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Find the research degree that’s right for you 

UWS offers the following postgraduate research degrees: 

  • Master of Research (MRes)
  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil) / Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) by Publication
  • Doctor of Business Adminstration (DBA)
  • Doctor of Professional Studies (DProf)

Entry onto a postgraduate research degree normally requires you to have obtained a good Honours degree (First or Upper Second Class) in a relevant area of study. More information about academic entry requirements is listed on the individual course pages.

Postgraduate research degrees vary in terms of structure, duration, purpose and academic rigour.

Explore the sections below to find the research degree that’s right for you.

Master of Research (MRes)

The Master of Research (MRes) degree is an advanced postgraduate research degree which is especially focused on preparing students for doctoral research. 

The MRes usually takes 12 months of full-time study. The main difference between a taught MSc and an MRes is that the course structure is more flexible than a taught Masters degree and requires candidates to complete a research dissertation (typically 15-20,000 words) informed by independent research, or a practice-led research project. 

The MRes provides structured research study and is a great place to begin your research career. If you’re thinking about studying at PhD level the MRes will give you a taste of what it’s like to complete a doctorate.

UWS normally requires MRes candidates to defend their dissertation thesis (viva voce examination) for successful completion of an MRes degree. 

For more information please email:
pgr@uws.ac.uk

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree is a more advanced postgraduate research degree. In most cases, it is a thesis-only research degree – meaning that your studies will be exclusively focused on researching and writing your thesis – and is regarded as a senior or second Masters degree. 

In most cases the MPhil usually requires 18-24 months of full-time, or 24-36 months of part-time study and requires the submission and oral defence (viva voce examination) of a thesis comprising original research undertaken by the candidate. The MPhil degree is different from the MRes degree in the scale and scope of the research undertaken and an extended time period; the MPhil thesis is typically 20-40,000 words, or the equivalent for practice-led research projects. 

In addition, MPhil research students may be required to undertake a few taught/supporting modules where this is considered necessary for the attainment of competence in research methods and/or background knowledge. In an MPhil, evidence is required of the ability to test ideas, understand appropriate techniques, make use of published work and source material and show familiarity with different theories and empirical studies. 

As such, the MPhil may be awarded to graduate students who satisfactorily complete a programme of supervised research training and have investigated and evaluated or critically studied an appropriate topic over the equivalent of not less than eighteen months of full-time study and who have presented a satisfactory thesis.

For more information please email:
pgr@uws.ac.uk

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree is the highest rated research degree awarded by UWS.

As the highest academic level of study, a PhD is rigourous and demanding. Most students are passionate about their area of interest and pursue a PhD as a result of their scientific and academic curiosity. 

Candidates awarded a PhD are entitled to use the academic title Doctor before their name.  

PhD candidates typically emerge from MRes or MPhil studies, although some candidates apply directly having gained appropriate research experience. 

In most cases the PhD usually requires at least 33 months of full-time study, and requires the submission and oral defence (viva voce examination) of a thesis (typically 60-100,000 words, depending on your field of study) comprising original research undertaken by the candidate. 

PhDs are normally awarded to students who have completed a programme of supervised research training and critically evaluated an appropriate topic over not less than the equivalent of 33 months of full-time study that results in a significant contribution to knowledge.

A PhD is generally a pre-requisite for a successful career in academia, and can help you to secure senior research and management roles in government agencies and companies.

For more information please email:
pgr@uws.ac.uk

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree by Publication

Submissions for this award will consist of coherent body of work (normally four to six research publications) along with an extended narrative which is of the same quality, rigour and volume as required of a standard PhD and which constitutes an original contribution to knowledge.

For more information please email:
pgr@uws.ac.uk

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

This course will appeal to those wishing to gain the highest level of professional qualification available in business and management, by undertaking world-class doctoral study.

It will be of interest to leader and managers working in the private sector, health, local authorities and higher education, enhancing your professional and executive practice through the application of rigorous research to real and complex issues in business and management.

UWS DBA graduates are equipped to hold several high-level positions including executive and leadership positions in business and commerce and the public sector.

A doctorate provides great personal satisfaction by enabling you to take your learning to the highest recognised level.

For more information please email:
pgr@uws.ac.uk

Doctor of Professional Studies (DProf)

The Professional Doctorate programme is currently under review. If you would like to be informed when applications will re-open for this programme, please email Educ.admissions@uws.ac.uk

UWS is delighted to announce the launch of its innovative, blended learning, part time Professional Doctorate (DProf). This course combines the art and science of professional practice and the concept of reflective practice with relevant academic theory helping you to apply this to the investigation/exploration of problems.

You will be encouraged to create solutions and introduce change within your workplace. This Doctoral level course has a focus on professional practice and because it is work focused there is no interruption to your earning power.

The DProf is interdisciplinary, and recognises that real world professional practice problems are dynamic and complex. The course will facilitate an investigation into the contemporary issues facing your profession and to make a contribution to professional knowledge that is applied and practical in nature.

The DProf allows you to develop transferable skills in advanced applied research as well as in-depth expertise specifically related to your profession. Equally important, you will develop your sense of self-worth and confidence. You will also become a reflective practitioner, and improve your career prospects and job satisfaction which will also be of benefit to your workplace in terms of organisational and succession planning.

Last updated: 18/04/2018