Edge Hill University offers three routes to a research degree: MRes, PhD, and professional doctorate.
Your time will be primarily spent conducting research. You will acquire the knowledge and skills to help you design and conduct your research project, evaluate the research, and disseminate your results. In doing so, you will develop a range of transferable skills which can help you with further research within or outside academia, including critical thinking, project management, time management and presentation.
Applications for October 2019 entry are now open.
Read more about MRes study in the University’s e-prospectus.
The Masters by Research (MRes) lasts one year (full-time) or eighteen months (part-time) and assessment is carried out through a research proposal, dissertation and viva voce examination.
The first four months (full-time) after registration are spent undertaking core training and methodological training to help develop your research proposal and broader research skills before submitting your project proposal. You will also work with your supervisor to carry out a learning and skills needs analysis which will shape your programme of related studies, during which you will develop as a researcher.
After you have submitted your proposal, you will focus on your research until your final submission.
If you wish to discuss the MRes, please contact Dr Fiona Hallett, MRes Leader.
Read more about PhD study in the University’s e-prospectus.
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) usually takes around three years to complete but can take up to four (full-time).
The first four months after registration are spent in core training to help develop your research proposal and broader research skills before submitting for a project registration viva examination. There your proposal will be thoroughly assessed, including via an oral examination.
Eighteen months after starting, you will submit a report and draft chapter for progression viva at which your work to date will be assessed, this time involving an expert in the field from outside Edge Hill University.
After passing the progression viva, you will continue until you are ready to submit your thesis for final viva: around three years – and no later than four years – after your initial registration date. This viva will be assessed by an examination panel including a different external expert to the progression viva.
 The University prioritises full-time applications; it may be possible to apply for a part-time PhD but applications must be approved by the PVC (Research) before an interview can be offered. Part-time PhDs usually take around four and a half years to complete but may take up to six.
Available only in specific areas (see below), the professional doctorate is a part-time doctoral programme of research that will allow students to develop as researchers to doctoral level by conducting research in an area relevant to their professions.
The first seven months after registration are spent in core training to help develop your research proposal and broader research skills before submitting for a project registration viva examination. There your proposal will be thoroughly assessed, including via an oral examination.
Up to three years after starting, you will submit a report and draft chapter for progression viva at which your work to date will be assessed, this time involving at least one expert in the field from outside Edge Hill University.
After passing the progression viva, you will continue until you are ready to submit your thesis for final viva: around four and a half years – and no later than six years – after your initial registration date. This viva will be assessed by an examination panel including a different external expert to the progression viva.
Professional doctorates are available in:
Emergency Services Management (DESM)
Professionalisation of the emergency services workforce and the development of strategic leadership within the blue lights, namely the ambulance, police and the fire & rescue services, are on the top of government and reform agenda.
The current state of emergency management research is further characterised by a clear ‘theory-practice divide’ resulting in a ‘silo’ approach to the development of academic and professional expertise. Focus on interoperability and multi-agency cooperation is one of the distinctive features in this new programme of research in the light of the introduction of statutory duty for collaboration between the emergency services in the Police and Crime Bill, 2017.
Designed for experienced senior managers from the blue light services, the Professional Doctorate in Emergency Services Management (DESM) is structured to develop leadership and management expertise based on sound theory and practice. This novel programme of research provides a unique opportunity to candidates for engaging in cross‐disciplinary dialogue with academics, policy makers and fellow practitioners interested in wider aspects of emergency management.
The DESM will enhance personal development by providing research training and a range of skills with transferability to fields of application where knowledge creation in relation to professional tasks is deemed necessary and is highly valued. The focus is very much on ‘critical reflection’- a nexus of ‘practitioner’ and ‘theoretician’, the need to be reflective of one’s role as a senior manager as a reviewer of organizational practices and policies, as a reviewer of theoretically underpinned rationales for management and organizational activity, and also as a reviewer of their own academic productive outputs. This unique approach is woven throughout the DESM.
In addition to the standard research degree training, professional doctorate students undertake subject-specific training (year 1, semester 2 until end of year 2).
This will be tailored to your particular needs during your discussions with your supervisors.
Each subject component is delivered by academics and professional experts over separate Two-Day Schools (weekends), with the aim of creating a community of practice, collaboration and joint enquiry within the group.
The subject-specific components include:
- Contemporary issues and challenges in management practice of ambulance, police and fire & rescue services: provides a critical review and analysis of management and organisational theories and practices, where analytical, critical and reasoning skills are developed through rigour and relevance. It establishes an ethos of evaluation, where statements are critiqued and examined for evidence, claims are systematically checked and the ‘givens’ in organisational life are challenged.
- Multi-agency collaboration and interoperability between organisations: invites participants to reflect upon their practice and experience of working across organisational silos and to use these reflections to identify trends and developments in management and leadership learning across the three services. This component requires participants to critically examine the theoretical and organisational perspectives explored through the course and to locate their analysis of this literature within their own practice.
- Reflexivity and becoming a reflective practitioner: students will embark on a systematic reflection on themselves in their work organisation. Providing analytical reflective change processes, students will consider a range of issues, including: the role of reflection, reflexivity and reflective practice; the identification of personal research skills; conflict management; self-awareness and critical reflection of the research projects.
You will undertake training to help your development as a researcher throughout your time at Edge Hill.
You will work with your supervisors to conduct a learning and skills needs analysis at the start of your programme of research. This will help you tailor some of the training and development activities you undertake during your time here. PhD and professional doctorate students will repeat this analysis annually.
