What is a research degree?

If you are a graduate with a strong interest in a chosen subject, you can undertake original research leading to the award of a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree. Our research degrees are awarded in recognition of a successful period of research training that normally culminates in the production of a thesis.

We offer different routes to a research degree:

Studying for a PhD

To achieve your PhD, you will undertake independent research that makes a substantial original contribution to knowledge or understanding in your chosen field.

You will be matched with a minimum of two supervisors, forming your supervisory team, who are experienced in the field of your research interests. They will help you to refine your research project and produce a realistic research plan.

There are five phases to the structure of your PhD. You be supported throughout each phrase to achieve your PhD.

How long will a PhD take?

A PhD usually takes three years full-time and up to six years part-time. A PhD by published works is studied over one year full-time or two years part-time. In either case, you will graduate with the degree title Doctor of Philosophy.

What is a 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, similar to the requirements for a traditional PhD.

When can I start?

You can enrol at four points during the academic year: September, January, March and June.

Online learning

If you are an international student, or in employment, you may be able to complete a PhD via online learning. The qualification you will receive at the end of your study will be the same as a campus-based student. As part of the application process, you will be advised on your options for online learning if requested.

Our professional doctorates are work-based programmes and you study 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.

With a focus on developing new professional knowledge, this doctorate will give you the research skills, expertise and confidence to drive change in your profession.

Our Doctor of Education EdD and our Doctor of Health and Social Care Practice are both available to study online.

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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
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Researcher development

Our broad range of training and development opportunities will prepare you for a successful research career, whether you are a new PhD student, early-career researcher or already have research experience.

Find out how we can help you develop as a researcherFind out how we can help you develop as a researcher
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Our research community

We have a vibrant research environment with over 330 doctoral students and more than 250 research-active staff. We organise regular events and opportunities for networking and development will support you on your research journey.

Find out about our vibrant research communityFind out about our vibrant research community