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PhD Study in the UK

What is a PhD?

A PhD is a type of research degree with the highest award available at universities in the UK. The study is based on a substantial research project on an area of academic interest, typically up to 100,000 words in length, written as a thesis, which must be defended in an oral examination at the end of the programme. Students are assigned a supervisor, and the duration of a PhD is typically three years full-time and six years part-time.

Very few research degrees feature taught modules, and as such, students are expected to take more responsibility for their work and schedule.

PhD Entry Requirements

UK universities are free to admit anyone to a PhD programme, with admission generally conditional on the prospective student having completed an undergraduate degree with at least upper second-class honours and a master's degree. English language ability will need to be proved, and a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 is generally required.

PhD Research Proposal

All students applying for a PhD must submit a research proposal (example). The proposal should address the research you wish to undertake, how you will do it, and why it is important. A panel of experts must accept the proposal before your programme can begin.

Other types of Research Degree

- MPhil (Master of Philosophy)

If you wish to study a PhD, you may first need to begin an MPhil and then transfer to a PhD programme after 12-18 months. An MPhil is also a qualification in its own right and is generally thesis-only, lasting one year full-time and two years part-time. The thesis must present the results of a study and research and be a maximum of 60,000 words.

Students choose to study an MPhil is the proposed research has insufficient scope for a full PhD.

- MRes (Master of Research)

An MRes is an advanced postgraduate research degree in the areas of art, humanities, and social sciences. Some PhD programs require an MRes qualification before beginning a PhD proper, and the student must complete a 40,000-word dissertation.

An MRes is a good way to see if you enjoy conducting research without fully committing to and finding funding for a full PhD.

- Professional Doctorate

Professional doctorates are similar to PhDs but are intended to advance professional practice rather than improve academic ability. Common professional doctorates include law, education, business, engineering, and medicine.

How much does a PhD cost?

Funding and researching a PhD can be expensive, with EU students paying up to £6,000 per year and international students paying more.

It is rare for a PhD student not to be supported by some form of bursary, grant, or scholarship. However, many universities and research councils provide monetary support for part or all of a PhD programme.

How do I apply for a PhD?

Once you have decided on an area of research and have looked into how you will fund your study, several documents are required when submitting your application. They can include:

Students will also need to identify a supervisor who will oversee their PhD.

Study a PhD in the UK

If you are interested in studying for a research degree in the UK, arrange a free consultation with SI-UK in India today. The PhD Service can help you apply with expert application advice, interview practice and research proposal editing.

Register for Free Consultation

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Studying in the UK

Double Quote up  I sincerely thank SI-UK for getting me accepted to UCL. The MSc in Urban Development and Planning is extremely competitive, but the right guidance provided by SI-UK made my dream of studying at University College London a reality. The services were exceptional from beginning to end.  Double Quote Down

Rashmi Lakshanya Urban Development and Planning at University College London

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