Part-time PhD Information
Part-time +/or Distance Learning PhDs at KMi
Although the OU is famous for enabling students to undertake part-time distance learning, doing a PhD is very different to studying a predefined course. A PhD is an apprenticeship in learning a host of new skills 'on the job', and for this reason, most PhD students at the OU are full-time, on-site. In KMi you will get much more from the experience (and have a higher chance of success) if you're working as part of a research group and participating actively in the lab's life (e.g. seeing your supervisor regularly, joining the student group, meeting visiting researchers, giving presentations and with ready access to high quality technology and internet access).
That being said, there are still part-time students at the OU because full-time study based here is of course not possible for everyone. Moreover, as collaboration technologies improve, some of the time/space obstacles to asynchronous research collaboration are reduced. However, the bottom line is: no supervisor, no PhD! If you can find a supervisor who is happy to take you on a part-time and/or distance learning basis, you're in business.
As explained on the main PhD/Studentship page, all students must write a research proposal, and you are strongly recommended to write this in conjunction with the potential supervisor. What you are recommended to do is look at the list of projects who are looking for students, and approach direct the relevant project leader of any that interest you. Briefly outline your background and interests, and see if they are interested to know more. You can of course send us a proposal out of the blue, but it stands less chance of finding a supervisor to own it.
The application deadline for Part-time study is the same as for Full-time applications.