you have childcare for a few days a week and study like crazy on them, or do you try to fit it in around naps and in the evenings? DH isn't around during the week at all really due to his crazy work hours so childcare's pretty much up to me...



nonanny Fri 03-Dec-10 22:16:19

Would advise getting some regular weekly time in the day when you are not tired. You will also have to attend some timetabled things at uni sometimes; research methods and so on, and maybe seminars for sharing work. You will be exhausted if you only do evenings and around naps - i don't think the nap time study will work. with having more children you would need to suspend study each time for a while since otherwise you will quickly run out of time. The
university will impose a maximum time on you even if its part-time and you should keep a careful eye on that since having more children will be disruptive. But go for it! You need to ensure that your supervisor knows your level of commitment because part-time can mean different things.... The 2 hours away from home thing will mean you'll need certain days or half days with childcare won't it? Perhaps the university has a nursery? There are also stages in studying and you would need a plan of time to take over each of the stages

notremotelyintofootie Sat 04-Dec-10 08:54:40

Planning is the key and check if you are offered place whether the nursery has a provision for maternity leave with pay, most do but double check!

I have an 11 year old had my Dd halfway through my full time phd, she is one nowand I have about 14 months left to complete on time, I decided to move closer to uni to avoid wasted travel time but some of my colleagues live 3-4 hours away and manage just fine. You will need a dedicated quiet area at home to study though and it needs to be where you can leave books and papers open and a wall planner!

My dh works shifts so he can sometimes look after Dd for a fee hours before work or on days off but I have also booked Dd into a nursery 3 afternoons a week so that I have protected time.

You need to consider things like will you need to do data collection? If so you'llneed more childcare, if not you will find your time more flexible... Nap times arent great for big chunks of work but ok for planning etc... I tend to work in the evenings after Dd is in bed but you need to be aware of your own levels of tiredness, Dd doesn't sleep through yet so some nights I am too tired!

Part time usually means you finish after 5 years but you have a2 year buffer so must be done by 7 years but if you take maternity leave this is added onto the time...

I think it's worth doing, you'll have more time with dcs than if at s normal job, you are working your brain and being a great role model!

Good luck

PipPipPip Wed 15-Dec-10 23:59:14

There's a thread on here for PhD parents, have a read

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