How many hours do PhD students study?

There is no way to answer this question. This seems to be in high demand on the internet. I think it all depends on 1) how productive you are during “working hours”, 2) how long it takes to collect your “data” for analysis (I think that’s the problem) and 3) how quickly your supervisor responds, when you need a response.

I hope, thumbs, toes, feet and arms crossed, that I will be finished in 3.5 years. At the moment (1.5 years) this looks realistic. Although I can see that none of my experiments will work in the next 6 months, which means I will have to do my PhD a little longer…

If accepted in the Doctoral programme, you will find an academic supervisor. These people have experience in your field of study and are there to support you on your doctoral journey. That being said, you have to take the initiative to make sure the relationship benefits you. The University of South Australia recommends that students hold regular meetings with their supervisors, prepare for supervision meetings, take notes during meetings, submit regular progress reports and discuss your working relationship with them.

Inform the supervisor that you intend to work full-time alongside your studies. This will help them understand your situation and they may have tips on how to study well alongside work. Maybe you know the best online courses for an easier schedule or, if you’re an international student, what the university rules are about the number of hours per week international students are allowed to have work.

How long does it take to do a full-time doctorate?

In the UK, a full-time PhD usually takes 3-4 years. You usually spend the first three years on the technical aspects of your doctorate. This includes conducting independent research, designing your research methodology, and collecting and analyzing data. You then spend another academic year preparing your thesis and completing your colloquium.

In the UK, a part-time PhD usually takes 6-7 years; twice as long as a full-time PhD. The reason for this is that you would spend around 20 hours a week on your PhD as a part-time postgraduate student, compared to the 40 hours that full-time students would invest in their subject.

Side post

A side post is no surprise. However, there is often the opportunity to do something completely different during the PhD than what you are doing now. It’s a great way to be creative, connect with people, or even work on your sales skills. If you want a part-time job, please email us at:

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