A Day in the life of a PhD Student at Swansea University

Hello all,

I hope you are all well and are enjoying your courses now that the term is in full swing. For this post I wanted to give you an overview of a typical day in the life of a PhD student at Swansea University who is studying social policy.

So this summarises my day for today (Wednesday 1st March).

7.00am Alarm goes off. I hit snooze and eventually get out of bed a 7.20am and jump in the shower.

7.55am- Leave my flat and journey to uni. My partner also works at Swansea University and I get a lift in with him because he has a parking permit (which is particularly handy when the weather is cold and wet.

8.25am- Arrive at Uni and go to my PhD office. I then log on, put the kettle on to make a cup of tea. I then eat my breakfast and check my emails.

8.45am- 10.15am. I respond to emails and read a few articles related to my research project and make notes for future reference.

10.20am- leave my office and head to a lecture that I am giving.

10.30am-11am- I give a (condensed) lecture for Pete King. This module is part of a social research methods module and I was asked to come in and speak about my work. I spoke about what my work looks at, the methods that I have used and some of the positives and challenges that I have experienced as part of the project.

11am-12.30pm Supervision with my primary supervisor. During this supervision meeting we discussed my research project and it’s progress in terms of how I will be carrying out my analysis. Additionally we also spoke about some lectures that I have coming up and discussed what I hope to cover and the slideshows that I have developed.

12.30pm-1.45pm- Once the meeting was finished I then sat back down at my desk and had lunch while composing a supervision log and addressing some of the action points that arose form the supervision meeting.

1.45pm-3.30pm- Travel to the gym. I find it helpful to exercise throughout my PhD project as it helps to keep my stress at bay, feel better and sleep better.

3.45pm-5pm- Back to uni and complete more work. In this instance I completed the supervision log and amended the lecture slides as well. I also printed off my lecture notes to begin to memorise.

5pm- Drive home and have dinner.

6.30pm-8pm I amend one of my chapters based on the reading that I completed earlier. I try to write solidly during this time but I do stop and make a cup of tea every now and then.

8pm-9pm- I work on my data set. In a meeting with my second supervisor last week, we discussed ways to undertake the analysis which will enable me to be able to answer my my research questions

9pm. I then stop work at 9pm and try to wind down for the evening. I either watch TV or a film or read. On this occasion I fancied reading a book, which I do until about 10 or 10.30pm.

10/10.30pm- I go to bed, ready to start again the following day.

That is a typical day for a PhD student who is studying social policy (well at least for me it is!)

Thanks you for reading!

Joanna Wolton

I am a PhD student in the Centre for Innovative Ageing within the College of Human and Health Sciences. I hope this blog is insightful and gives you some tips and information about what it is like to be a student living in Swansea.

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