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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 49829
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I have applied for a full-time PhD and my application has been

Customer Question

I have applied for a full-time PhD and my application has been rejected because I like to work part-time (25 hours a week)

Full-time PhD students are just supposed to work 6 hours per week (paid work)
Part-time PhD students are supposed to work no more than 15 hours a week.

Even though I told the university that I can commit up to 50 hours a week for my PhD studies - nobody listens or is taking me seriously.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What would you like to know about this please?
JACUSTOMER-gcdjsa3c- :

Is a part-time job a valid reason to be rejected even though I have the required minimum of 35 hours weekly for my PhD?

JACUSTOMER-gcdjsa3c- :

The university has sent me their memorandum and they are very clear about that if you like to study for a PhD full-time you are not supposed to work more than 6 hours in a paid job. And the only jobs that you are allowed to do are lecturer or technician.

JACUSTOMER-gcdjsa3c- :

The part-time route allows you to work no more than 15 hours a week and also as lecturer or technician.

JACUSTOMER-gcdjsa3c- :

this implies that the perfect phd candidate has £45.000 on a savings account or wealthy parents or partners.

JACUSTOMER-gcdjsa3c- :

I have none of those - I have to work to pay my bills.

JACUSTOMER-gcdjsa3c- :

Basically, I have not been rejected for missing qualification or because no research questions but on something that is existential and cannot be changed.

JACUSTOMER-gcdjsa3c- :

I feel that they treat me unfair - is there anything legally I can do to get in? I will be back today after 5pm.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.
Hello sorry I was offline when you replied. Whilst their decision may appear to be unethical and unfair, it is not illegal. There is nothing in law that states a service provider or education provider cannot reject to deal with someone because of their part-time employment status. There is specific protection about unfavourable treatment of part-time employees when compared to full time employees, however this only extends to treatment by their employers, not by a third party like in this case.

As far as the institution is concerned, they the right to choose who they take on and can make such decisions based on a wide range of factors. It is generally lawful for them to use whatever considerations they feel are relevant and appropriate in the circumstances to come to that decision.

The only requirement in law is that their decision is not based on discriminatory grounds. That means that it should not base its decision on factors relating to gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, etc. If its decision is based on any of these, there will be a potential case of discrimination and the affected person can potentially take this further. However, in the absence of any discriminatory reasons, they will not be acting unlawfully and will have the general power to be selective over who it takes on, even if this decision is based on the person's part time working status.

I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you wanted to hear but I hope you understand I have a duty to explain the law as it actually stands and sometimes this does mean delivering bad news. Please let me know if you need me to clarify anything.

I hope this has answered your query and would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating. Your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you