Full-time PhDs typically last three or four years, while part-time PhDs last six or seven. However, the thesis deadline can be extended by up to four years at the institution's discretion. Indeed, many students who enrol on three-year PhDs only finish their thesis in year four.
So even if you never attend a single lecture again, your PhD fees are needed to cover the cost of equipment, space and time of the staff who assist you. But you do not have to study full time. If you are working and would prefer to do your PhD part time, then most universities will allow you to register as a part-time student.
That's a very good point - check the small print on your PhD contract. Mine stated that by signing, I agreed to work a minimum of 37.5 hours a week (i.e. full-time) on my PhD. We were permitted to work outside that to the statutory maximum of 48 hours a week (i.e. 10.5 hours for paid work).
Distance learning PhDs are available at a growing number of UK universities, and you can usually register as a full or part-time student. The level of fees you pay varies between institutions - some charge the same as for a standard PhD while others offer a reduced rate.
You are aged 19 or over and on a full-time course of study at any level, unless you are aged under 20 and can still be treated as in relevant education. You count as a student from the first day until the last day of the course or if you do not complete it, until the day you are dismissed from or abandon the course.
Doing a PhD only you can decide if what you’re doing is right or not. There are also few people in the same position as me. The majority of PhD candidates are full time and fresh off the back of an honours degree. Very few people tackle a PhD while in full time employment.
Duration. The maximum registration for a PhD programme is four years with full-time study, or eight years with part-time study. Assessment. All PhD students are initially registered for a Master of Philosophy (MPhil), and the PhD registration is confirmed after the successful completion of an upgrade assessment (at the end of year 1 for full-time students and year 2 for part-time study).
Like full-time students, individuals enrolled in a part-time Ph.D. program must take a qualifying exam to determine that they're ready to start the dissertation process.