Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

part-time PhDs?


Recommended Posts

I was asked this before, maybe someone here knows the answer.

Is it at all possible to do part-time doctoral degrees in Chinese studies (history/culture/language/economics etc)? People nowadays can take a business degree without quitting their jobs. What about people who are working in China and are thinking of pursuing an academic career later on? Is there a supply of "distance education" PhDs?

Maybe as a research student you're supposed to have a very close relationship with supervisors, other researchers etc hence the residence requirements. Or maybe not. Especially if your line of work is already closely related to your research topic and your employer doesn't object?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

Scoobyqueen

You can do part-time PhDs in a range of fields in both the UK and Germany (but I guess in other countries too) for example. You need to identify a topic that qualifies for original research and then look for a suitable supervisor. If he/she is willing to supervise your research and you have the necessary qualifications you can start your PhD. Normally the supervisor/University will require you to write a research proposal first which includes a literature review on previous research in the field. Some universities in the UK lets you register for a part-time MPhil and transfer to a PhD later.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, the Open University or ULondon external programme come to mind. Though none offers a China-related research degree (UniLondon has a taught MSc International Management - China).

It may be that many research departments are swamped with applications already and don't want to be seen as diploma mills. Or costs would be too high and student demand too price sensitive (they are not getting a pay rise just because they got a PhD). It's just I don't think I've ever met anyone who's done it. There are many who have degrees in Chinese studies who go into industry, but that's another story.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Scoobyqueen

It will be up to you to come up with a research proposal and be proactive about approaching the supervisor. A lot of PhDs advertised are ones where funding has been allocated or which represents a speciality of a particular department. From what you are saying you would probably want to do you PhD in a department focusing on sustainability rather than Chinese. Do you have a hypothesis already you want to test?

Link to post
Share on other sites
james_moat

As someone who isn't happy with these modern universities who cash in on unsuspecting students who do not realize traditional universities are more respected:

Why bother with part time? People can earn quite of money doing a PhD, as you teach on the side generally as well. I would seriously suggest you do not consider doing a part time PhD, due to the lengthy time it will take to complete. Also, having checked, I see no 'good' UK universities offer part time PhD's, which perhaps tells you something.

For those who get defensive: you are only doing yourself a diservice by attending a university of lesser quality. Trust me, you want a good university if you're going to potentially be there for at least 3 years, up to 7 in some cases if your research goes titsup.

Do serious thinking before going for something. Speak to current PhD students for a start, at a range of universities.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Scoobyqueen

@ James Moat. Many good universities offer part-time PhDs. Cambridge for example.

In Germany you can complete a PhD in a minimum of two years. A part-time PhD does not necessarily have to take a long time also not in the UK as far as I am aware.

Teaching whilst researching for a PhD is good if you like to teach and want to make a career as a lecturer. Obtaining a part-time PhD in the field in which you are working may not only enhance your career prospects but can also help show the employer (and prospective employers) that you are able to bridge the gap between theory and practice and indeed also show how good you are at completing something that taxing whilst still juggling a full-time career.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You can follow the footsteps of the politburo members.

http://bbs.econchina.org.cn/bbs/dispbbs.asp?boardid=38&id=9397&star=1&page=16

政治局里的4位博士

李克强88-94年成为北大经济学院经济学专业在职研究生,获经济学硕士、博士学位。在此期间,他的职务是共青团中央书记处书记兼全国青联副主席、共青团中央书记处第一书记兼中国青年政治学院院长。博士论文:"关于社会主义文化艺术生产的若干问题"。

习近平是98年到2002年在清华大学人文社会学院马克思主义理论与思想政治教育专业在职研究生班学习,获法学博士学位。在此期间,习近平担任福建省委副书记、代省长、省长并於2002年转任浙江省委副书记、代省长。在国家图书馆学位论文收藏中心查不到习近平的博士论文。

李源潮98年获中央党校法学博士学位。在此期间,他于93年5月至96年3月任国务院新闻办公室副主任。96年3月至2000年10月任文化部副部长。他的博士学位,是在文化部副部长任内获得的。博士论文:"关于社会主义文化艺术生产的若干问题"。

刘延东在担任中央统战部副部长、中央社会主义学院党组书记期间,就读吉林大学行政学院政治学理论专业在职博士学位。 论文题目是"共产党领导的多党合作与中国的政治发展"。

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hehe thanks Gato. I'd rather interview for the post of General Secretary.

