Degree types

Doctor and Master of Philosophy (PhD/MPhil)

PhD candidates critically investigate and evaluate an approved topic that must result in an independent and original contribution to knowledge. Students must also be able to demonstrate an understanding of research methods appropriate to their field of research. Full-time PhD students normally complete within 3 to 4 years, whilst part-time candidates may take up to 6 years.

MPhil candidates also critically investigate and evaluate an approved topic and must demonstrate an understanding of research methods appropriate to the chosen field.


Visit our job vacancies pages for information about Studentship opportunities.

PhD by Published Work

Candidates who have already published work that has demonstrated an independent and original contribution to knowledge, together with an understanding of research methods appropriate to the field, may submit an application to establish a case to submit a thesis for examination.

Professional Doctorate

The Professional Doctorate is specifically designed and tailored to meet the needs of busy senior professionals. The focus of the research is on the candidate’s own professional practice within a work-based setting. Stage 1 of the programme involves workshops and seminars on methodology and research design and leads to the preparation of papers totalling a maximum of 21,000 words. Upon successful completion of Stage 1, candidates may progress to Stage 2 and undertake original research resulting in a thesis. We offer Professional Doctorates in the following subjects:

    • Science and Technology
    • Business Administration (DBA)
    • Education (EdD)
    • Health and Social Care
    • Laws
    • Laws
    • Practical Theology

Within the Professional Doctorate programme we also offer the following awards:

  • Professional Masters
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Research

Understanding Research Training programme

This training programme, based in Chelmsford, ran for the first time in 2008-09. It has been developed for potential research candidates who wish to be considered for entry to the Professional Doctorate programme but who do not have a Masters degree or may lack research experience.

We can also evaluate and quantify learning wherever it occurs, giving academic recognition for the value of your employees’ experience and know-how by accrediting their experiential learning. This makes the most of your investment in learning and development and their experience. Find out more on our Accreditation page.

Main aims of the training programme:

  • an introduction to the philosophy and methodology of research in general including the concept of research culture
  • an approach to formulating research questions
  • an overview of methods of data collection and analysis in both quantitative and qualitative research
  • an introduction to research ethics

Please email for information on dates.

To apply for the training programme please download the application form below.

PhD by Publication Application Form (1619 Kb)

About Us

Award winning work-based learning from University of Northwest. At University of Northwest, we realise ambitions together. Through Degrees at Work, we take a demand-led and practical approach to staff training and development.

The educational mission of University of Northwest is to prepare students, personally and professionally, for future leadership roles in an international setting. In its undergraduate and graduate degree programs, UNW provides students with the competencies they need for professional careers as well as for further academic study. The educational process puts particular emphasis on developing international and cross-cultural competencies through foreign language training, intercampus transfer, or other international academic opportunities, and intense interaction among people with diverse backgrounds.

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