Course details

Study options

Full-time: 2-5 years, Part-time: 3-8 years

Course level




Start dates

January, March, September, June


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Course description

Research is an important component of academic life. It plays a major role in supporting what we teach to our students, and directly helps organisations to solve real world issues.

You can undertake a negotiated programme of research leading to the award of either a Master of Philosophy degree or a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

These higher degrees are awarded in recognition of a successful period of research training normally culminating in the production of a thesis.

How you will learn

MPhil or PhD

This route typically involves undertaking independent research under academic supervision that leads to the production of a written thesis, which for some subjects may also be accompanied by creative works. The MPhil is studied over 3 years (full-time) or 5 years (part-time); the PhD is studied over 4 years (full-time) or 8 years (part-time).

MPhil or PhD by Published Works

This route is designed to provide doctoral recognition for your previous research achievements. These would be contained in a body of largely already published or creative works accompanied by a critical appraisal, which contextualises your publications, and justifies the contribution these have made to your subject area. The MPhil or PhD by Published Works is studies over 2 years (full-time) or 3 years (part-time).

MPhil or PhD by Concurrent Publication

This route is only available for University of Derby staff. Under this route, you are expected to produce and publish research or creative work accompanied by a critical appraisal which contextualises your publications, and justifies the contribution these have made to your subject area. The MPhil by Concurrent Publication is studied over 3 years (part-time only); the PhD by Concurrent Publication is studied over 8 years (part-time only).

For each route, you will meet with your supervisors on a regular basis, to be agreed between yourself and your supervisory team following enrolment onto the research degree programme.

Entry requirements

Applicants for research degrees should normally hold an honours degree from a UK University, or qualifications or experience which are deemed by the University to be equivalent.

Language requirements

Applicants who do not hold a UK, EEA, or Swiss passport must also provide an IELTS certificate showing that you meet our entry requirements (overall score 6.5, minimum 5.5 in each area of learning).

Please note that you do not need to supply an IELTS certificate if you have completed a degree from a predominantly English-speaking country, as defined by the UKVI; or if you have citizenship of a predominantly English-speaking country, as defined by the UKVI.

Fees and funding

Doctoral loans

Find out more about doctoral loans and see if you could be eligible for a doctoral loan.


Scholarships and discounts may be available to international students on specific intakes.

How to apply

UK/EU students

UK/EU postgraduate research students can apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit


You'll develop in-depth expertise in your chosen area which can lead to a real career progression either in business or in academia.

Professor Dennis Hayes
Programme leader

Dennis is Professor of Education and Chair of the College of Education Research Committee (CERC).

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Contact us

Research Student Office +44 (0)1332 591060

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

Contact us Contact us

† Additional information about your studies

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.