Seriously, I'm not planning to do this myself, someone asked me and got me curious. I never heard of anyone doing it, and above is another good reason: people getting PhDs to work in academia probably need some kind of teaching experience. Though some of the research work consultants do etc (ignoring confidentiality issues) could tie up with the sort of work done in universities.

For scientific subjects (like, biotech) I think "part-time PhDs" are more common. Sinologists, I don't know.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Scoobyqueen
For scientific subjects (like, biotech) I think "part-time PhDs" are more common. Sinologists, I don't know.

You can do your first degree in one subject (or joint honours) and then go onto do a PhD in another field, ie graduate in Chinese and then go onto do a PhD in sustainability (whichever department that comes under) where you use your knowledge of Chinese to read the Chinese sources as well as researching a subject related to China. If you do a PhD in a language department it is usually related to linguistics, literature, history. The research you referred to belongs to another department with supervisors specialising, not in Chinese, but in sustainability. However, you can have a supervisor in two departments but the PhD is awarded by one department.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 months later...

I'm a full-time PhD student at Sydney University (Australia), three years in.

My two cents worth:

A part-time PhD would be ok but in my opinion you're not going to be able to keep working full-time in a 9-5 job while doing a part-time PhD. That's because you still need to be on campus during working hours at least 1 day a week to meet with your supervisors and discuss your research with other academics, post-docs and fellow students. If you don't do that, your research project really won't go anywhere and you'll end up getting horribly frustrated and going around in circles. In reality you'll probably need to spend at least 2 days a week on campus.

Doing a part-time PhD is going to be much harder than full-time. Someone once told me that a PhD is 10% ability and 90% determination. I'd wholeheartedly agree. If you're not able to focus solely on your PhD, you're just putting another barrier to finishing it in your path. Part-time you're going to be looking at a minimum of 6 years, probably more like 8 years... that's a long time to keep up the high degree of momentum and focus required.

Regarding a distance PhD - personally I wouldn't even touch the idea with a 10-foot barge pole. Doing a PhD is hard enough without introducing the added difficulty of throwing distance into the equation. I did my masters (coursework) by distance which was fine, but not ideal. Speaking for myself, doing a PhD by distance (and part-tme) would be really, really (*really*) hard.

In my opinion you're much better off getting it over with as fast as possible. Apply for a scholarship with a stipend so you've still got an income. Choose your supervisor rather than the university - a good supervisor not only gives you better direction and will make the whole process much more pleasant and successful, but also has access to more research funding that you'll need.

Link to post
Share on other sites
anonymoose
Someone once told me that a PhD is 10% ability and 90% determination.

I agree. I liken it to being in prison. It doesn't take a lot of ability. You just have to do your time and then you can get out.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like what many Chinese students are doing at university: just doing their time, getting their diploma in the end, and getting their job not through credentials (at all, in some cases) but because they have sat at uni long enough...

Seriously, though, it depends on what you want and what you are considering:

Ph.D.s can be either taught or research-based; the systems of e.g. Germany and the USA are (although things are changing somewhat with the Bologna process having shifted Europe to the Bachelor's, Master's, Ph.D. system) rather different.

It's still near-impossible to change subject in the switch from M.A. to Ph.D. with many Central European programs (unless the subjects are very closely related and you are good with quasi-legal haggling...); otoh, there are oftentimes still few courses you have to do at university - your research is much more important, if that's somewhere else... there you go.

This does leave you with a Ph.D. that has not usually required you to teach, though, so it's a doctoral degree rather different from American Ph.D.s... the real question is, what would you want to do with your PhD, why would you want to study at doctoral level... but this thread has gotten old ;-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...