Postgraduate research degrees

A postgraduate research degree or doctorate provides you with an opportunity to pursue your interest in a subject in depth, undertaking an original piece of research, typically over a period of three to four years. 

Individuals who have completed a PhD or similar qualification are highly employable.  This kind of postgraduate research degree is usually a pre-requisite for academic careers within a university setting and for research careers in the private sector.

As a postgraduate student in a Russell Group university you will have the opportunity learn and work alongside some of the leading researchers in your chosen field of study.  You will be part of a rich research environment and are likely to become a member of a graduate school.

Graduate schools typically offer transferrable skills training, work and overseas placements for doctoral students, and activities which bring together students from across large departments, groups of departments or a whole university to foster interdisciplinary learning. They help our students to get the most out of their PhDs and to purse successful careers after graduation.

Should I do a PhD?

Although rewarding, undertaking a research degree is a major commitment and you should consider whether this is right choice for you.  Vitae, a publicly funded, not-for-profit organisation, offers guidance on the kinds of issues should consider before embarking on a PhD, as well as information about research career paths and opportunities.

The National Postgraduate Committee, a charity, also provides clear advice on the benefits and challenges of postgraduate study, career choices and study opportunities.

Entry requirements
Research degree programmes typically build on knowledge gained at undergraduate level or masters level, and you are likely to be asked as a minimum to achieve a good undergraduate degree (normally defined as an upper second class or first).  Entry requirements vary considerably by subject area and you should look carefully at the requirements of your chosen programme.
See university websites (right) for detailed entry requirements.

Finding out more

There is no one definitive source of information on research degree study opportunities. However, the following websites may be a helpful starting point:

Find a PhD




Postgraduate Studentships UK