Research degrees are offered through four research groups:
- MEMS and sensors
- fluid dynamics and thermal systems
- design, manufacture and materials
As a postgraduate researcher you'll join as a junior academic colleague rather than a student. You'll play a full and professional role in contributing to the School of Engineering’s goal of international academic excellence.
To develop your research capabilities you'll be supported by:
- the School
- the Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering
- your supervisory team
We will help you progress with your higher degree. You'll gain a unique skill set, through:
- international conference attendance
- research paper submissions
You can find more detailed information regarding each research group and suggested PhD projects on the School website:
NewRail is our centre for railway research at Newcastle University. It is part of the design, manufacture and materials research group. Through this centre you have the opportunity to research train movement:
The subject looks at innovative concepts for sustainable rail transport. It focusses on:
- system services
- production patterns
- rail system designs
Your scientific work will contribute to the modernisation of the rail sector as a whole. You'll integrate knowledge from a variety of disciplines, such as:
- systems engineering
You'll have the opportunity to work with railway experts from local and international rail-focused organisations. Such as:
- Network Rail
- Tyne and Wear Metro
- Port of Tyne
- Tyne and Wear Freight Partnership
Our research areas include:
- demand patterns and models
- supply patterns and models
- grants and contracts
- service execution
- customer satisfaction
- business generation
We've highlighted important information about your course. Please take note of any deadlines.
Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the programmes, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption.
Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to guidelines that may be in place from time to time.
View our COVID-19 Study page, which gives information about your Newcastle University study experience for the academic year 2022-23.
See our terms and conditions and student complaints information
Find out about the different qualification options for this course.
An MPhil is available in all subject areas. You receive research training and undertake original research leading to the completion of a 40,000 - 50,000 word thesis.
A PhD is a doctorate or doctoral award. It involves original research that should make a significant contribution to the knowledge of a specific subject. To complete the PhD you will produce a substantial piece of work (80,000 – 100,000 words) in the form of a supervised thesis. A PhD usually takes three years full time.
How you'll learn
Depending on your modules, you'll be assessed through a combination of:
We offer a wide range of projects for the thesis. These will be provided by our academics. You can also propose your own topic.
Our mission is to help you:
- stay healthy, positive and feeling well
- overcome any challenges you may face during your degree – academic or personal
- get the most out of your postgraduate research experience
- carry out admin and activities essential to progressing through your degree
- understand postgraduate research processes, standards and rules
We can offer you tailored wellbeing support, courses and activities.
You can also access a broad range of workshops covering:
- research and professional skills
- careers support
- health and safety
- public engagement
- academic development
The following subject group pages outline our specialist research areas:
You'll be able to:
- explore possible research programmes
- find out more about staff working in these research areas
- identify a potential research supervisor
Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering (SAgE) researcher development programme
Each faculty offers a researcher development programme for its postgraduate research students. We have designed your programme to help you:
- perform better as a researcher
- boost your career prospects
- broaden your impact
Through workshops and activities, it will build your transferable skills and increase your confidence.
- techniques for effective research
- methods for better collaborative working
- essential professional standards and requirements
Your programme is flexible. You can adapt it to meet your changing needs as you progress through your doctorate.
Doctoral training and partnerships
There are opportunities to undertake your PhD at Newcastle within a:
- Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT)
- Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP)
Being part of a CDT or DTP has many benefits:
- they combine research expertise and training of a number of leading universities, academic schools and academics.
- you’ll study alongside a cohort of other PhD students
- they’re often interdisciplinary
- your PhD will normally be funded
If there are currently opportunities available in your subject area you’ll find them when you search for funding in the fees and funding section on this course.
The following centres/partnerships below may have PhD opportunities available in your subject area in the future:
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Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.
Quality and ranking
All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body
From 1 January 2021 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK
Depending on your research area you will have access to the following facilities.
You have access to dedicated biomaterials, biotribology and co-ordinate measuring machine labs.
MEMS and sensors
You have access to world-leading X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy facilities.
Design, manufacture and materials
You have access to facilities for:
- materials testing and failure analysis
- product development and mechanical testing
- pultrusion, filament winding, resin infusion and vacuum bag moulding
- selective laser sintering and fused deposition modelling
- full-scale rail vehicle and track investigations at NewRail's regional office and working railway centre, Barrow Hill
Fluid dynamics and thermal systems
- high performance computing facilities
- water tunnel and wind tunnel
- particle image velocimetry (PIV)
- hot wire anemometry facilities
- IC engine test bench
- high pressure and high temperature combustion vessel
Fees and funding
Tuition fees for 2022 entry (per year)
For 2022-23 entry, we will be aligning our standard Home research fees with those set by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The standard fee will be confirmed in Spring 2022 by UKRI.
If your studies last longer than one year, your tuition fee may increase in line with inflation.
Depending on your residency history, if you’re a student from the EU, other EEA or a Swiss national, with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you’ll normally pay the ‘Home’ tuition fee rate and may be eligible for Student Finance England support.
EU students without settled or pre-settled status will normally be charged fees at the ‘International’ rate and will not be eligible for Student Finance England support.
If you are unsure of your fee status, check out the latest guidance here.
We support our EU and international students by providing a generous range of Vice-Chancellor's automatic and merit-based scholarships. See our searchable postgraduate funding page for more information.
What you're paying for
Tuition fees include the costs of:
- tuition (or supervision)
- library access
Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.
Find out more about:
- additional costs
- living costs
- tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts
If you're applying for funding, always check the funding application deadline. This deadline may be earlier than the application deadline for your course.
For some funding schemes, you need to have received an offer of a place on a course before you can apply for the funding.
Search for funding
Find funding available for your course
The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.
Qualifications from outside the UK
English Language requirements
How to apply
Open days and events
You'll have a number of opportunities to meet us throughout the year including:
- campus tours
- on-campus open days
- virtual open days
We regularly travel overseas to meet with students interested in studying at Newcastle University.
Get in touch
Questions about this course?
If you have specific questions about this course you can contact:
For more general enquiries you could also complete our online enquiry form.
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