Year 1, semester 1 (Wednesdays)
A series of sessions designed to introduce you to research-related considerations including research design, research project management, research data management, research ethics, and conceptual, epistemological and methodological matters.
Year 1, semester 1 (Wednesdays)
You will customise a mini training programme from a wider selection available to all postgraduate research students to enable you to address matters appropriate to your broad research area.
Programme of related studies
Year 1, semester 2 onwards
The needs analysis will shape this programme of training and development activity so it can address your individual needs. It may involve you attending sessions provided as part of taught masters programmes across the University, departmental research seminars, and other training sessions offered by your department and others.
Year 1, semester 2 until the end of year 2
Professional doctorate only; this can differ depending on the subject so please see details of the specific professional doctorate.
You must possess:
- A good honours degree (upper 2nd class honours or higher)
- A masters level qualification is preferred for applicants to doctoral degrees
- If English is not your first language, or if you are from a country whose national language is not English, you will need to be able to demonstrate English language proficiency to a minimum standard of IELTS 7.0 (or any equivalent recognised by the University). The International Office can offer advice.
- Professional doctorates only: If you do not have the standard academic qualifications stated above, you may still apply for the professional doctorate provided you have substantial professional – or other relevant – experience, and/or suitable equivalent qualifications. Please discuss this with the relevant professional doctorate leader (contact details can be found under Professional doctorate)
Before you apply
Before applying for a PhD at Edge Hill University, you should discuss your proposed research with the relevant academic department(if applying to join the PhD), MRes Leader, or relevant professional doctorate leader as applicable.
The next entry point for all postgraduate researchers is October 2019.
If you are applying for a studentship, you must submit your application by the closing date on the studentship advertisement.
If you are not applying for a studentship, you should apply by 31 May 2019.
You should apply by 31 May 2019.
You should apply by 31 May 2019, even if you are in the final year of your undergraduate degree – you can always receive an offer conditional on obtaining the necessary degree.
 Your chosen department may be able to accept PGR applications as late as 24th June 2019 but you should check this with them at the earliest opportunity.
How to apply
Applications to join a research degree should be completed online and must include an outline research proposal detailing the project:
- MRes: 1,000 words
- Doctoral degrees: 2,000 words
You should also include details of two academic referees.
Your referees should send references directly to PostGradAdmissions@edgehill.ac.uk:
- from their academic or professional e-mail accounts, or
- on their university or company headed paper.
If the University is able to supervise your research you will be invited to attend an interview.
If shortlisted, interviews are required before an offer can be made for:
- all PhD applicants
- all professional doctorate applicants
- all international (non-EU) MRes applicants
- home (UK/EU) MRes applicants as required by the recruiting department or Graduate School
Availability of academic staff for interviews will be limited during University holidays, especially the summer, so you should plan the timing of your application around these restrictions. If you cannot be interviewed in time you will need to defer entry to the following academic year.
If offered a place, it will be dependent on your being cleared by the Admissions Office (or International Office as applicable), and meeting any conditions set by the interview panel.
When will you start?
The next intake for our research degrees is October 2019.
The institutional induction will be on the 2nd October 2019.
You must attend the full induction programme, commencing on the date stated above.
The Graduate School will write to successful applicants with details during the summer.
How much time do you need to devote as a student?
Each research degree has a maximum completion deadline so in order for you to be able to meet it:
- Full-time study means you need to commit 36.5 hours per week to your research project
- Part-time study means you need to commit 23.5 hours per week to your research project
The time you commit might be spent on a range of project-related activities (so not just reading, writing, data collection, and so on) but you will need to engage with the research culture in your department/faculty and across the University/sector, so you should carefully consider the amount of time you need to dedicate to your research project when making other commitments.
We do not offer research degrees by distance learning.
Fees & studentships
Home applicants (UK & EU)
Tuition fees for PhD, professional doctorate and MRes can be found on the University’s Money Matters web pages.
International applicants (non-EU)
Tuition fees information can be found on the International Office web pages.
Please note: part-time study is subject to certain visa restrictions. Please contact the International Office to check whether the University can sponsor your visa.
How to pay fees
Tuition fees can usually be paid in full on enrolment or in three equal instalments throughout the year. No charge is added for using a credit card.
Please note, if you have outstanding debts of any kind to Edge Hill University you should contact the Finance Department to arrange a formal repayment agreement before applying.
Edge Hill University advertises two types of studentship throughout the year:
Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs)
GTAs are full-time PhD studentships, funded entirely by the University, which include the following for the three year duration of the studentship:
- a full waiver of PhD tuition fees at the University,
- teaching/teaching support duties (of up to 6 hours per week on a term time only basis subject to the needs of the particular course/module) paying £9,000 per annum, and
- a scholarship of £5,500 per annum.
Limited postgraduate student accommodation may be available on campus to new GTAs (subject to availability and charged at standard rates).
Doctoral Tutors (DTs)
DTs are full-time PhD studentships, funded at least in part from external organisations (e.g. charities, industry partners, other sources), which include the following for the three year duration of the studentship:
- a full waiver of PhD tuition fees at the University, and
- teaching/teaching support and/or employability and enterprise support duties (of up to 6 hours per week on a term time only basis subject to the needs of the particular course/module) paying £9,000 per annum.
The University is currently not advertising GTA studentships.
GTAs are normally advertised around January each year.
Applications (when available) can be made through the University’s jobs webpage.