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A PhD allows you to develop research over a three-year period, with an expectation that you'll contribute new knowledge to your field and that you'll disseminate your findings by means of peer reviewed output.Once you have negotiated the topic with your supervisor, you will develop mastery of research methods that are appropriate to your chosen field. You will also critically investigate your topic in great depth, with support, guidance and encouragement from our supervisory team.

Crucially, your investigation should result in the creation and interpretation of knowledge which extends the forefront of your discipline. It should make an original contribution to knowledge.

Increasingly, a doctorate is an essential requirement for recruitment and promotion in university teaching roles. A PhD is highly advisable if you are considering a career as an academic.

More broadly, a PhD is a life-changing programme that trains you to think at a deep level while you become an expert in a particular topic. It is quite possible that you will end up knowing more about that topic than almost anyone else in the country – and discovering things that no-one else has ever discovered.


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Course overview

Doctor of Philosophy

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant to industry.

A PhD is the highest academic award for which a student can be registered.

Individuals who work towards a PhD pursue a research project built around a substantial piece of work, which has to show evidence of original contribution to knowledge.

Direct enrolment for the degree of PhD may be permitted to candidates;

• who hold a Master's degree provided that the Master's degree is in a discipline which is appropriate to the proposed research and the Master's degree included training in research and the execution of a research project.

• who, may not have a Master's degree but have a good honor’s degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline and has had appropriate research or professional experience at postgraduate level, which has resulted in published work, written reports or other appropriate evidence of accomplishment.

Any individual who has initially commenced study for a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) may apply to transfer to a PhD when they have made sufficient progress on the work to provide evidence of the development to PhD.

International students whose first language or language of instruction is not English should have also passed an English Language qualification. ( IELTS 6.0 minimum will be considered acceptable).

Since 31 March 2009 most international students coming to study in the UK have been required to apply for a visa under the new Points Based System, Tier 4. You can find detailed advice on the United Kingdom Border Agency website Some international students also require an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) Certificate. Your offer letter will tell you whether or not you have to apply. Further information about this scheme can be found on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.


Masters Research Degrees

If you're intending to pursue a career that requires an understanding of research, then this could be the degree for you. It gives you the opportunity to experience research within one year full time, (or two years part time) and to present a thesis, so it is the perfect spring board for a PhD programme.

  •     Master of Arts by Research (MA)
  •     Master of Science by Research (MSc)
  •     Master of Enterprise (MEnt)
  •     Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
  •     Master of Science by Research in Renewable Energy
  •     Master of Science by Research in Oil and Gas Engineering

Professional Doctorates

Professional Doctorates are for those who wish their doctoral research to be structured around a particular area of professional practice. The University offers a number of Professional Doctorates, each of which includes taught content with a substantial research project.

This type of doctorate is most popular with individuals already committed to a professional area and who are looking for recognition at the highest level of professional and academic achievement. Typical Professional Doctorates are in education, nursing, social work, midwifery, applied criminology, physiotherapy, counselling, podiatry, and occupational therapy.

Listed below are the Professional Doctorates that are offered here at the University:

  • Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
  • Doctor of Education (EdD)
  • Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)
  • Doctor of Applied Linguistics


Infomation about Research Degree Application Process

Intake Start Date:

Applications can be made for research degrees study at any time of the year, normally to commence at one of the three starting dates held in

  • January
  • April
  • October



You may enrol either on a part-time or full-time basis.

If studying on a part-time basis, you must establish close links with the University and spend normally not less than an average of 6 weeks per year in the University. This time period is arranged between yourself and your supervisors.

Sometimes it may be possible to mix both periods of full-time and part-time study and are of course able and encouraged to use the University facilities throughout the whole week including evenings and weekends as well as during vacations.

PhD (from initial MPhil/PhD registration)

Full-time PhD (from initial MPhil/PhD registration) is 36 months with a submission pending (writing up) period of up to 12 months.

Part-time PhD (from initial MPhil/PhD registration) is 72 months with a submission pending (writing up)period of up to 12 months.

