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Why York?

Make new discoveries and change our world

York is a strong choice for your research degree, as you'll be working with world-leading academics carrying out pioneering research. Together you'll collaborate on innovative research and make new discoveries that could help improve the world we live in.

10th for research impact

Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014)

In the top ten UK universities for research council income

Times Higher Education (THE)

A global community

Over 2,000 research students from across the globe

Dynamic research environment

Our research staff collaborate across departments and around seven interdisciplinary themes. These align our academic strengths to best meet the grand scientific, social and environmental challenges of our time.

In the most recent assessment of our research quality, the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014):

  • York was ranked 10th for research impact (excluding all institutes that have submitted in three or less units of assessment)
  • The proportion of our research of world-leading four-star status was among the highest of any UK university
  • Eight of our departments were ranked in the top five for their subject, while 12 were in the top ten for research impact.

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Helping you make an impact

The York Graduate Research School looks after our community of more than 2,000 research students from around the world. Alongside your department the School will help you make the most of your research degree.

The School helps to ensure you receive consistently high quality supervision and training. It also plays a big part in sharing and celebrating the work of our research students, and making sure you feel part of the broader research community at York.

Pioneering researchers

You'll work with renowned academics to push back the boundaries of knowledge and solve some of the biggest issues that face our planet today. Here are some examples of recent collaborations:

Professor Callum Roberts with a BioArch PhD student.

Professor Kate Pickett with one of her PhD students.

  • Transforming the treatment for Parkinson's: PhD student Amir Dehsarvi worked with Dr Stephen Smith on pioneering research which is transforming the treatment of Parkinson's. 
  • Striving for a more equal society: PhD student Marena Ceballos-Rasgado is working alongside Professor Kate Pickett on a ground-breaking medical research study, which is tracking the lives and health of children across Bradford.
  • Fighting viruses with mathematical modelling: Professor Reidun Twarock is working with a team of researchers to explore mathematical models, which could help in the treatment of a range of diseases including HIV.
  • Quantum leap in secure communications: research students, led by Professor Tim Spiller, are working as part of the UK Quantum Communication Hub, exploiting the fundamental laws of quantum physics for the development of secure communication technologies.

Developing your professional skills

You'll learn valuable skills such as the ability to analyse complex data, develop conceptual frameworks and conduct creative problem-solving, as well as gain the expertise to write a detailed thesis.

You'll have access to skills training from the Research Excellence Training Team (RETT), as well as expert advice and support for making the best of your qualifications in a global marketplace.

"Without my PhD and the enriched experiences that went with it, I would not be able to do my current job, both in terms of knowledge and professional skills, but also having the confidence and experience to succeed in the challenging modern environment of the heritage sector."

David Roberts, Archaeological Project Manager at Historic England (PhD Archaeology)

A new way to achieve your doctorate

Doctoral Training Partnerships and Centres for Doctoral Training offer the opportunity to work on a pre-defined research project, often with the chance to collaborate with industry through internships or placements.

Based in multidisciplinary centres of expertise, they offer funding opportunities, training and development.

"My research is exploring whether games and other information technology can help combat loneliness. I’m sponsored by the UK research council EPSRC and the telecommunications company BT, so there’s a strong industry connection. I'll do a number of placements with BT, and hope to contribute new ideas and energy to the organisation’s future content research.”

Lisa Sha Li (PhD Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence)

Living and learning

We're home to a large number of world-renowned research institutes, centres and facilities which act as a focus for specialist and interdisciplinary research.

On our friendly campus, you'll meet new people and make connections from day one - benefiting from our dedicated Graduate Students' Association. You'll also be within walking distance of our charming, historical city centre.

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Careers and skills

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Living and learning

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Graduate life

York Graduate Research School

Our community of more than 2,000 research students.

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Research environment

Our world-renowned research institutes, centres and facilities.

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