The University of Wolverhampton
Student studying, researching, library

Study with us

Research Degrees

The aim of our research programmes is to provide you with a solid grounding from which to launch further research and career development. We offer research skills development and training as well as enabling you to develop related areas such as IT, presentation and career-planning.

We offer the following research degrees:

PhD

The PhD is a programme of independent, self-directed academic research, supported by a team of supervisors that makes an original contribution to knowledge written up in a thesis. The PhD programme also supports the development of research and generic skills to equip you to operate successfully as a professional researcher in any setting.

MPhil

The MPhil is a programme of independent, self-directed research reviewing or surveying and collating and evaluating existing knowledge in an approved topic and presenting the findings in a thesis for examination including a viva. Like the PhD, the MPhil develops your research and generic skills and is pursued under the guidance of a team of expert supervisors. It differs from the PhD in that it is a smaller scale of work, conducted over a shorter period of time and does not create new knowledge in the field.

Professional Doctorates

The aim of these programmes is to find novel approaches to integrating professional and academic knowledge.  Professional doctorates are work based and start with a large taught element, which is formally assessed followed by the completion of an original piece of research. The research should be presented as a dissertation, and as with a traditional PhD, is examined by experts in the chosen field. Usually the research project would relate to real life issues concerned with professional practice.

PhD by Published Work

The PhD by Published Work route is intended primarily for mid-career research-active academic who, for one reason or another, haven’t had the opportunity to undertake a research programme leading to a PhD. Submissions for this award will consist of coherent body of work which is of the same quality, rigour and volume as required of a standard PhD in your field and which constitutes an original contribution to knowledge. At the University of Wolverhampton this route is only available for academic staff of the University appointed to a full-time contract or occupying a substantive part-time post equivalent to at least 0.5 of a full-time contract.

Higher Doctorates

We provide for Higher Doctorates:

  • Doctor of Science (DSc)
  • Doctor of Letters (DLitt)
  • Doctor of Laws (LL.D.)
  • Doctor of Social Science (DSocSc)

These are awarded to people who are leading authorities in their field, for work of high distinction that offers an original, sustained, and significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge.

Research areas available for study

Animal Behaviour and Wildlife Conservation Forensic Science
Architecture and the Built Environment Health
Art and Design History
Biological Sciences Humanities
Biomedical Sciences Law
Botany Media and Film
Business Microbiology
Chemistry Molecular Biology
Computational Lexicography Nursing
Computational Linguistics / Natural Language Processing Performing Arts
Computer Science Pharmacy
Computing and Mathematics Psychology
Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences Social Sciences / Social Policy
Education Social Work / Social Care
Engineering Sports Science

Research degrees may be undertaken in prescribed fields of study and disciplines in which the University has appropriate and relevant research expertise and resources to support high-quality research degree programmes. 

Find out more about the supervisors available for our areas of research.

For further information you can download copies of the research degree regulations via the University's Academic Regulations.

Things to Consider

How long are the research programmes?

 

ProgrammeMode of attendanceNumber of hours per weekNumber of weeks per yearMaximum length of programme
PhD Full-time At least 35 hours per week Minimum of 45 weeks per year Four years
PhD Part-time At least 15-18 hours per week Minimum of 45 weeks per year Eight years
MPhil Full-time At least 35 hours per week Minimum of 45 weeks per year Two years
MPhil Part-time At least 15-18 hours per week Minimum of 45 weeks per year Four years

 

What are the entry requirements?

All applications are assessed on an individual basis and in some cases the University may require you to meet higher entry requirements than the minimums outlined below.

To apply for a research degree, you should normally hold one or more of the following:

  • a first or upper second class honours degree, or
  • a master’s degree, or
  • evidence of prior practice or learning that is accepted by the Dean of Research, or
  • relevant professional experience 

For a Higher Doctorate, you should normally hold either:

  • a first degree awarded by a UK University (or equivalent body), of at least seven years standing, or a qualification of equivalent standard; or
  • a higher degree awarded by a UK University (or equivalent body), of at least four years standing, or a qualification of equivalent standard.

English language requirements

If your entry award was not delivered in English, you do not have a degree from an English-speaking University, or you are a non-native speaker of English, you will be required to demonstrate proficiency in English at least to the level of an IELTS score of 7.0 or its equivalent to be registered as a research degree student.

Pre-Research Degree Course

If you need some support to meet the criteria of applying for one of our research degrees, we offer a Pre-Research Degree Course which is a bridging course to an MPhil or PhD.

 

How much will the programme cost and what funding is available?

The fees charged for our postgraduate research degrees depend on whether you are a home/EU student or an international student. Have a look at our Research Degrees Fees page for how much your programme will cost per year*.

*Science and technology students: If you study a research degree in science and technology, you may be liable for other charges, such as bench fees. You will be informed of any bench fees you will be required to pay at the time of offer.

How do I apply for funding?

Before applying, you should consider carefully how you will finance your studies for the duration of your programme, including tuition fees, research support fees and living costs.

From 2018, the government is planning to make loans available for postgraduate research students of up to £25,000, to cover fees and living expenses. More information is available on prospects.ac.uk.

Other sources of funding include:

As a research student, you could also self-fund or apply for funding from an employer or other organisation.

Living in Wolverhampton

It is enviably cheap to live in Wolverhampton and ideally located for travel around the UK. We are only one and a half hours from London, one hour from Manchester and 15 minutes from Birmingham by train. If you have not lived in the West Midlands or the UK before, you should research the average living costs.

How do I apply?

To apply for a research degree, please make an enquiry on our PhD Initial Enquiry Form.

Your Initial Enquiry will be reviewed by a Research Tutor in your subject area, who can potentially discuss and help you develop your research idea, and guide you through the application process.

Once you're both happy with the proposal, you will be invited to complete a full online application with a formal, 1,500-word expression of interest.

Your application will be received and reviewed by the relevant Faculty who will contact you to offer feedback and inform you of their decision.

There is more information about the application process on our Making your application page.

What support is available whilst I am studying?

All of our postgraduate research students belong to both their Faculty and The Doctoral College. The Doctoral College delivers a comprehensive programme of research training and development, as well as social events for you to meet with others and exchange ideas.

Additional support for all of our postgraduate students includes:

  • The Gateway: Offering advice before you join us, including information on funding and careers.
  • Counselling Service: Professional, confidential and non-judgemental advice and support during your studies.
  • The Chaplaincy: A friendly and unique place on campus for people of all faiths and none.
  • Nursery facilities: Our nursery on City Campus, Little Scholars, offers an excellent and convenient environment if you require childcare.
  • Students’ Union: A comforting and welcoming space on campus, as well as opportunities to get involved in social and sporting activities, advice and support.
  • Student Enabling Centre: Comprehensive support services for students with disabilities.
  • WeLoVe Alumni Association: Careers advice, discounts and opportunities to network and join us at special events.