The PhD is a three year programme leading to a doctorate. A student will be working on their own research project, working closely with their academic supervisor and with the support of other postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers and staff in their research group.
Students will take a small number, usually two or three, of taught courses in their first two years, which are relevant to their research activity. In addition, students undertake ongoing skills development activities and participate in the SIESTA programme of seminars and outreach activities throughout the period of their degree.
At the end of the first year, students are required to prepare a dissertation on their research topic. If this and the assessment on the first two graduate courses are satisfactory, the student's PhD status is confirmed.
If the Graduate School Board decides not to recommend confirmation of PhD enrolment, it may recommend instead that the student should be allowed to submit a thesis for the award of an MPhil degree or a dissertation for the award of an MSc degree by research.
The expectation of the University is that the thesis should be completed and submitted within three years, but students may have an additional period of up to one year, if required, to complete and submit their thesis.