How many hours a week does a PhD student work?

Do you live to work or do you work to live? The latter is expected, even if a job you love makes the job a little better. Although it’s a disturbing reality, money drives our daily lives: buy a coffee at Horsebox or save those pennies? Want a craft beer or stick with Carling? And for most people, the path to earning money is simple: you work.

However, there is a part of the population that lives in a gray area in an employment industry that is always competitive: PhD students. Are they students or employees?


A doctorate is a marathon, not a sprint: it’s important to work smart. I mean, if you’re having trouble focusing on a certain day, take a break. Add simple or fun tasks to keep your productivity up. Or if you’re having a bad day, take the rest of the day. You are in charge of your time and it’s not always wise to push work when you don’t feel like it. A PhD is not an undergraduate course that you can take and complete overnight.

I don’t know how my hours compare to those of other PhD students, but I do know the importance of working at a steady pace. There are great opportunities to get involved as a doctoral student and I think they are worth investing time in. Not only can a good work-life balance improve your health and well-being, but you never know where your opportunities lie.

I hope this has helped dispel the myth that graduate students must spend every waking hour at work. I think the most important thing is that you use your time wisely. Let me know your thoughts in the comments too! Subscribe for more content here:

Private Tutor

Another way to increase your sales is to work as a private tutor. In many cases, students, parents and individuals need support to learn and prepare for exams. This is usually a good opportunity for you, as a researcher on a particular topic, to leverage your niche and find clients that you are willing to pay to teach them. Some of the platforms that can help you with this are:

  • GoStudent – link
  • UniversityTutor – link
  • Games – link
  • Link

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