PhD (direct)

Full-time PhD (direct) is 24-36 months with a submission pending (writing up) period of up to 12 months.

Part-time PhD (direct) is 48-72 months with a submission pending (writing up) period of up to 12 months.


Entry Requirements:

The normal entry requirements for enrolment are either:

• a Master's degree provided in a discipline which included training in research and the execution of a research project, and enterprise-related training (e.g. a Masters of Enterprise)


• a good honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline and with appropriate experience of running a business or service requiring substantial project and financial planning.

If you hold an appropriate Master's degree by research, direct enrolment for the Doctor of Enterprise may be possible.


Research proposal:

We ask applicants to write a research proposal which should be 2-3 pages in length and which should specify:

  •     Aims of your research
  •     Statement of the original contribution to knowledge which you can expect to emerge from the research
  •     Rationale for the research question(s)
  •     Proposed methodology and techniques for analysis
  •     Provisional time plan for the research


Application Process:

The process for applying to study for a research degree is as follows:

Initial Enquiry

Applications are assessed based upon academic excellence and other relevant experience, and how closely the research proposal aligns with University’s key research areas. Before applying, follow the ‘Enquire now’ link on this page to make an initial enquiry. This is so we can put you in contact with academic and administrative staff in the appropriate subject area that can provide advice and support prior to a formal application. If you have any questions relating to the programme content, you will be offered the chance to discuss them with a member of our research staff once you have submitted your enquiry.  We will capture key information at this stage which will include

  •     Your proposed area of research, and
  •     A research proposal, outlining your area of research. Research staff will be able to provide further advice. In some cases, applicants may be invited to apply to a specific research project that will have a pre-defined research proposal.

Invitation to Apply

Following your initial enquiry we will consider your proposal and if we are interested in considering you as an applicant will invite you to submit the following:

  •     Evidence of academic qualifications
  •     Evidence of English language proficiency for applicants whose first language is not English
  •     Copy of your passport or equivalent identification, dependent upon your nationality
  •     References from at least 2 referees that must be on letter headed paper and signed

You will have 14 days in which to send this additional documentation to us, if after this time you have not responded to us, you will not be considered and will have to begin the process again.

What Happens Next?

If you are accepted to study at the British University you will either receive a conditional or unconditional offer letter that will be posted out to you and also sent electronically.  This letter is a binding contract between you and the University and a copy must be signed and returned to us as soon as possible.

This letter will outlined all the relevant details for your study including start date, expiry date and any payment requirements.

The Universities and Colleges

The Universities and Colleges we can help you for admission

The Universities and Colleges we can help you for admission

Aberdeen University

Aberystwyth, (University of Wales)

American Intercontinental

University London

Anglia Ruskin University

Arts University College Bournemouth

Aston University

Bangor (University of Wales)

University of Bath

Bath Spa University

University of Bedfordshire

Birmingham City University

Birmingham Institute Art & Design

Birkbeck University of London

Bournemouth University

Brighton University

Brunel University

Camberwell (Art College) (University of Arts)

CATS (Cambridge & Canterbury)

Canterbury Christ Church

Chelsea (Art College) (University of Arts)

City University

Coventry University

Chichester University

Cumbria University

University of Chester

Durham University

De Montfort University

East Anglia University

Edinburgh College of Art

Edinburgh University

Edinburgh Napier University Essex



Glasgow Caledonian

Glasgow School of Art

Glyndwr University


Goldsmiths University of London

Hult Business School

Hertfordshire University

Heriot-Watt University


University of Kent

Kingston University

Leicester University

Lincoln University

London Metropolitan

London South Bank

Napier (Edinburgh)



Nottingham Trent

Oxford Brooks



Queen Mary University of London

Queens University Belfast


Regent's College London Roehampton

Royal Holloway University of London


Sunderland University

Sheffield Hallam

SOAS University of London Southampton

Solent University

St Andrews





University of West London

University of Central Lancashire

University for the Creative Arts (UCA)




University of Glywder

Ulster University