The organisation of doctoral-level studies
Universities offer doctoral-level programmes. The average length of a doctoral programme is three years. However, the duration may vary from three to four years depending on the type of doctoral programme.
The Research doctorate (PhD or DPhil) lasts a minimum of three years and requires a thesis of between 70 000 to 100 000 words. The New route PhD lasts 4 years and combines taught elements and research. The Taught doctorate (EdD, EngD, DBA) of a minimum of three years' duration combines taught elements and a research project of 40 000 to 50 000 words. Only doctoral candidates on taught doctorates have to follow compulsory courses.
Doctoral candidates are affiliated to research units, research teams, doctoral departments and faculties / institutes.
Doctoral candidates are systematically assigned a supervisor. The role of the supervisor is to provide regular guidance and feedback relating to the progress of the research and to facilitate access to relevant resources within the university. The precise nature of supervision will vary from subject to subject.
Where appropriate, practical placements may form part of a research project. Professional seminars are also organised for the in-depth exploration of current issues.
Research students must demonstrate intellectual independence and make a 'contribution to knowledge'. They must defend their thesis at a viva.
For further information visit the Education UK website.
The individual websites of most UK universities offering doctoral-level programmes also include sections relating to doctoral study opportunities.