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This is the highest degree a student can attain in education, and it involves a research project in a specific area of academic interest. Students have to submit a dissertation or thesis at the end of their project. The written thesis is usually around 100,000 words, and there is an oral examination where the student will be questioned and they are expected to defend the thesis. A supervisor is assigned to each student; a PhD can take anything between 3 to 6 years to complete. There are usually no classes for PhD students; they are expected to research on their own and complete their thesis.

Entry Requirements

Any student who has a bachelor’s degree with upper second class honors and a master’s degree can enroll for a PhD program. They are required to have an IELTS score of 7.0.

Research Proposal

Any student applying to study for their PhD has to submit a written proposal which outlines the research you want to undertake, its importance, and how you will do it. Your program can begin once it is accepted by a panel of experts.

Other types of Research Degree

MPhil (Master of Philosophy)
Some PhD programs may require you to begin an MPhil and then move on to a PhD course after a year or 18 months. It is a qualification in itself, and lasts for 18 months to 2 years, and involves presentation of a thesis. This thesis must present the study results, and the written content is expected to be 60,000 words or less. If a proposed research doesn’t have enough scope for a full-blown PhD, students usually opt for an MPhil.

MRes (Master of Research)

This is an advanced postgraduate research degree in the disciplines of art, humanities and social sciences. Some PhDs may require students to do an MRes before they start on their PhD. IT involves a dissertation of 40,000 words or less.
Professional Doctorate
This is similar to a PhD but is usually meant for professional practice more than improve academic skill. These are usually awarded in the fields of medicine, engineering, education, law, and business.

Cost of PhD

Conducting research can be pretty expensive, and EU students may need to pay around 6,000 British Pounds annually, with overseas students paying more. However, PhD students can get financial support in the form of scholarships, grants or bursaries. Often, universities and research councils themselves offer monetary support as well.

Applying for a PhD

After deciding on your research subject and how you will arrange the funding, you will need to get these documents ready:

  • Academic transcripts
  • Academic references
  • Personal statement
  • Research proposal (example)

You will also need to find a guide or supervisor for the duration of your PhD course.

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