What is a PhD?

A PhD is a Doctor of Philosophy, a prestigious qualification which is the highest level of degree that a student can achieve, demonstrating talent, academic excellence and a thirst for knowledge. In a modern knowledge-based economy, highly educated and skilled people such as doctoral graduates, are in great demand. They form the most highly educated and skilled group in the UK and internationally. Many will go on to use their skills within academia or in research-intensive occupations in industry. However, there will be others who will draw on their research background and the skills gained through a doctoral degree in a wide variety of other occupations. Examples of the type of employment opportunities taken up by PhD holders can be found at Vitae: researcher careers.

What will I get from a PhD?

You will get a huge sense of personal achievement. Our doctoral training programmed will help you develop transferable skills that will be invaluable in your subsequent career. The research techniques and methodologies you master will enable you to make a direct contribution to the advancement of knowledge in your subject area.

Successful candidates are awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and are permitted to use the title ‘Dr’.


All PhD students are initially registered for a Master of Philosophy (MPhil), and the PhD registration is confirmed after the successful completion of an upgrade assessment (at the end of year 1 for full-time students and year 2 for part-time study). You will be registered for a PhD when you pass this upgrade. Your academic progress will be monitored throughout your degree studies, via formal progress reports and regular meetings with your supervisors.