Research degrees

Find new ways to see the world

Your postgraduate research experience at the University of Derby is designed to help you build fundamental research skills, whether you are a motivated recent graduate or an experienced academic. Discuss your options at a Postgraduate Open Event.

If you are a graduate with a strong interest in a chosen subject, you can embark on original research, leading to the award of a higher degree of either a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree. Higher degrees from the University of Derby are awarded in recognition of a successful period of research training that normally culminates in the production of a thesis.

You'll be supported throughout the duration of your studies by your allocated research supervisor. You have the option to study full time or part time.

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

This traditional MPhil or PhD route involves the undertaking of independent research under academic supervision that leads 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

The MPhil is studied over three years full time or five years part-time. The PhD is studied over four years full time or eight years part time.

This part-time route is available for University of Derby staff only.

If you are a member of University staff, you can pursue your training in research through the production, publication and collation, during your period of registration, of research-informed publications or creative work accompanied by a critical appraisal, of total overall volume at least similar to that required in a traditional MPhil or PhD.

The MPhil by concurrent publication is studied over three years. The PhD by concurrent publication is studied over eight years.

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, of total overall volume at least similar to that required in a traditional MPhil or PhD.

Under academic supervision, you will collate and prepare for examination your body of work, which will not have been submitted previously for similar examination elsewhere. Your body of work will be a series of research-informed published or creative works accompanied by a critical appraisal that contextualises and reflects upon them. This will identify your specific, individual and substantive contribution, and assess the contribution made by each work and the collective whole to understanding in the field of enquiry.

The MPhil or PhD by published works is studied over two years full time or three years part time.

The Roaches in Derbyshire

How to apply

Here's everything you need to know about how to join us for your postgraduate research degree.

How to apply for your research degreeHow to apply for your research degree

Research with us

Take a look at our broad PhD and MPhil research areas and find out who to contact. 

We also offer professional doctoral awards that are studied on a part-time basis and Master of Research (MRes) degrees in a range of subjects.

Research training

We offer a range of training workshops and events to help you improve your research skills. These include:

conducting a psychology experiment

Explore our research

We want you to find the research subject area that's right for you and our research categories are designed to help you do that.

Explore by research categoryExplore by research category
A woman studying course leaflets at a Postgraduate Open Event

Postgraduate Open Events

Visit us to discover our campuses and find out more about our postgraduate courses.

View our postgraduate Open Event datesView our postgraduate Open Event dates

Contact us

If you have any questions about applying, please contact us:

Research Student Office
University of Derby
Kedleston Road
DE22 1GB

T: +44 (0)1332 591060