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PhD Study in the United Kingdom (UK): A Complete Guide

July 2015

Why the UK?

The UK offers students the opportunity to gain an internationally recognized and respected academic qualification, whilst at the same time experiencing life in a culturally rich and diverse environment.

UK higher education is renowned for the quality of its teaching and research. Many of the leading UK universities boast world-class research facilities and produce research of the highest standard, enabling both taught and research students to benefit from the knowledge and expertise of some of the world's most acclaimed specialists.

British universities encourage students to think creatively and independently in a stimulating learning environment, providing them with the confidence, knowledge and ability to excel in their chosen career. Employers across the world recognise and value the quality of a UK university education.

PhD in UK universities is a minimum 3 year duration course. During this time, students must conduct original and significant research in a particular field or subject. Relevant University department and an academic supervisor will guide students throughout with the end result being the submission of a publication-worthy thesis of up to 100,000 words long. Another option is Integrated PhD in UK. The Integrated PhD typically lasts four years and is suitable for all students but especially for those from outside the UK. It includes at least one year of structured research and subject training which is called Master Of Research (MRe) Course too. The other alternative method is to go for 1 Year MRes course where you can develop your research skills and then apply for 3 year PhD course in the UK.

Majority of the universities offer PhD admissions and students can focus on Research led universities like Leeds University, University of Kent, Kings College London, University of Manchester. You can check Research based rankings like REF for particular subject. The Research Excellence Framework (REF), which has replaced the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), is the new system to assess the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.

Study PhD in UK

The entry requirement to pursue PhD in UK universities

An applicant wishing to study PhD in UK should have done a relevant Bachelor's degree and/or Master's degree with good grades & it's always better to have some kind of Research experience. Apart from Academic conditions, English proficiency test is also required. To apply, you should have a brief idea/abstract of your Research Proposal and then you have to locate the relevant supervisors in the university so basically you will usually have to submit a research proposal before being accepted for PhD in UK. This will outline exactly what you're looking to investigate and the methodology you will use.

College Intakes for PhD in UK universities

PhD in UK has flexible start dates, So it can start any time of the year.

Scholarship Available for PhD in UK

Up to 100% scholarship plus stipend is available too. A student can apply for various external scholarships as well as University specific scholarships for PhD in UK.

Specialization one can do in PhD

PhD is available for most of the subjects. But generally students go for subjects like Engineering, Computer Science, Psychology, Mathematics, Economics, Biomedical, and Biotechnology

Eligibility for scholarship

To be eligible for a scholarship while pursuing PhD in UK, an applicant should have good Academic profile like 2:1 degree & overall profile matters too. Rest depends upon the availability of research funding with the universities

Prospects after PhD in UK

An applicant will get 1 year post study work visa after PhD in UK. When pursuing an academic career it is difficult to gain a permanent job immediately after completing a PhD. The traditional route into an academic career for PhD graduates is to start work as either a research assistant or research fellowship. Universities will often make teaching opportunities available to PhD students.


1. How much time does it take to do a PhD in UK?

The average length of a PhD program in the UK is 3-4 years, but part-time study might go up to 6 years. PhD programs that are integrated could take up to five years.

2. Can I work and take a PhD part-time in the UK?

Indeed, students can balance their studies and work responsibilities in part-time PhD programs in the UK. Nonetheless, it necessitates commitment, time management abilities, and negotiating with employers. It also calls for limited access to resources outside of working hours.

3. What sources of funding are accessible to students pursuing PhD in UK?

Research council grants, academic scholarships, and outside financing from foundations or trade associations are among the funding alternatives available to PhD students in the UK. Students may need to apply to several different sources for financial aid because competition might be fierce.

4. In the UK, are PhD applications accepted from international students?

In the UK, international applicants are encouraged to apply for PhD programs, and many universities accept these applications. They may also need to submit more documentation and must adhere to the same rules as students in the UK. There may be a difference in the tuition costs for international students and students in the UK.

5. As an international student, how can I get ready for a PhD program in the UK?

Research institutions and programs, fulfil prerequisites, enhance research abilities and language ability, look into funding opportunities, and get ready for cultural adjustments are all things that overseas students should do to get ready for a PhD program in the UK.

For further assistance or queries students can contact us, Edwise International, and avail of our wide range of services for students on destinations like Universities in UK, study in UK, study in Canada, study in Germany, study in New Zealand, Study in Ireland, study in Australia and many other countries.

Also read: UK: Think Big, Dream Big


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