Balancing life and studies

It can be tough to find a balance between study and other responsibilities - full-time study is on average a 40 hour per week study commitment. If you are studying part-time, 20 hours per week is the average. Here's some strategies that may help:

  • Monitor how many hours of study you do during a two-week period, and then review and discuss with your supervisors, friends, or family
  • Consider if any changes to candidature may assist you (changing from full-time to part-time, or taking leave of absence)
  • Familiarise yourself with the obstacles and help to overcome them - Being a candidate

Case study

Chloe was struggling to find enough time to dedicate to completing her degree. She decided to enrol in a PhD after ten years of working as a primary school teacher, to help her attain higher level positions in the education industry. She had been married for six years with two young children. Her husband was working part-time so that she could focus on her studies.

Chloe’s advisory committee realised during her pre-confirmation that balancing family commitments and studies was a struggle for her.

Chloe went to speak to her department graduate research administrator, who explained the option of studying part-time. This meant she could schedule time for her studies in-between family commitments while studying for at least 20 hours each week.

Chloe’s supervisors also discussed other ways to hold their meetings with her and the best ways to reschedule if needed. After her one-year progress review, Chloe’s advisory committee saw a drastic change in how she was approaching her studies and encouraged her to continue with part-time study.