Saint Mary's University Writing Centre

Halifax, NS

Succeeding as a ‘non traditional’ student

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The Thesis Whisperer

This post is by Colin Cohen, who completed a doctorate at the School for Health in the University of Bath in south west England. Colin is what we call in the trade a ‘non traditional student’: older, part time and not working in an academic field. Many people have talked to me about what an isolating experience this can be. Colin successfully completed his doctorate, faster than many others do: I think we can all learn something from this post – especially number 2.

Screen Shot 2015-04-26 at 10.27.59 amThis post is about the challenges of undertaking a part time doctorate, whilst working full time in a non-academic setting where I felt isolated from a learning environment. In particular it is focussed on how I tried to maintain momentum and motivation. I offer some suggestions about what worked for me, and hope that people who read this might avoid some of the mistakes I made…

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