York has around 1,100 research students, most of them working towards PhD degrees. Around 60% are from the UK and 40% from other countries across the world, leading to a diverse community that provides many opportunities for the exchange of ideas with people from different backgrounds.
The PhD programme allows you to explore a specific area of your chosen subject in depth and to work with your supervisor in deciding the direction of your research. A PhD is a three year full-time or six year part-time programme of research and culminates in the production of a large-scale piece of written work in the form of a research thesis, normally of between 70,000 and 100,000 words.
The University's specialist centres and research groups provide additional support to those embarking on research work and also encourage interdisciplinary collaboration, broadening the research experience for both students and staff involved.
Most research students take the opportunity to present papers or posters at conferences in the UK and abroad, and many have the satisfaction of seeing their work in print as articles in specialist journals. The University of York is a member of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), a grouping of research-led universities of international standing in the UK, USA and China. The Network provides exchange opportunities for research students at its institutions, allowing for collaborative research to be developed and for students to experience the research environment at a different university.
Completing a PhD can give you a great sense of personal achievement and help you develop a high level of transferable skills which will be useful in your subsequent career, as well as contributing to the development of knowledge in your chosen field.
The MPhil is a qualification in its own right, and you may apply for the two-year full-time or four-year part-time programme which leads to this award. Many of the benefits described for the PhD programme also apply to the MPhil.
Research for the MPhil is carried out in a similar way to the PhD, but the thesis required at the end is normally between 50,000 and 75,000 words in length.
The MA/MSc by research is a one-year research degree which entails little or no coursework. Students choose a specific research project to work on, and have a greater degree of independence in their work than is the case with a taught masters course. Assessment is based wholly on the quality of the dissertation.
Research training is provided in the relevant subject, and students work with a supervisor who advises them on their project.