Part Time PhD

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How to Choose a Research Topic

A PhD is one of the highest degrees of qualification pursued by those aiming to master a certain discipline and aspire towards a career in research or academia! Studying for a PhD requires massive commitment as it is not a perfectly structured course but needs the scholar to spend extensive time studying, researching and then finally working on their thesis. As it demands total commitment and a greater amount of time and effort, students popularly opt for a full-time PhD. But for working professionals or those with time restraints, there are several options available for part-time PhD to choose from. This blog brings you a detailed guide on Part time PhD, the best programs and universities you can choose from as well as the admission process you must know about!

Part Time PhD Overview

Part-time PhD is the best option if you are a working professional aiming to steer towards a career in research or academia or to broaden your career horizons. A part-time PhD would enable you to acquire your doctorate degree while pursuing a full-time job. It is of a longer duration spanning around 6 to 8 years while a regular doctoral degree might be somewhere between 3 to 5 years. Studying a part-time PhD, you can work on your research thesis at your own pace but you would have to stay in constant touch with your professors and doctorate scholars as well. Part-time PhDs are becoming increasingly popular in the present day since it offers both the benefits of being financially stable and getting higher educational qualifications at the same time.

Important: UGC Guidelines for Part-Time PhD

Part Time PhD Eligibility

The eligibility criteria for both part time and full-time PhD are quite similar. Here are some of the general requirements for pursuing a part-time doctoral degree:

  • The candidate should have completed their master’s degree from a recognised university or institution with the minimum marks specified by the university you are applying at.
  • Qualifying UGC NET is a compulsory criterion for PhD admission in some institutions in India, while others may hold entrance tests prior to the interview.
  • For candidates who want to pursue their part-time PhD abroad, they need to clear the GRE as well as language proficiency exams like IELTS, TOEFL, etc. You will also be required to submit a Statement of Purpose (SOP).
  • Additionally, they need to send a research proposal on their preferred topic of research along with Letters of Recommendation (LORs) from at least two of their former faculty members to be considered for admission
  • All candidates have to pass a round of interviews before being admitted to enrol for the degree
Source: All about phd by Dr Ritika Gaubaon Youtube

Part Time PhD Programs

Although it is pursued by research scholars across all streams of study, there are some specific disciplines which are more popular among applicants. Below are some of the popular streams for Part time PhD programs you can consider:

StreamPopular subjects for Part Time PhD
HumanitiesPhD in English
PhD in Linguistics
PhD in History
PhD in Inter-religious Studies
PhD in Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies
PhD in Economics
SciencePhD in Chemistry
PhD in Mathematics

PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology
PhD in Geosciences
PhD in Macromolecular Chemistry
PhD in Physics
PhD in Biotechnology
LawPhD in Law
PhD in Legal Studies
PhD in International Law
PhD in Administrative Law
PhD in Dispute Resolution
EngineeringPhD in Engineering Sciences
PhD in Material Science and Engineering
PhD in Civil Engineering
PhD in Mechanical Engineering
PhD in Naval Architecture
Business and ManagementPhD in Business Administration
PhD in Entrepreneurship and Innovativeness
PhD in Business and Management
PhD in Company Management and Economics
PhD in Law and Business

Universities in India offer some of these popular courses, whose fees are mentioned below.

Part Time Course in India Average Fees
PhD in Computer ScienceINR 10,000 to INR 2.75 lakh
PhD in ManagementINR 10,000 to INR 2.75 lakh
PhD in English LiteratureINR 10,000 to INR 1 lakh
PhD in Legal StudiesINR 20k to INR 2.5 lakh
PhD in HistoryINR 50k to INR 1 lakh

Now that you know about some of the most popular PhD programs, it is essential to explore the top universities for your chosen course to get the best research opportunities and exposure for your doctoral degree. Here are the popular universities in the world you must consider:

SOAS University of LondonUnited Kingdom
Queen’s University BelfastUnited Kingdom
The University of Technology SydneyAustralia
The University of EdinburghUnited Kingdom
University of San FranciscoUnited States
Brno University of TechnologyCzech Republic
Universidade da CoruñaSpain
Swiss School of Business and ManagementSwitzerland
The Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyHong Kong
Kent Business SchoolUnited Kingdom

Top 10 Part Time PhD Colleges in India

If you are looking for the best colleges for a part-time PhD in India, check out the list we have mentioned below for you:

  1. BITS Pilani
  2. Amrita University
  3. Delhi Technological University
  4. Himalayan University
  5. IBS
  6. IIT Delhi
  7. IIT Kanpur
  8. Dr. BR Ambedkar University
  9. Andhra University
  10. Bharathiar University

Part Time vs Regular PhD

Credits: Anuj Jindal

Career Options

A PhD opens up various career options irrespective of whether you have pursued it full-time or part-time. Doctorate scholars commonly explore career opportunities in research and academic and can find teaching prospects in colleges, universities and research centres. You can also discover job prospects in the corporate sector which offer higher salary packages and lucrative career profiles. Here are some of the career options if you have completed PhD:

  • Assistant Professor
  • Guest Lecturer
  • Associate Professor
  • Subject Matter Expert
  • Professor
  • Researcher
  • Writer
  • Academic Content Developer
  • Dean
  • Research Assistant
  • Curriculum Designing Expert
  • Business Consultant


The following is the Average Annual Salary Package for several job profiles.

Job Salary
Chief Executive OfficerINR 30 lakh
Academic ProfessorINR 16.5 lakh
Professional ConsultantINR 3.4 lakh
Chief Operating OfficerINR 30 lakh


Q1. Is part-time PhD valid?

Yes, part time PhD is valid. It is accepted and recognised by the academic community and employers.

Q2. Can I do 3 year PhD part-time?

A part time PhD usually spans from 6 to 8 years.

Q3. What is the minimum duration of part-time PhD?

The minimum duration of part-time PhD is 4 years.

Hope this blog was helpful in clearing all your doubts regarding part time PhD. Want to pursue a PhD but confused regarding which university to choose? Our Leverage Edu experts are here to guide you the best university in the field of your choice and we will also assist you throughout the admission process. Sign up for a free counselling session with us today!

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  1. I am working professional,I want to persu PhD chemistry through distance mode plz suggest the best universities Which is UGC affaliated….

  2. Thanks, but what about fields like Psychology or Special Education? Please enlighten. Would be very useful.