Academic common room
PhD Distance Learning (PT)
roratone · 30/04/2017 20:39
I am very seriously applying for a PhD via distance learning. I have 2 children, 4y and 5m and would 'start' when littlest is 11m. Part time would be 2 days per week for which the oldest would be in School/afterschool club and littlest at day nursery.
Im employed by NHS part time - 2 days pw. I can see 2 possible avenues :
- Resign from job, self fund PhD (possible), cross fingers for a job afterwards
- Ask work to second me / pay fees and keep me on unpaid/ reduce hours etc - Not sure what as I need to speak to manager
PhD would be in Social Work/ Mental Health at Manchester or Lancaster Uni
Anyway - do distance learning PhD's have any integrity? Are they as lonely as they seem? How do you form any relationship with supervisors?
Sorry for ramble. Any comments welcome!!!
WilliowGreen · 30/04/2017 20:51
All PhDs are lonely to an extent, except possibly science ones where you are based in a lab. You will be working by yourself most of the time. Distance learning PhDs have as much integrity as any other, they are not taught courses.
I didn't do my PhD by distance learning but it is unlikely to be that different as many people work from home and the amount of contact you would have with your supervisor varies. It would be easier if you lived within traveling distance so you could go in for the odd day. There are often good training events for PhD students.
Have you looked into funding? This could make a big difference.
user7214743615 · 30/04/2017 21:08
cross fingers for a job afterwards
I don't know specifically about social work/mental health but it is very unrealistic to expect to get an academic job from a PhD - far more PhDs are produced than there are academic jobs, and most permanent jobs require several years of experience post PhD. You typically have to be willing to move around to get a job.
Part time would be 2 days per week.
Realistically you would not be able to finish the PhD within a reasonable time frame without more time invested. A full time PhD usually works more than 9-5, 5 days per week to get the PhD done in 3 years. Working 2 days per week you are probably looking at 7+ years, with probable loss of momentum part way through.
roratone · 01/05/2017 05:59
Thanks for the replies. The PhD is designed to be a distance learning deal. The first 2 years are elearning/online courses in Mental Health/research methods. Then years 3-7 are for writing up a 35,000 thesis.
As for jobs, I'm not expecting a job in academia. Moving is not on the cards for me. I was meaning a return to the NHS.
WilliowGreen · 01/05/2017 10:05
That sound good as it is actually more structured and would be easier to keep focused on for the number of years you would be need to do it part time than if it was just one 100000 word thesis. Manchester have a particularly good reputation for research methods so the e learning is likely to be good.
If you want to stay working in the NHS I would stay in your job. There are more opportunities in academia for people who have professional qualifications and PHDs because not many people have both. I know people who are lecturing in nursing and social work and doing their PhD at the same time, for most other subjects you need PhD plus publications and teaching experience to get a job.
roratone · 01/05/2017 18:42
Thank you Willow.
I only work 2 days per week so now I just need to get them to agree to a career break (possible) or seconding me (preferable but unlikely)
To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.