Course details

Study options

Full-time: 2-3 years, Part-time: 6 years †

Course level




Start date

See below †


Markeaton Street, Derby Campus

Course description

Take your knowledge and ambitions to the next level with a research degree at Derby. We will help you achieve a highly regarded MPhil or PhD specialising in areas such as mechanical and aerospace engineering, manufacturing, design, motorsport engineering or the built environment.

Employable Graduates – we’re ranked 15th highest amongst all UK universities and 12th for English institutions with 96% of graduates in work or further study within six months of completing their degree: HESA 2016.

We will work with you to design an individual research programme that suits your topic. You will meet your supervisor regularly for guidance and progress monitoring.

There are three routes to a higher degree:


This is for graduates who want to gain a strong knowledge and understanding of the subject, and then take the discipline forward through an approved programme of original research.

New Route PhD

The new route is for recently qualified graduates with good honours degrees who are keen to progress immediately to a research experience. This will prepare you for a career in which the ability to undertake research plays a key role.

Traditional Route PhD

This route entails a programme of research which normally takes three years of full-time study. You can also choose to take it part time over a period of up to six years. The traditional route enables capable and qualified individuals, usually with a masters degree, to pursue an original research investigation into a chosen topic within a field of enquiry.

What you will study

We offer a variety of topics at PhD level in mechanical/aerospace engineering and the built environment. Many involve working with industrial companies in the East Midlands.

  • Multiscale Assessment and Modelling of Low Energy Impact Fatigue in Aerospace Composite Structures
  • Large Eddy Simulation of Wake-induced Transition
  • Pressure Gain Combustion: Fuel Spray and Shockwave Interaction
  • Optimising Aerospace Material Performance by Embedding 3D Fibre into Composite Preform
  • Urban Information Management: Sustainable Urban Information Systems
  • Using Intelligent Augmented Reality (AR) for Multi-User Collaborative Design and Manufacturing
  • Expert System for the Estimating of Costs for Large Complex Engineering Projects
  • Reducing Aircraft Noise through the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics and Neural Networks
  • Sustainability Impact of BIM and Low Energy Design
  • A New Approach to Characterisation Material Properties from Measurement Data Using Combined Inversed Analysis and Optimisation
  • Simulation-based Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for Sustainable Manufacturing Design and Management


With the prestige of a PhD on your CV, you can progress in your present job or seek new career opportunities in a range of areas such as research and teaching in universities, industrial research centres or publicly funded bodies.  You can also enter management at a senior level within industrial companies.

Contact us

Course: Stamartis Zoras (Built Environment) (programme leader) Course: Huirong Le (Mechanical Engineering)  E: E: Tel: +44 (0)1332 593167 Tel: +44 (0)1332 593599

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

Full time: MPhil – studies over two years, PhD – Three years.

Part time: PhD – Six years, New route PhD studied over four years.

Enrol between August and May

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.