Existing Published or Creative Work PhD

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Take the fastest route to a PhD. Convert your previous research outputs into a qualification which will increase your employability and open up new opportunities. Progress your academic career and add credibility in applications for research funding.

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Overview

For a PhD by Existing Published or Creative Work, you will write a commentary of up to 20,000 words that demonstrates how your research outputs have contributed to new knowledge. The outputs should represent the equivalent of at least three years of full-time work. Ultimately the examiners have to be convinced that your methodological approaches are appropriate and that your outputs represent a significant and coherent contribution to the field.

Once you have gained your doctorate, you will be in a stronger position to progress your academic career. Increasingly, a doctorate is an essential requirement for recruitment and promotion in university teaching roles. A PhD also adds credibility in applications for research funding.

You have the option to study this programme at our Sunderland campus or via distance learning.

Why us?

  • A PhD is “probably the most internationally transferable qualification” according to the Higher Education Policy Institute 
  • Typically, candidates are academics with high-quality research outputs who have not previously undertaken a PhD
  • This is the fastest route to a PhD, usually taking less than 12 months to complete
  • Based on outputs that you have already produced, such as articles in peer-reviewed journals

Entry requirements

This route is only suitable if your existing research or creative outputs provide clear evidence of a significant and coherent contribution to knowledge. Typically, the outputs will represent the equivalent of at least three years of full-time work.

When you apply we will ask you to write a statement of no more than 1,000 words. It should explain your contribution to knowledge, the impact within your chosen area, and a clear indication of any parts of the work that have been collaborations.

All candidates should hold at least an honours degree (first or upper second class), or equivalent.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

The intake dates are 1st October, 1st February and 1st May each year.

Fees and finance

The annual fee for this course is:

  • £3,860 if you are from the UK or EU
  • £4,690 if you are from outside of 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.

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

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Employment

There is pressure on teaching staff at universities to demonstrate that they have higher qualifications than those whom they are teaching. A PhD is often required for academic posts in research-intensive institutions.

A doctorate is becoming an increasingly common requirement for recruitment and promotion in university teaching roles.

A PhD also adds credibility in applications for research funding.

Doctorates are now held by at least eight out of ten full-time teaching staff in top institutions, based on data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

The PhD by Existing Published or Creative Work is a fast track for you to gain doctorate-level recognition for work that you have already done. It is therefore well suited to academic staff who would like to develop their careers.

More broadly, the achievement of a doctorate demonstrates your ability to make a major contribution to the development of new ideas, techniques and approaches. There is a strong association between successful postgraduate study and professional employment, according to the Higher Education Policy Institute.

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