University of Bath

Types of Doctoral Study

At the University of Bath there are different ways that you can undertake doctoral study. This is a short guide to the available options.

Doctorates

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is the most traditional type of research degree. It is an independent, supervised research project making an original and significant contribution to knowledge. Students undertake their research, either independently or as part of a team, which results in a written thesis that delivers an original and significant contribution to knowledge in their chosen discipline. A PhD can be studied full, or part, time. It can be completed in two years, but most students take between three and four years to complete when studying full time.

Integrated PhD

The Integrated PhD is an alternative to the standard PhD, combining research with an initial programme of taught modules, which cover research and professional skills as well as a range of subject content. Following successful completion of the taught elements, students will begin their original research and produce a thesis in the same manner as the traditional PhD. It can be studied full, or part, time. Students register for five years and most students take between four and five years to complete when studying full time.

Professional Doctorates

A Professional Doctorate is equivalent to a PhD and makes the same demands in terms of an original and significant contribution to knowledge, but is carried out in a professional context. This advanced programme of study is designed to meet the needs of a professional organisation as well as developing the individual in a professional capacity. It is aimed at professionals who are keen to pursue a qualification by carrying out research related to activities they are already undertaking in the workplace. It combines taught modules with a research phase. It is studied part time and varies in duration, from four to eight years.

Other research degrees

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

A Master of Philosophy (MPhil) is similar to a PhD in terms of research and study experience, but the project is more closely defined to allow students to complete it in two years. Students are required to submit a dissertation, which is shorter than a traditional thesis. The MPhil programme is often a good stepping stone before embarking on a PhD. It can be studied full, or part, time. Students normally take between one and three years to complete when studying full time.