Research Degrees - Mphil, PhD & Doctoral Awards

Research degrees

Research student with a digesting machine

Build your fundamental research groups

Find new ways to see the world

The postgraduate research experience at the University of Derby is designed to help you build fundamental research skills, and provides graduates with a strong interest in a chosen subject to embark on original research, leading to the award of a higher degree of either a Master of Philosophy degree or a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Higher degrees from the University of Derby. a university in the UK, are awarded in recognition of a successful period of research training normally culminating in the production of a thesis.

If you're interested in postgraduate research study, there are four routes to a higher degree:

Route 1 is the ‘Traditional PhD’

This PhD route involves the undertaking of independent research under academic supervision, and leading to the production of one or the other of:

-        a written thesis focused on a chosen field of enquiry

-        a written thesis focused on a chosen field of enquiry accompanied by creative work(s) where this forms part of the evidence for new understanding

-        creative work(s) accompanied by a written critical review which contextualises the work and the new understanding which stems from the work.

Route 2 is the ‘Integrated PhD’

This PhD route involves the prior undertaking of a modular-based master’s stage of integrated broader research training, the successful completion of which leads to the Master of Research (MRes) intermediate award.

As well as the undertaking of independent research under academic supervision leading to the production of:

-        a written thesis focused on a chosen field of enquiry

-        a written thesis focused on a chosen field of enquiry accompanied by creative work(s) where it forms part of the evidence for new understanding

-        creative work(s) accompanied by a written critical review which contextualises the work and the new understanding which stems from the work.

When the student has satisfactorily completed all the master’s stage modules normally the registration for the Doctor of Philosophy is confirmed allowing the student to progress to the doctoral stage of independent research undertaken under academic supervision.

Step-off awards are available, if needed, of the Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methods; the Postgraduate Diploma in Research Methods; and the (generic) Master of Research. Details of the Master’s stage are held in the Master of Research Framework regulations, September 2012, to which users of these regulations are referred. 

Route 3 is the ‘PhD by Concurrent Publication’

This route is designed for those who would prefer to pursue their training in research through the production, publication and collation, during their period of registration, of research-informed publication(s) or creative work(s) accompanied by a critical appraisal, of at least similar total overall volume to that required in a Traditional PhD.

Under academic supervision, the candidate prepares and submits for Level 8 examination the research-informed publication(s) to relevant journals/publishers or the creative work(s) for public exhibition or other public recognition while also developing a written critical appraisal of these works which contextualises and reflects upon them, identifying the specific, individual and substantive contribution made by the candidate, assessing the contribution made by each work and the collective whole to understanding in the field of enquiry.

Route 4 is the ‘PhD by Published Works’

This route is designed for those who wish to gain doctoral recognition for their research achievements contained in a body of (largely) already (at the point of application) published or creative works accompanied by a critical appraisal, of at least similar total overall volume to that required in a Traditional PhD.

Under academic supervision, this route involves the collation and preparation for Level 8 examination, of a largely already existing (but not previously submitted for similar examination elsewhere) series of research-informed published or creative work(s) which are accompanied by a critical appraisal that contextualises and reflects upon them, identifying the specific, individual and substantive contribution made by the candidate, and assessing the contribution made by each work and the collective whole to understanding in the field of enquiry.

Other Doctoral  Awards available at the University of Derby

Doctor of Education

Doctor of Health and Social Care Practice