Posted in Life as a Research Student, PhD Journey

A Day in the Life of a PhD Student

One thing that shocked me when becoming a PhD student was how little other people know about it, especially those who have not looked into a PhD at all. I know when I was thinking about doing a PhD I thought that it would be like my dissertation module in my final year of my undergraduate degree but stretched over a longer period of time. In some aspects, I guess you could say that it is, but to make it easier for you to get a taste of what PhD life is like, I thought I would share with you a day in my life.

8am – 9am – Get up.

If I have to go into the university for whatever reason, then I get up at 8am. However, if I am just at home all day I’ll sleep in until nearer 9am and start work straight away. But on this particular day I had to travel into my university.

9am – 10am – Get the Bus; Catch up on E-mails and do some Reading.

My journey into university is a 50-60 minute bus ride and I take that time to read through any e-mails and to do some more reading of journal articles. I use my IPad for any reading with an app called Endnote, you can download the articles to it using an account so you can work offline and it links to every device that you have it on so that you can easily edit your articles.

10am- 11am – More Reading, Taking Notes and Teaching Prep.

On this particular day I was teaching, so I like to go over what it is that I need to cover one last time before going into the lesson and then I do some more reading, maybe take a few notes.

11am – 12.30pm – Workshop Teaching.

I had to teach a small class of final year undergraduate students about a programme called SPSS. This is essentially a programme that is used within research to do all the statistics calculations for you so that you don’t have to sit working out incredibly complex equations. A lot of people hate SPSS and statistics; but it is probably my favourite type of research to do.

12.30pm – 1.30pm – Lunch and Travelling home.

I will normally get myself some lunch such as a sandwich to eat on the bus journey home and I allowed myself to have a bit of a break here. I always decide to do my work from home when possible because I find it so much quieter and I get a lot more done in the comfort of my own home.

1.30pm – 5.30pm – Work, Work and more Work.

I’ll spend the rest of the day doing work, on this particular day, here are some of the tasks that I tackled;

  • Preparation for my presentation at a conference.
  • Preparation for my teaching the following week which is a workshop on a different programme called NVivo.
  • Some reading for my own Research; particularly in the area of Critical Thinking Assessments.
  • Reading for one of my Side Projects; Risks in Domestic Homicide
  • Dabbled a little into my assignments for a qualification I am undertaking which is due in April.

Evening – Food, TV, Blog and Pleasure Reading.

For the evenings I like to shut off when I can. This is not always possible and I may have to do some extra work, but I do try my best to just allow myself to have some food and relax. It is important to give yourself that time or you may go entirely mad!


I hope that I have given you some insight into what a day is like as a PhD student. Every day is entirely different and this is one of my busier days due to having to travel into Liverpool. Any questions, feel free to leave down below!

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