Entry requirements

An applicant for admission to read for a PhD/MPhil should normally hold a first or upper second class honours degree of a UK university or an equivalent qualification, or a lower second class honours degree with a Master's degree at Merit level of a UK university or an equivalent qualification.

Applicants who have taken a higher degree at a UK university are normally exempt from the English language requirements. Applicants who do not meet the English language proficiency requirement will normally be asked to complete an English Language course.

Months of entry

January, December, November, October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February

Course content

Nottingham Trent University offers opportunities to read for an MPhil or a PhD degree by research in all of its academic schools.

Undertaking an MPhil or PhD

Nottingham Trent University offers opportunities to study for an MPhil or a PhD degree by research in all of its academic schools. Supervision is available during full-time or part-time study; this may sometimes be provided through distance learning. There is also the opportunity to read for part-time Professional Doctorates in several schools, which include: Architecture (DArch); Business Administration (DBA); Education (EdD), and Legal Practice (D Legal Prac).

PhD Projects

Please find a list of PhD research projects on our website. These projects, updated every summer, have been prepared by academics in areas closely related to their research interests in order to give you additional guidance when choosing your own PhD research area / topic. A research proposal closely related to one of these projects could directly benefit from existing research initiatives and / or from wider research projects already taking place in the School.

Supervising your studies

Conducting doctoral level research towards an MPhil or a PhD degree requires different skills from undergraduate or taught postgraduate study. You will mostly work on your own research project, and we emphasise the importance of regular meetings with your supervisory team.

Your supervisory team consists of a Director of Studies (DoS), who will usually have expertise in your subject area, and at least one other supervisor selected for their complementary expertise, such as relevant research methods. Additionally, independent assessors will be appointed to give you, and your supervisory team, support and guidance at certain key stages during your studies.

The Doctoral School Team will support you from the time you make your initial enquiry, through the application process and the various stages of your degree, until your viva voce examination and subsequent graduation. Once you begin your studies, induction sessions will introduce you to the University, help you settle in, and give you the chance to meet other research students.

Stages and monitoring

Most PhD students are initially registered as PhD (by MPhil Transfer). During your first year of studies you will be required successfully to pass a Project Approval assessment; this is followed by approving a Transfer to PhD assessment, during your second year of studies. Finally, your PhD thesis will be assessed in detail in a viva voce examination.

Additionally, all PhD students are required to participate in the comprehensive 'student progress monitoring' process that takes place twice a year, as directed by the Doctoral School. The outcome of these assessments, and of the progress monitoring process, will then be ratified by the relevant College and University committees.

Finally, the research training programme, below, is designed to support you while you proceed along these milestones.

Research training programme

In order to support you in your doctoral studies, and especially if you register as a full-time student, you are required participate in researcher training. This includes three core modules and electives on a variety of topics.

The research training programme has been designed to give you guidance and support towards your Project Approval, Transfer, and viva voce examination. The training focuses, too, on the requirements of external research funding bodies and government requirements. Part-time PhD students are welcome to take any of these modules, as advised by their supervisors.

We provide a structured programme of transferable skills training and career development. This is informed by the work of Vitae, the national organisation that supports researchers throughout their careers.

The maximum registration period for a full-time PhD student is four years. Part-time students (PhD and Professional Doctorates) may be registered for a maximum of eight years.

Information for international students

International students will also need to meet the English language requirements - IELTS 6.5 (with minimum sub-scores of 6.0).

Qualification and course duration


full time
24 months
part time
36 months


full time
48 months
part time
72 months

Course contact details

Research Administrator
0115 848 5553 / 6028