Living part-time in PhD city? Watch

appeppin
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Does anyone know if it's common to live part-time (e.g. 5 nights a week as a lodger) in the same city as your uni for PhD study?

I'll be starting a social science PhD course in Oxford in September. Currently, I live with my partner in London. We both work here and she'll continue to do so after I've started the course. Rather than have to move out completely, I'm wondering if I can just lodge near uni in the week, and spend my weekends back in London.

Would this hinder my studies or just generally be unfeasible?

Thanks!
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PhoenixFortune
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(Original post by appeppin)
Does anyone know if it's common to live part-time (e.g. 5 nights a week as a lodger) in the same city as your uni for PhD study?

I'll be starting a social science PhD course in Oxford in September. Currently, I live with my partner in London. We both work here and she'll continue to do so after I've started the course. Rather than have to move out completely, I'm wondering if I can just lodge near uni in the week, and spend my weekends back in London.

Would this hinder my studies or just generally be unfeasible?

Thanks!
Not exactly the same situation, but I knew a few people on my master's degree course that stayed in AirBnBs during the week and went back home at the weekends. It is doable, but you must also consider any caveats your funding/university may place on you regarding where you live (and whether leaving at weekends may affect that).
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QHF
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(Original post by appeppin)
Does anyone know if it's common to live part-time (e.g. 5 nights a week as a lodger) in the same city as your uni for PhD study?

I'll be starting a social science PhD course in Oxford in September. Currently, I live with my partner in London. We both work here and she'll continue to do so after I've started the course. Rather than have to move out completely, I'm wondering if I can just lodge near uni in the week, and spend my weekends back in London.

Would this hinder my studies or just generally be unfeasible?
People do this, and it's not impossible, though it is complex. Have a think about how much time you need to be in Oxford: if you're doing training courses early in the doctorate (if they have that in the social sciences) you might need to be there five nights a week during those, ditto if you wind up doing a lot of teaching, and if you're really dependant on particular library/computing/whatever resources that also might be true, but for much of the length of many doctoral studies outside laboratory science you don't really need to be anywhere in particular. So you might not even need five nights a week. There might be whole weeks in which you can just work from home.

You might need to think about having a postal address in Oxford if your university requires you to live in the city at least nominally. And if your department/faculty has a regular research seminar in your field/area, you might want to think about arranging your week so you can attend that, as it's likely to be the central research-social clearing house for people who do what you do. Also do your research into lodgings in Oxford: it's an expensive city, especially in its centre, so you might find yourself lodging in the periphery and catching a local bus in.

If you've not already, familiarise yourself with the London-to-Oxford bus links (Tube and X90) and the two rail routes (via Marylebone and Paddington). The rail connections are obviously more expensive, but can be cheaper at weekends with a railcard (which, as a student, you will be entitled to regardless of your age).
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mgi
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My suggestion, as a part-time, Ph.D student who commutes over long distances, is it would be best if you considered at what times do you actually need to be on campus? Probably for the necessary face to face chats with your supervisor, getting to know where things like the library and counsellors are etc. The rest can probably be done via Skype and digital media ,that actually includes online access to the uni library and a large number of other ones as well such as the British Library for example. The other thing you, must like ne, consider isthe impact of your decisions on your relationship with your partner: would it really be ok for you to only see each other at weekends. I decided no in terms of my own relationship so i commute and use digital media. Independent and critical thinking is a key part of your course anyway! So if you can afford it try the commuting method first and see how that goes. You can always change your mind later and also remember that a part-time PhD is not meant to take over your whole life thats why you are allowed up to 7 years to complete it. By the way, there is no enforceable uni requirement for a part-time student to actually live in their university city.
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Anndee
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I think it's doable but not easy. It also changes as you go along in the project - in mine, I'm finding that, while I relied a lot on the community, supervisors, library resources etc in the beginning, now that I'm in the final months, I'm mostly working alone, typing away on my laptop. Technically, at this stage I could live anywhere, were it not for my funding regulations saying that I must live within a certain distance to my campus. Living away will mean you'll miss out on a lot of evening seminars and community building activities, which can be quite important for networking with a view of getting a foot in the door for post-docs, teaching opportunities and all that.
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Ftmshk
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A lot of people seem to study ‘remotely ‘ for PhDs, so you probably won’t have any obstacles put in your way, but the downside is that if you are not regularly at uni you won’t be part of a postgraduate community so you will have less peer support
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Secretariat123
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I am doing a social science related PhD at a Russel Group Uni and do all of my work at home in London, I just go in twice or so a month to my uni outside of London to meet my supervisor. You shouldn't have to go in lots to uni since its not lab work that you will be dealing with. But then again, I'm not sure what sort of requirements Oxford have for this stuff...
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mgi
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(Original post by Ftmshk)
A lot of people seem to study ‘remotely ‘ for PhDs, so you probably won’t have any obstacles put in your way, but the downside is that if you are not regularly at uni you won’t be part of a postgraduate community so you will have less peer support
Not sure what peer support means in terms of doing a Ph.D?
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