A student works on her laptop in the Catalyst building while sat on a sofa.

PhD Doctor of Philosophy

Focus on a research area in depth, receive substantial training in a range of research approaches and write a thesis that will demonstrate your understanding of how to develop a critical academic argument.

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      Course Length: 3 Years Full-Time, 4.5 Years Part-Time
      Start Dates: October 2021, February 2022, October 2022, February 2023
      Subjects: Research
      Location: Edge Hill University

      Please note, this programme is closed to further applications for October 2021 entry. It remains open to applications for February 2022 entry.

      This PhD provides you with the opportunity to interrogate a research topic of interest and develop your knowledge and research skills that can help you in a career in or beyond academia. You will receive training in the theoretical aspects of research. The overall focus is on acquiring the knowledge and skills to design, conduct, evaluate, disseminate and defend your own individual research. You will also acquire a range of transferable skills that are highly sought after by employers, including the capacity for critical thought.

      The PhD will suit candidates from a range of backgrounds and disciplines. It is particularly suitable if you aspire to a research-based career.

      Student and Alumni Profiles

      • Leona Forde

        Leona Forde

        PhD Student and Graduate Teaching Assistant
        My supervisory team have been brilliant. We have regular meetings to discuss the progress being made with my research and what next steps to take.
        View Leona Forde's full profile
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      In Depth

      What will I study?

      Compulsory research training sessions will cover aspects of research design, research data management and research project management. These sessions will enable you to identify, evaluate and construct arguments, design research questions, and make an original contribution to knowledge. Ethics, values and equality in research will also be considered.

      Alongside this, you will devise and complete a programme of related studies, tailored to your own learning and skills needs, with the additional option of attending further training sessions focusing on methodological considerations in the sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities.

      How will I study?

      The production of a research thesis through independent study will be underpinned by a research training and development programme.

      How will I be assessed?

      The first element of the PhD (research project registration) will be assessed through the production of a research proposal, a project management plan and a skills development portfolio. You will also undertake a viva voce examination (project registration viva).

      Approximately halfway through your studies, your progress will be assessed through a second viva (progression viva). Your final thesis will be assessed through a further viva (final viva).

      Who will be teaching me?

      Being a research degree, you will not be taught through lectures, as the various training sessions are discussion-based, however your research project will be supported by supervisors within the university who have international research profiles in their discipline.

      The completion of your individual research project will be supported by regular supervision meetings with experts in your chosen field of study.

      A Great Study Environment

      Two students, one carrying books and the other a lever arch file, walk past computer stations in the Catalyst building.As a postgraduate research student, you will be registered in the University’s Graduate School and be based in the faculty or department that is most appropriate for your project.

      Departmental facilities are complemented by the University library which stocks around 200,000 items, including books, journals, e-resources and multimedia. In addition, you can access PCs, laptops, software and assistive technologies.

      Extensive social learning areas and study spaces enable group discussion, quiet work and silent study. The specialist team staffing our Ask Desk are available to assist with any queries, with dedicated support available for students with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD).

      Entry Criteria

      Entry Requirements

      You should have a degree equivalent to UK first-class or upper second-class honours (2:1 or above) and ideally also a Masters degree. No specific subjects are required.

      English Language Requirements

      International students require IELTS 7.0, with a score no lower than 6.5 in each individual component, or an equivalent English language qualification.

      If your current level of English is half a band lower, either overall or in one or two elements, you may want to consider our Pre-Sessional English course.

      Recognition of Prior Learning

      Edge Hill University recognises learning gained elsewhere, whether through academic credit and qualifications acquired from other relevant courses of study or through recognition of an individual’s professional and employment experience (also referred to as ‘experiential learning’). This may include credit or learning undertaken at another university.

      Previous learning that is recognised in this way may be used towards meeting the entry requirements for a programme and/or for exemption from part of a programme. It is your responsibility to make a claim for recognition of prior learning. For guidance, please consult the University’s academic regulations (sections C7 and F3.1) or contact the Graduate School.

      Career Prospects

      What are my career prospects?

      The skills and experience acquired through a PhD will provide ideal preparation for pursuing a research-based career.


      Tuition Fees

      Tuition fees for full-time study on this PhD are:

      • £4,350 a year for UK students and £13,750 a year for international students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2021/22;
      • £4,700 a year for UK students and £14,000 a year for international students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2022/23.

      Tuition fees for part-time study on this PhD are:

      • £2,610 a year for UK students and £8,250 per annum for international students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2021/22;
      • £2,820 a year for UK students and £8,500 per annum for international students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2022/23.

      EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, as well as Irish nationals, may be eligible for the UK tuition fee rate.

      If you’re an Edge Hill University graduate joining this programme in academic year 2021/22, you may be eligible for a reduction in tuition fees. You could receive a 50% reduction if you graduated from one of our taught postgraduate courses or MRes in academic year 2020/21 or a 20% reduction if you graduated from one our of taught postgraduate courses or MRes in academic years 2018/19 or 2019/20. This offer is available to eligible UK students, EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status, and Irish nationals. Please see www.edgehill.ac.uk/feereduction2021 to find out more.

      The University may administer a small inflationary rise in tuition fees in subsequent academic years as you progress with your studies.

      Financial Support

      For comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK students joining postgraduate courses at Edge Hill University in academic year 2021/22, together with details of how to apply for potential funding, please view our Money Matters 2021/22 guide at www.edgehill.ac.uk/postgradfinance2021.

      Financial support arrangements for eligible UK students joining postgraduate courses in academic year 2022/23 are still to be announced. You are advised to check this page regularly and once the position has been confirmed we will update this information.

      EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme may be eligible to apply for financial support. Irish nationals should ordinarily apply to Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). Please see www.edgehill.ac.uk/eufinance for further details.

      Financial support information for international students can be found at www.edgehill.ac.uk/international/fees.


      How to Apply

      There is an online application process for this programme.

      Please choose the application form for your preferred intake date and mode of study.

      As part of your application, you will need to submit a research proposal that should not exceed 2,000 words. Detailed guidance on writing this research proposal is available at www.edgehill.ac.uk/applygraduateschool.

      The deadline for applications for February 2022 entry is Wednesday 20 October 2021.

      Visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/applydirect for more information about the application process. 

      Visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/applydirect to access the relevant online application form and to find out more about the application process.

      Further information for international students about how to apply is available at www.edgehill.ac.uk/applyinternational.

      Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at www.edgehill.ac.uk/studentterms.

      Get in Touch

      If you have any general questions about the PhD or what it’s like to study at Edge Hill University, please contact:

      If you would like to talk to someone about your proposed research project in more detail, please contact the relevant department or faculty:

      International students should visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/international or email [email protected] with any queries about overseas study.

      Course Changes

      Expand All This page outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented in the past two years.

      7th July 2021 - Change of Tuition Fees

      The part-time tuition fee rate for UK students joining this programme in academic year 2021/22 has been reduced to £2,610 per annum.

      Covid-19 - Doctor of Philosophy Essential Information

      Teaching and Learning at Edge Hill University in 2020

      In this video Pro Vice-Chancellor, Lynda Brady, answers your questions and explains how teaching will work when you join us at Edge Hill University in September.

      Campus Facilities at Edge Hill University in 2020

      In this video Pro Vice-Chancellor, Lynda Brady, explains how we’re preparing the campus for your arrival in September and the facilities that will be available.

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