Available research degrees at UWE Bristol

Find out what research degree programmes are available at UWE Bristol and what they entail.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

A PhD typically takes three to four years of full-time study, or four to six years of part-time study.

PhD students undertake independent research culminating in the production of a thesis. Typically, you will have developed your own research proposal or will be applying for a studentship with a pre-approved project aim.

About your thesis

Word length for the PhD thesis varies according to discipline and is generally about 40,000 words for engineering, creative practice and science subjects, or up to 80,000 for other areas.

The preparation of a PhD thesis is intellectually challenging and because of the particular demands of scholarship, differs in important respects from consultancy reports or other forms of writing.

The criteria for an acceptable PhD thesis stresses that it must demonstrate that the student has made an original contribution to knowledge in their field by critically investigating and evaluating an approved topic, and demonstrate an understanding of research methods.

After you have submitted your thesis

After you submit, your thesis will be the subject of an oral examination (viva voce) in which you will need to show how you have critically investigated your area of research and made an independent and original contribution to knowledge.

Guiding you throughout your PhD study and successive milestones will be your supervision team led by a Director of Studies.

Credits required

You will need to gain 60 taught module credits (included in the tuition fee) in order to complete the requirements of a PhD. This will provide you with an opportunity to develop your subject-specific expertise and professional skills.

There are also researcher development workshops on offer to prepare you for every step of your PhD journey (and your career beyond) which are delivered by the Graduate School and included in the tuition fee.

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

An MPhil typically takes two to three years of full-time study, or four to six years of part-time study.

MPhil students undertake independent research culminating in the production of a thesis. Typically, you will have developed your own research proposal or will be applying for a studentship with a pre-approved project aim.

About your thesis

Word length for the MPhil thesis varies according to discipline and is generally about 20,000 words for engineering, creative practice and science subjects, or up to 40,000 for other areas.

UWE Bristol’s criteria for an acceptable MPhil thesis stress that it must demonstrate that the student has systematically investigated and evaluated an approved topic and demonstrated an understanding of research methods.

After you have submitted your thesis

After you submit, your thesis will be the subject of an oral examination (viva voce) in which you will need to show how you have critically investigated your area of research which contributes to knowledge within your field of study

Guiding you throughout your MPhil study and successive milestones will be your supervision team led by a Director of Studies.

Credits required

You will need to gain 60 taught module credits (inclusive in the tuition fee) in order to complete the requirements of an MPhil. This will provide you with an opportunity to develop your subject-specific expertise and professional skills.

There are also researcher development workshops on offer to prepare you for every step of your MPhil journey and your career beyond, which are delivered by the Graduate School and included in the tuition fee.

Doctor of Philosophy by publication (DPhil)

A DPhil typically takes one to three years of part-time study.

A research degree by publication may be granted to students who successfully submit evidence of scholarship through a collection or substantial piece of published work (this may include books, original and exhibited creative work in any medium, peer reviewed publications in the public domain or any other form of scholarly publication). The thesis to be submitted will consist of a portfolio of material with a connected commentary.

Criteria for DPhil applications

Applications for DPhil are only open to those who meet one of the following criteria:

  • Those who are employed by the University, or employed by an affiliated institution of the University
  • The applicant has a close association with the University, as determined by the Executive Dean of the relevant Faculty or, for applicants not linked to a particular Faculty, by the Vice-Chancellor.

Credits required

You will need to gain 60 taught module credits (inclusive in the tuition fee) in order to complete the requirements of DPhil. This will provide you with an opportunity to develop your subject-specific expertise and professional skills.

There are also researcher development workshops on offer to prepare you for every step of your DPhil journey (and your career beyond) which are delivered by the Graduate School and included in the tuition fee.

Professional Doctorate (Prof Doc)

A Prof Doc typically takes between four to six years of part-time study.

UWE Bristol’s Prof Doc programmes are designed to provide doctoral level studies leading to a professional qualification. 

Credit-bearing modules and your thesis

The structure of each of the Prof Doc programmes varies, but each programme is comprised of a taught element, where students complete a number of credit-bearing modules through workshops and assignments, and a research element involving the submission of a thesis and examination by viva voce. 

Word length for the Prof Doc thesis varies according to discipline and is generally about 35,000 words for engineering, creative practice and science subjects, or up to 60,000 for other areas.

Credits required

There is a requirement of 120 – 270 credits at Masters level which are built into the taught element of each programme.

Applications for Professional Doctorates

You can find further information about our available Prof Doc programmes as well as instructions on how to apply using the links below:

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