Welcome to the University of Cumbria Graduate School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

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The University is committed to providing excellence in academic practice together with a supportive and stimulating environment in which to conduct your studies. We are accepting research applications as usual. Research Student Admissions are processing UK, EU and International PhD and MPhil applications for our postgraduate intakes in October, January and April each year.  If you have any questions about applying to the university’s PhD Programme please email: rsa@cumbria.ac.uk

Please find more information on the university’s admissions policies during Covid-19 here: https://www.cumbria.ac.uk/coronavirus/



About the PhD and MPhil

Master of Philosophy (MPhil) : A postgraduate research degree undertaken by research thesis and oral defence.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD): A doctoral-level award assessed through a research thesis and oral defence.

For the doctoral degree variants as defined below, please contact Research Student Admissions for guidance

Alternative format PhD: A doctoral programme where the body of work to be assessed is in a format other than the traditional single volume thesis.

PhD by Art Practice: A doctoral programme where the body of work to be assessed comprises a negotiated set of research outcomes mediated by individual art practice.

PhD by Publication: A doctoral-level award comprising an assessment of a student’s published works within a related field of study. In order to be eligible for consideration, alumni must be graduates of at least five years' standing and have already obtained a master’s degree or show evidence of having received research training or equivalent experience.

Our research degree programmes provide you with:

  • Excellent supervision by a supervisory team
  • A dedicated Graduate School
  • Access to research networks
  • Possibilities for supervised involvement in teaching
  • Relevant training in research methodologies and skills
  • Access to appropriate facilities to support research

Registration and Length of Programme

We strongly recommend that applicants make their applications as early as possible (and at least three months before their preferred start date).

Registration Points

We have three registration points in the year:  January, April and October.

Length of Registration

PhD: 3-4 years full-time or 4-7 years part-time

MPhil 2-3 years full time or 3-5 years part time

Entry Requirements

A 1st or 2:1 honours degree or its equivalent in a relevant discipline from a recognised university in the UK or comparable university overseas. A Master's degree may be desirable in some subject areas.

If you have non-standard entry qualifications or wish for previous study to be considered, please contact the Research Student Admissions.

Applications are assessed on:

  • Content of your academic qualification
  • Degree certificates and transcripts of previous higher education (college/university) degrees or other courses that you have completed/for which you are currently studying. Note that, for transcripts in languages other than English, a certified English translation will be required
  • Consistency of your academic performance in your academic qualification
  • Academic and/or work personal references
  • Work experience (where relevant)

Language Requirements

Where English is a second language, a recognised English language qualification is required. A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 (with at least 6.0 in each part) or equivalent.

How to Apply

To apply to the University, you must submit an application form and a research proposal. Research Student Admissions can advise you with finding your potential supervisors and funding for your studies.

The research proposal is an important part of an application for a research degree and we recommend you read our guide to writing a research proposal.

  • A Working Title of the Topic Area
  • Potential Lead Supervisor and Academic Subject Area
  • General Overview of Area
  • Identification of the Relevant Literature
  • Key Research Questions
  • Methodology
  • Timescale/Research Planning
  • Bibliography

Download the application form from the button below and submit via email to Research Student Admissions:  rsa@cumbria.ac.uk




EU and International Applicants

Information for overseas applicants can be found on our international pages.

You can also find visa & immigration information on the UK government website.

Tuition Fees

Information of research degree programme fees are available here:

Home and EU Tuition Fees

Overseas Students Tuition Fees

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