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Postgraduate Research Degrees

Choose to study a research degree at the University of Central Lancashire and you’ll be joining a vibrant and world-class research environment, with access to outstanding facilities and comprehensive support from our experienced academics.

A research degree is a substantial commitment. Although you’ll receive regular supervision and training you will need to undertake significant independent study and, in some cases, periods of fieldwork in the UK or overseas. Not only will you undertake an in-depth study in your chosen research topic and build on your existing knowledge of a subject, but you will also develop other transferable skills highly valued by employers.

We offer alternative start dates for your research degree, commencing in September, January and March for maximum flexibility.

Choose the research degree that is right for you:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
  • Doctor of Medicine (MD Res)
  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
  • Master of Surgery (MCh)
  • Master of Arts (MA by Research)
  • Master of Science (MSc by Research)
  • Master of Science (MSc by Research)
  • Master of Laws (LLM by Research)
  • PhD (by Published Work) available to graduates and staff at the University.
  • Professional Doctorates are available in a variety of disciplines.

Before you apply or if you wish to submit your own proposal for a research project, it’s a good idea to explore your ideas with one of our Research Degree Tutors. Email us at researchadmissions@uclan.ac.uk and we will introduce you to the most relevant colleague in your research area.

Depending which research degree you choose, and whether you study full-time or part-time, there will be different timeframes in which you’ll be expected to complete your research.

Westlakes research office

Research Themes

Discover our range of University research themes to tailor your degree towards. Our research fits under six broad themes, ranging from arts and culture to transformative science and technology.

Discover our themes
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How to apply

Research of national and international excellence is at the heart of academic life at the University of Central Lancashire. On completion of your research degree you should be in a very strong position for pursuing your chosen career. If you're ready to start your research degree, you'll find details of the application process on the next few pages.

Application guidance
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Fees, costs and funding

It is important that you know how you are going to fund your studies for the duration of your research degree, and ensure you have the resources to pay all your fees, costs associated with your research programme and your living expenses. 

Find out more
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Studentships

Most studentship funding is for PhD places. Schemes vary and may provide either full cover or partial funding for tuition fees, and some may also include a maintenance grant. Please check individual awards for eligibility.

Current research students are not eligible to apply for our research studentships.

View our latest studentships

What to expect

Undertaking a research degree is a substantial commitment and before embarking on your studies, you should consider the below requirements:

  • You are expected to attend regularly to study, for supervision, training and research symposia.

  • Your subject area and study mode will determine the amount of time you need to spend studying on campus.

  • Normally you are expected to be resident in the UK and within daily travelling distance of the University.

  • Some programmes will include periods of fieldwork away from the University either in the UK or abroad

How long will my programme be?  

Research degree programmes differ from other types of courses in that the end date depends on the student submitting a thesis and the outcome of the viva voce examination. The expected timelines for each award are below:

Full-time study

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Award Expected timeframe for students to submit their the thesis for examination Maximum time allowed for submission of the thesis for examination Time for examination to be completed and the award to be conferred
MA/MSc/LLM (by Research) 12 months 24 months The timescales vary depending on the result of the examination. The minimum time is around 3 months. Most students average around 6 months.
MPhil 24 months 36 Months
PhD (via transfer from MPhil registration) 36 months 48 months
PhD Direct 24 months 36 months

Part-time study

Scroll or swipe on small screens to see all table columns

Award Expected timeframe for students to submit their the thesis for examination Maximum time allowed for submission of the thesis for examination Time for examination to be completed and the award to be conferred
MA/MSc/LLM (by Research) 24 months 36 months The timescales vary depending on the result of the examination. The minimum time is around 3 months. Most students average around 6 months.
MPhil 48 months 60 months
PhD (via transfer from MPhil registration) 72 months 84 months
PhD Direct 48 months 60 months
MD (Res) and MCh (Res) 36 months 48 months
PhD (by Published Work) 12 months 24 months
Next

Graduate Anna tells us about her experience studying here

Student blog

Read about Tom's story studying a Master of Research (MRes) here at the University.

Supporting your research journey

The Graduate Research School is responsible for supporting the postgraduate research environment and culture, having oversight of our research student’s journey and experience from enrolment to award, delivering postgraduate research student training, as well as hosting events and activities.

  • We offer research skills training that is mapped to the Vitae Researcher Development Framework and has received the HR Excellence in Research award.
  • We host the 3MT (Three Minute Thesis) competition and Annual PGR Conference.
  • We deliver a range of research showcase events during the year.
  • We support the PGR Society.
  • We manage the UCLan Undergraduate Research Internship Programme.
  • We provide research grants to support PGR research activities.
  • We represent the PGR community at University level.
  • We support research supervisors and research degree tutors.
  • We listen and respond to the PGR student voice.

The Head of the Graduate Research School is Andrea Ferguson, who can be contacted via email: Aferguson1@uclan.ac.uk or telephone: +44 (0)1772 894326.