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Research degree information

Research degree opportunities
Postgraduate research degrees, Master of Philosophy (MPhil) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), studied at Buckinghamshire New University are awarded by Staffordshire University.  Research students are registered with Staffordshire University, but are formally enrolled at Bucks as the institution responsible for supervision and support.
Students can study full-time or part-time, either by attendance or by distance learning. Full-time research students are expected to spend a minimum of 37 hours per week for at least 45 weeks per year on their research.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
PhDs are awarded to students who have critically investigated an approved topic resulting in the presentation of a written thesis at an oral examination. Students are required to demonstrate an original contribution to knowledge through original research or the original application of existing knowledge or understanding. The thesis (up to 80,000 words) needs to be substantial and demonstrate a sound knowledge and critical appreciation of the discipline. 
PhDs may also be awarded for programmes of research where creative work forms a significant part of the intellectual enquiry and where the final submission will be accompanied by a permanent record of the creative work. 
PhDs may also be awarded where the principal focus is the preparation of a scholarly edition of a text or texts, or other original artefacts, and where the final submission will include a copy of the edited text(s) or collection of artefact(s), with appropriate explanatory text and critical commentary.
The PhD thesis must be submitted within the following timeframes:

PhD registration Minimum months Maximum months
 Full-time  30  48
 Part-time  60  96

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
The MPhil is a research master’s degree, which can be taken as a standalone qualification, or as the first stage of the doctorate. At Bucks students who wish to pursue a PhD are required to progress to the doctorate stage at a specified transfer point. For the MPhil the student conducts a research project through independent supervised study, resulting in a thesis (up to 40,000 words) and an oral examination.  The MPhil thesis should be submitted within the following timeframes:

MPhil registration Minimum months Maximum months
 Full-time  12  24
 Part-time  24  48

For further details please see the Regulations for Research Degrees and Code of Practice for Research degrees .

Research Areas
Bucks New University welcomes applications for research degrees from Home/EU applicants for projects in the following areas:

  • Nursing, health and well-being
  • Sports science
  • Practice-led Film & Media
  • Cultural  & Media Studies
  • Practice-led art and design
  • Social Sciences
  • Management
  • Higher Education pedagogy

Entry Requirements
Applicants for MPhil (or MPhil with possibility of transfer to PhD) will normally hold:

  • an Honours degree of 2:1 or above in a relevant subject of a UK University, or
  • a qualification which is regarded by the University as equivalent to such an honours degree whether awarded in the UK or overseas.

Applicants who wish to apply directly for the PhD will normally hold:

  • a Master’s degree awarded by a UK university,or
  • an overseas Master’s degree of equivalent standard in a discipline which is appropriate to the proposed research and  which included training in research and the execution of a research project

Applications with qualifications other than those mentioned above will be considered on merit and in relation to the nature and scope of the programme of work proposed. Appropriate evidence of accomplishments which may be considered with an application includes, for example:

  • professional experience
  • appropriate research or professional experience at postgraduate level
  • publications
  • written reports

Evidence of qualifications or supporting documentation must be made available with the application.

How to apply for a Research Degree
To apply for a research degree, Home/EU applicants must send the following by email to the Research Unit.

Applications are considered three times during the year, with the following deadlines and start dates:

 Application deadline Start date 
  4 June 2017  1 October 2017
 10 September 2017  1 February 2018
 31 December 2017  1 May 2018

The Research Degrees Admissions Panel decides whether to invite the applicant for an interview.  All applicants are informed of the outcome of their application.
Successful applicants are informed of their start date and induction programme.

Applicants who are Overseas residents should apply through the International office . For consideration for the next available start date, approval of eligibility from the International office will be required along with the documents listed above before the application deadline.

Fees for 2017-18 Home/EU residents are:

 Full-time study  £ 4,195 per annum
 Part-time study  £ 2,484 per annum

Fees for 2017-18 Overseas residents are:

 Full-time study  £10,456 per annum
 Part-time study  £ 5,228 per annum

Fees will increase annually in line with the indicative fee levels set by Research Councils UK.

For further information please contact the Research Unit.