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PhD, the highest academic reward in the UK. PhD Study in the UK What is a PhD? A PhD is a type of research degree and is the highest award available at universities in the UK. Study is based around a substantial research project on an area of academic interest, typically up to 100,000 words in length, written as a thesis which then must be defended in an oral examination in front of a panel of experts. Very few research degrees feature taught modules, and as such a student is 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 successfully completed an undergraduate degree with at least upper second-class honours, as well as a masters degree. The proposal should clearly address the research you wish to undertake, how you will do it, and why it is important. The proposal must be accepted by a panel of experts before your programme can begin. 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 if the proposed research has insufficient scope for a full PhD. An MRes is an advanced postgraduate research degree within the areas of art, humanities and social sciences. Some PhD’s require an MRes qualification before beginning a PhD proper, and the student is required to complete a 40,000 word dissertation. An MRes is a good test to see if you enjoy conducting your research without fully committing to and funding a full PhD.
Professional Doctorate Professional doctorates are similar to a PhD, 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? 6,000 per year, and international students more. It is rare for a PhD student to not be supported by some form of bursary, grant or scholarship though, and 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, there are a number of documents required when submitting your application.