• Question: how long did it take you to study and get qualifications in your field of work?

    Asked by 352terb32 to Angeline, Catherine, Luke, Philip, Shona on 9 Mar 2015.
    • Photo: Angeline Burrell

      Angeline Burrell answered on 9 Mar 2015:


      I got my degree in the USA, and things work a bit differently there. In total I spent 11 years in university, 4 years studying for a Bachelors, about 3 to get a Master’s degree in astrophysics, and about 4 to get a Ph.D. in physics.

    • Photo: Shona Whittam

      Shona Whittam answered on 10 Mar 2015:


      I did a 4 year undergraduate degree then started work. I did my Masters part-time over 2 years whilst working.

    • Photo: Catherine Vlahakis

      Catherine Vlahakis answered on 10 Mar 2015:


      I studied for 7 or 8 years in total to get my undergraduate/masters and PhD degrees.

    • Photo: Philip Moriarty

      Philip Moriarty answered on 10 Mar 2015:


      After secondary school, I did a BSc degree at Dublin City University. I actually failed a year and had to repeat it — because I was rather too focused on music rather than physics in my third year — so it took me five years rather than four*.

      I then did a PhD. This took three years. So a total of eight years.

      *I sometimes tell my tutees who have failed an exam (or more than one exam) that it’s not necessarily the end of the world. Failing the third year of my four year degree course was probably the best thing to happen to me at the time (in hindsight). It give me an immense kick in the behind and if it hadn’t happened I would have graduated with a much poorer degree and wouldn’t have done a PhD.

      This, of course, is not to say that failing exams is a good strategy!! I worked very, very many eighteen hour days in my final year of university in order to recover from the failed third year. That was an exceptionally stressful time and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone…

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