Doctor of Philosophy PhD

Apply Online

Students must apply via one of the following online application forms:-

(Full-time applicants. Closing date for International students is 1st March 2018)

Course starts: 01 May 2018Apply now

(Part-time applicants)

Course starts: 01 May 2018Apply now

Apply Now

Refine your own agenda and do what you find interesting every day. Develop mastery of research methods that are appropriate to your chosen field. Discover things that no-one else has ever discovered.

Register your interest


A PhD is “probably the most internationally transferable qualification” according to the Higher Education Policy Institute.

You will critically investigate your chosen 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. More broadly, a PhD is a life-changing programme that trains you to think at a deep level while you become an expert on a particular topic. It is quite possible that you will end up knowing more about that topic than almost anyone else in the country.

Read more about research degrees in this Information Booklet (.pdf)

Why us?

  • A PhD is highly advisable if you are considering a career as an academic
  • You have the option to study this programme at our Sunderland campus or possibly via distance learning

Entry requirements

The normal entry requirement for a research degree is a UK honours degree (first or upper second class) or a UK Masters degree or a qualification which is regarded as equivalent. We will consider candidates with other qualifications, looking at evidence of academic ability such as published work.

If English is not your first language, you will need a British Council International English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall score of 6.5, with at least 6.0 in each component: reading, writing, listening and speaking (or equivalent).

Research proposal

You will be asked to write a 2-3 page research proposal that specifies the:

  • Aims of your research
  • Rationale for the research question(s)
  • Proposed methodology and techniques for analysis
  • Provisional time plan for the research

Fees and finance

We charge annual fees while you are studying and researching for your degree. These costs vary depending on whether you are a candidate from the UK/EU or from a country outside the EU.

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

Fees for UK/EU candidates

  • On-campus full-time: £4,330 per year
  • On-campus part-time: £2,600 per year
  • Distance learning full-time: £2,600 per year
  • Distance learning part-time: £2,600 per year

Fees for international candidates

  • On-campus full-time: £12,250 per year
  • On-campus part-time: £7,680 per year (please note that this part-time course is not available to international students who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK)
  • Distance learning full-time: £7,680 per year
  • Distance learning part-time: £7,680 per year

International scholarship

All full-time self-funding international candidates at postgraduate level are awarded a £1,500 scholarship per year of study. You do not have to apply for this scholarship; it is automatically applied to reduce the annual fees specified above.

You are viewing entry requirements for visitors from England. Not from England? Change your country preferences.

This information was correct at the time of publication.