A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) normally requires four years full time study or six years part time study. PhD research makes a contribution to the current knowledge of a subject and should be worthy of publication in whole or part.
Doctorates are awarded for the creation and interpretation of knowledge, which extends the forefront of a discipline, usually through original research. Holders of doctorates will be able to conceptualise, design and implement projects for the generation of significant new knowledge and/or understanding.
Holders of doctorates will have the qualities needed for employment requiring the ability to make informed judgements on complex issues in specialist fields, and innovation in tackling and solving problems.
Doctoral programmes, that may include a research component, but which have a substantial taught element lead usually to awards that include the name of the discipline in their title (eg EdD for Doctor of Education). Please refer to Professional Doctorates below.
The Integrated PhD is a national initiative, supported by the UK Government, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the British Council, to provide PhD students with the highest quality of taught materials and practical experience alongside advanced research.
Successful graduates will be able to make a significant contribution in their chosen field, having developed a high level of expertise and gained a competitive edge over others through the development of personal and professional skills which are increasingly in demand within the workplace.
We currently offer three Integrated PhD programmes in Marine and Environmental Sciences, Geosciences and Psychology. This is a four to five years research degree programme that combines extensive research training with the development of professional skills. This integrated approach offers a learning environment in which to broaden and deepen subject knowledge while providing the opportunity for inter-disciplinary study to extend expertise in new directions.
A Professional Doctorate is an advanced programme of study and research which, whilst satisfying the university criteria for the award of doctorate, is designed to meet the specific needs of a professional group external to the university, and which develops the capacity to develop individuals to work within a professional context.
The award titles of each Professional Doctorate will reflect the relevant profession. The award titles currently approved by the university are:
Professional Doctorates Regulatory Framework
Descriptor for qualifications at Doctoral (D) level: Doctoral degree
Doctorates are awarded to students who have demonstrated:
- the creation and interpretation of new knowledge, through original research or other advanced scholarship, of a quality to satisfy peer review, extend the forefront of the discipline, and merit publication,
- a systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge which is at the forefront of an academic discipline or area of professional practice,
- the general ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the generation of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the discipline, and to adjust the project design in the light of unforeseen problems;
- a detailed understanding of applicable techniques for research and advanced academic enquiry.
Typically, holders of the qualification will be able to:
- make informed judgements on complex issues in specialist fields, often in the absence of complete data, and be able to communicate their ideas and conclusions clearly and effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences;
- continue to undertake pure and/or applied research and development at an advanced level, contributing substantially to the development of new techniques, ideas, or approaches;
and will have:
- the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and largely autonomous initiative in complex and unpredictable situations, in professional or equivalent environments.
Research degrees (MPhil and PhD) on the basis of published work are awarded to eligible candidates who have not previously been able to register for a higher degree but have been research active and publishing in the public domain, to submit a collection of works for consideration for the award of a research degree.
The submission must show that the candidate has personally made a systematic study, that he/she has shown independent, critical and original powers and that he/she has made a distinct contribution to knowledge (in accordance with the QAA Framework for Higher Education Qualifications Descriptors). This opportunity normally applies to full time members of staff of the University, one of its Partner Institutions, an industrial or public partner or member of its alumni not earlier than five years after appointment or graduating from the University (for alumni), provided that study and research has been carried out during the period of appointment. Part time staff may be eligible to apply if they have worked for the University or one of its Partner Institutions for a minimum of 7 years on at least a 0.2 FTE continuous contract. Graduate Committee may require a longer service period than 7 years if the part-time contract is close to the minimum FTE.
Regulations and notes of guidance for Research Degrees by Published Works.pdf
Training in research methods is provided for all research students and, depending on the subject, this may be undertaken either prior to PhD study, as in the social sciences and psychology, or during PhD study, as in the physical sciences. As students may enter PhD study with a range of previous academic and research experience their programme of research training is tailored for them.
Research students also have access to a wide range of general and employment skills training including writing and presentation skills, project management, entrepreneurship and career planning. Researcher development is provided by subject areas and by the Graduate School
. Find out more about the Graduate School Researcher development programme.