Part-Time PhD?

Hi all!


Just looking for some advice.  I have been considering doing a PhD since completing my bachelors in 2013. At the time I decided against this as I wanted to get on the career ladder. Instead I went on to do a Masters in HRM 2 years later.  At that time I once again considered doing a PhD, then decided not to and instead focus on my career and build a bit more experience in HR.  In the last couple of years I have done a further postgraduate course and just completed a Masters in Employment Law, hoping to dampen the PhD urge.  However, the urge to do a PhD has reared its head once more. I really enjoyed the research element in my coursework and dissertations. A number of previous lecturers have also suggested that I pursue a PhD. Additionally, I feel after a number of years’ experience in HR, I have gained a more solid grounding in theoretical and practical HR.  I am not sure if a career in academia is something I want pursue? Difficult to know without experience. I enjoy learning, researching and writing.  However, it would not be financially feasible for me to do the PhD full-time. Has anyone else done a part-time PhD while working full-time? How did you find the workload? Is it a crazy idea?





  • Hi Katie

    It would be an immense amount of work and a big drain on your spare time (and finances?).
    Unless you're thinking about moving to an academic career, IMHO a PhD is going to be of little or no benefit (or maybe even an impediment?) in most areas of industry and commerce HR.
  • In reply to David:


    Thanks for your advice.

  • Hi Katie - I am doing a DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) part time whilst working full time. More based on business problem than the pure theoretical PhD but you still have research element. You have to show you are solving a business problem whilst also adding to knowledge in that area. The first 2 years involved taught elements and then the final 2+ years the thesis. It is hard and getting the balance right is difficult but I am sure doing your Masters you will be used to this.

    I am doing it more for personal reasons rather than career advancement etc. I also love the research element. It is expensive (luckily my previous employer had been paying for it up to this year). You could try for a Post Graduate loan.

    Is it a crazy idea? I certainly do have points of wondering why I am doing it! I did put it off for a while after doing my MBA but glad I have started it - just need to get it finished!