Types of research degrees
There are different ways that you can undertake doctoral study. Find out all the available options.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is the most traditional type of research degree. It is an independent, supervised research project making an original and significant contribution to knowledge. You can undertake your research, either independently or as part of a team, which results in a written thesis that delivers an original and significant contribution to knowledge in your chosen discipline. A PhD can be studied full, or part, time. It can be completed in two years, but most students take between three and four years to complete when studying full time.
The Integrated PhD may be an alternative to the standard PhD in certain subject areas. It combines research with an initial programme of taught modules, which cover research and professional skills as well as a range of subject content. Following successful completion of the taught elements, you will begin your original research and produce a thesis in the same manner as the traditional PhD. It can be studied full, or part, time. You can register for five years and most students take between four and five years to complete when studying full time.
Please check the availability of an Integrated PhD in your subject before you apply.
A Professional Doctorate is equivalent to a PhD and makes the same demands in terms of an original and significant contribution to knowledge, but is carried out in a professional context. This advanced programme of study is designed to meet the needs of a professional organisation as well as developing the individual in a professional capacity. It is aimed at professionals who are keen to pursue a qualification by carrying out research related to activities they are already undertaking in the workplace. It combines taught modules with a research phase. It is studied part time and varies in duration, from four to eight years.
Other research degrees
Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
A Master of Philosophy (MPhil) is similar to a PhD in terms of research and study experience, but the project is more closely defined to allow you to complete it in two years. You will be required to submit a dissertation, which is shorter than a traditional thesis. The MPhil programme is often a good stepping stone before embarking on a PhD. It can be studied full, or part, time. Students normally take between one and three years to complete when studying full time.