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Programs Paying for a self funded PhD in the UK working for the uni.

  1. Nov 24, 2011 #1

    This is a bit of a random question, but I thought I would ask it here.

    I am interested in doing a PhD in engineering in the UK. However, of course, funding is extremely difficult to come by. I was having a conversation with a friend who said that her cousin paid for his by working for the University. He did about 20 hours a week as a lab assistant, helped out with some early undergraduate classes etc.

    So, I was wondering has anyone every heard of people doing this.

    I haven't, so I thought I would ask here.

    Thanks in advance for any input.

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 24, 2011 #2
    im sure you could, technically, but it would take forever lol. . .
  4. Nov 24, 2011 #3

    Thanks for the reply.


    I guess what I am trying to find out is what would the typical pay for a PhD student who is doing this type of work for the university be.

    I know it would vary from place to place, but generally.

  5. Nov 24, 2011 #4
    well, the idea is that you are working half of the time to pay for school, while going to school the other half. so, 5 years for a phd x2 = 10 years at a part time rate. it may be less than this or whatever, but full-time phd students take 4-5 years. i can't imagine going half time from the start without a masters.
  6. Nov 24, 2011 #5
    Ah, ok, I am with you now.

    Any PhD courses I have looked at are generally three years. Also (sorry if this seems rude, I don't mean it to be) but I would have assumed that the 20 hours work would be done outside of the PhD work, not taking time from it. There are more than 40 hours in the week in which to do work.

    My friends cousin managed to finish his PhD in about 3 - 3.5 years while working for the university.

    However, you do make a good point. Over an extended period, work loads vary.

    Thanks for your input.

  7. Nov 24, 2011 #6
    np, work loads, as well as subject matter. . . if you are doing particle physics vs psychology, one might be more work than the other :P

    it really depends, but talk to the school / department and see what they say. i really find it hard to believe that if you are as hard working as you seem to be that you can't find funding some how. well, you might be able to have tuition covered, so you would essentially be working for living expenses. idk. . .

    also, what do you want to do and what do you want a phd in? is there no way a masters wouldnt work?
  8. Nov 25, 2011 #7

    I am doing a MSc at the minute, and I would like to do work in the area of semiconductors ...Not sure what excatly, but hopefully my MSc project will give me an idea.

    I will be applying for funded positions, of course, but things don't always work out like one hopes, so I am investigating other options.

    Anyway, thanks again for the replies.

  9. Nov 25, 2011 #8


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    When thinking about a self funded PhD I really don't see how a part time job can pay for it. Most lab tech/assistant jobs in the UK (especially graduate entry level ones) Pay between 20-30k full time. So assuming that you got a part time job at 10-15k that means you're working 60 hours weeks at least (40 hours minimum for the PhD and you'd be lucky to get that), earning roughly a thousand pounds a month with which you are going to have to pay rent, bills etc. On top of that you're going to have to pay for your consumables which depending on the research tend to be several thousand pounds a year.

    I'm really not sure how doable that is. My advice would be to go for lab tech/assistant jobs full time at a place where you would like to do a PhD. Whilst working you can look for funding for a PhD and perhaps even be lucky enough to be offered a PhD position at the place you work.
  10. Nov 25, 2011 #9
    That's great advice! Thanks.

    I am sure it would mainly be major companies that would have this sort of thing going on ...the likes of Intel etc?

  11. Nov 25, 2011 #10


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    No problem. I'm not sure what the situation is for engineering in the UK at the moment. A big company isn't a bad place to look but make sure to check out universities themselves. I've just completed an MSc myself and am looking for work/PhDs, on my browser I have book marked the vacancies pages from a number of university websites and regularly check to see if any new lab tech/assistant jobs have been posted.
  12. Nov 25, 2011 #11
    As far as I am aware it isn't that difficult to get funding for a STEM PhD in the UK at the moment, especially an engineering one. So you may not even have to self fund.
  13. Nov 25, 2011 #12

    I have been talking to a fe places, and they have all said that you would need around 75-80% in a Masters course to get a funded position.

    Now, these may be extremely popular courses, I am not sure. But thats what I am been told.

    Now, it is not impossible, but it would be a hard get.

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