A PhD involves original research that should make a significant contribution to the knowledge of a specific subject. Your research will enable you to become an expert in your chosen topic. This requires a significant time commitment, usually three years full time.
Many courses also offer flexible and part-time study options taken over longer periods.
You will develop your project with help from an academic supervisor or team of supervisors. This could be theoretical or involve working with an industrial partner to develop new products. It will depend on your subject and research interests.
To complete the PhD you will produce a substantial piece of work (80,000 – 100,000 words) in the form of a supervised thesis. It should show evidence of originality and be suitable for publication.
You will mainly carry out independent research. Advice and supervision is provided by a designated academic team and you will attend research training sessions.
Types of award
PhDs (Doctor of Philosophy) are awarded in all subject areas.
For professionally qualified doctors and dentists, the awards of MD (Doctor of Medicine) and DDS (Doctor of Dentistry) are earned respectively.
Student insight into doing a PhD
Jobs.ac.uk have put together vlogs (video blogs) of students embarking on a PhD.
The vlogs cover everything from:
- starting a PhD
- moving abroad to do a PhD
- finding funding opportunities
- viva preparation
- finding your first academic job.
During September and October five PhD students at various stages of their PhD film themselves and share their videos with you. Check out the vlogs.
Our Integrated PhDs (IPhDs) address changes in the knowledge and skills demanded of PhD graduates. They are flexible and practical programmes combining advanced training in discipline-specific and generic research skills with original research.
Each IPhD contains a significant and tailored taught component, assessed annually, and culminates with a research project written up as a thesis.
The taught component is the main difference between the IPhD and a standard PhD programme.
Lasting from three to four years full time, some IPhDs can be taken part-time over a longer period.
IPhDs are intended for middle or senior level managers, in public or private sector organisations, that need a broad and advanced knowledge base as well as an understanding of disciplinary enquiry.
We deliver these innovative programmes as part of NewRoute PhD, a consortium of leading research-based universities in the UK.
Find out more about our integrated IPhDs:
- Computer Science
- Educational and Applied Linguistics
- Education and Communication
- Engineering and Science in the Marine Environment
- Linguistics and English Language
- Phonetics and Phonology
These programmes have support from:
- the UK government
- the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)
- the British Council
Professional doctorates are different from other Doctoral awards as they fulfil the formal training for particular professions.
They are practical programmes combining original research with taught modules and work placements. The balance between these components will vary depending on the requirements of the profession.
The main difference between a professional doctorate and a PhD is the focus on work-based practice rather than research in an academic context. Your research project will be informed by, and contribute to, your professional practice.
Our professional doctorates are: