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. Our higher degrees 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.

We offer four routes to the award of MPhil or PhD:

The MPhil/PhD route involves the undertaking of independent research under academic supervision. You would enrol initially on an MPhil but you may have an opportunity to transfer to a PhD. You do this by submitting an application for Transfer of Registration. Depending upon the outcome of your application, you would remain on your MPhil programme, transfer to a PhD or leave the programme.

The MPhil/PhD route 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 two years full time or four years part time. The PhD is studied over three years full time or six years part time.

This MPhil route involves the undertaking of independent research under academic supervision. This route 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 two years full time or four years part time.

This route is designed to provide recognition for your previous research achievements. Under academic supervision, you will collate and prepare your body of work for examination. This work will largely exist already. None of it will have been submitted previously for similar examination elsewhere.

Your body of work will be a series of research-informed published or creative works. These will be accompanied by a critical appraisal that contextualises and reflects upon them. This appraisal will identify your specific, individual and substantive contribution. It will assess the contribution made by each work and the collective whole to understanding in the field of enquiry.

The MPhil by published works is studied over one year full time or two years part time.

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 PhD.

Under academic supervision, you will collate and prepare your body of work for Level 8 examination. None of this work will have been submitted previously for similar examination elsewhere. Your body of work will be a series of research-informed published or creative works. These will be accompanied by a critical appraisal that contextualises and reflects upon them. This appraisal will identify your specific, individual and substantive contribution. It will assess the contribution made by each work and the collective whole to understanding in the field of enquiry.

The PhD by published works is studied over one year full time or two years part time.

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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

Professional doctorates

Our professional doctorates are work-based programmes and you study them part time. This means you will be able to make a unique contribution to your profession while continuing to work and progress in your field.

Professional doctorates aim to equip you with the research skills, expertise and confidence to advance your practice and become a champion of change. They offer you the chance to enhance your professional career to doctoral level. The programmes promote the creation and interpretation of new professional knowledge and practice. They contribute to the development of new ideas, methods or approaches.

Research training

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

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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
Derby
DE22 1GB

E: pgrstudentoffice@derby.ac.uk
T: +44 (0)1332 591060