For Prospective Students

Research Degrees at Staffordshire University

We offer the degrees of MPhil, PhD and Professional Doctorates in a wide range of research specialisms. A research degree is a high level qualification, which is achieved primarily by a program of research supervised by one of our experts. Such a degree demonstrates that you are a professional researcher in your field, with a broad set of high level skills, ready to join on equal footing the best and brightest.


Precise eligibility criteria vary by subject, but in general we ask for strong language skills, the ability to stay organised and motivated over a long period of time, and either a Masters level qualification in your area, or a number of years of relevant experience in a professional or research environment.

How does it work?

An MPhil or PhD is a qualification that almost exclusively comprises supervised research. You will work with a small team of experts, devising, executing, reporting on and finally defending in an examination, your own research work.

The Professional Doctorate has a large research stage similar to the above, but prior to that is a taught stage where you will acquire professional and research-oriented skills. The professional doctorate also assumes that you work in some particular profession, and both you and your employer would like for your research to directly concern and aid that profession.

How do I apply?

You will find a set of links below, that will take you pages from the various Schools of the University. There you will find links to specific research degree programs application forms. You will need two references as part of the application.

It is entirely normal for you to have a conversation (by telephone, email or in person as is convenient) with prospective supervisors for your project. Because we can only offer the research degree where your intended research area matches our expertise, this preliminary conversation is vital.

In addition to the application through the University’s admissions system, you will also need to write a research proposal. The proposal should be 2000-2500 words long and contain the aims and specific objectives of your proposed project, a brief critical literature review that includes an indication of the originality of the work, a discussion of research methods, and a list of facilities or resources that the project will need (e.g. lab space and instruments). This proposal will then be the subject of an interview, prior to our offering you a place on the degree.

A step-by-step guide to enquiring about or applying for our research degrees can be found HERE.