Part-Time Study

It is possible to study for PhD part-time. Normally this means half-time, so a 3-year full-time programme becomes a 6-year half-time PhD. This has to be approved at admissions. A student who wants to study for part-time PhD would normally apply for the part-time programme. However, under some circumstances a full-time PhD can transfer to a part-time course, but this would have to be approved by the supervisor and by the School. Because it is difficult to do timely research over a 6 year period, not all academics are willing to take on a part-time student, or if they are, not for all projects.

The policy governing part-time programmes is the same as the policy governing full-time programmes.

The relevant rules for part-time study extracted from that document are:

  • “…the degree shall be continuous and include study time equivalent to a full-time degree but should not exceed twice the full-time study. The students shall be required to attend the University at all appropriate times” (Ordinance A.4.b)
  • “Applicants may also be admitted as a part-time student if:” (Regulation 1.e)
    1. “the periods for which they will be free from employment or other commitments will be sufficient for the purposes of the degree;” and
    2. “the subject is suitable for part-time study.”
  • “The duration of a part-time degree will be dependent upon the time to be committed by the candidate for study but shall normally be no more than 6 years.” (Regulation 2.b)
  • “Part-time students shall submit a progress report on an annual basis, with a major report occurring after the equivalent of one year’s full-time registration.” (Regulation 5.g)

What this means within the School of Computer Science is described here. For a part-time the student the progression procedures as described previously are amended to include the following. Part-time students are required to attend an ‘end of year’ progression interview at the end of each year of their part-time registration. This has the format of the end of year examination described in the previous chapter. The major decisions about progression taken annually by the examiners for full time students will be taken after the equivalent study time, normally two years (e.g. after year 2 and year 4), for part time PhD students. The ‘end of year’ interviews after year 1 and year 3 of part time PhD registration are intended to generate advice about progression, but not enforced mandatory action such as withdrawal.

There is normally no submission pending for part-time students - but it can be granted for up to 1 year part time study.