Thinking of Becoming a Research Student at the University of South Wales?

The University of South Wales is a significant research-active university with a strong commitment to the conduct of user-valued research that has specific relevance to the major challenges facing society. The University currently has more than 400 research students.

We offer research degrees at both Doctoral and Masters level and you can choose to study either full- or part-time. Your research will be supervised by a team of at least two members of academic staff who will have both expertise in your research area and significant research experience in terms of publications in the field. Your supervisory team will also have experience of supervising previous research students through to successful completion.

For a full list of research programmes offered please click here. When applying you should select the programme where your research topic best fits. Please scroll down for an overview of each award type.

If you would like to find out more information about research currently being undertaken at the University and our areas of expertise please visit the Research web pages.

We currently welcome applications for the following studentships

Apply for a Research Degree.

What Can I study?

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

You will critically investigate and evaluate an approved topic, resulting in an independent and original contribution to knowledge in your specific research area. There are several submission routes to the Doctor of Philosophy award:
• Thesis
• Portfolio
• Publication

The duration of your study will vary depending on which route you take and whether you choose to study full- or part-time.

Traditional route to PhD – the PhD by Thesis

This is far the most popular route to the award of PhD. You will initially register for an MPhil/PhD and transfer from MPhil to PhD at the end of your first year. At the end of your programme, you will submit for examination and defend a thesis on your approved topic which must be of an appropriate literary standard in order to achieve the award.

It may be possible to register directly for the award of PhD if you already hold a Masters degree which included a significant research component providing it is in the same discipline as your proposed research and it included training in research and execution of a research project.


• Full-time: 3 years
• Part-time: 5 years

PhD by Portfolio

You will submit for examination and defend an approved portfolio of material relating to a maximum of three projects, together with a critical overview. The projects may be work-related and derived from empirical or conceptual investigation. The overview must show the relationship between the projects; the portfolio should demonstrate an independent and original contribution to knowledge at least equivalent to that expected in a PhD thesis.

Please consult our guidance document before applying for this route.


• Part-time: 1 to 5 years

PhD by Publication

If you are a past or present member of staff, alumni or have very strong links with the University of South Wales, you may be eligible to apply for a PhD by Publication. You will submit for examination and defend an approved body of published work, together with a critical overview. Your work should demonstrate significant authorship and the originality of your contribution to the field.

Please consult our guidance document before applying for this route.


• Part-time: 1 to 2 years

Doctor of Business Administration

This is a Professional Doctorate which is designed to be studied part-time. You will complete taught elements at advanced level and supervised, independent research of clear value, relevance and application to a defined area of professional practice. You will also submit a thesis of appropriate literary standard and defend your work orally to the satisfaction of your examiners.

• Part-time: 4 – 6 years

For further information please refer to course pages

Doctor of Counselling Psychology (DPsych)

Please refer to course pages

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

You will submit and defend via oral examination, a thesis or portfolio demonstrating critical investigation and analysis of a topic. You will also demonstrate an understanding of appropriate research methods and their application to your chosen field.


• Full-time: 2 years
• Part-time: 3 years

Masters by Research (MA or MSc by Research)

You will complete an advanced programme of supervised research and present and defend your thesis orally.


• Full-time: 1 year
• Part-time: 2 years

Entry requirements

For the awards of Masters by Research, MPhil, MPhil/PhD

Applicants will normally hold one of the following:

  • First or upper second class honours degree in a relevant subject
  • Appropriate, relevant qualifications/experience regarded by the Faculty Research Programmes Committee as equivalent

For direct registration for the award of PhD

Applicants will normally hold one of the following:

  • A relevant Masters degree with a significant research component or equivalent provided that the Masters degree is in an appropriate discipline and that it included training in research and the execution of a research project
  • A good honours degree in an appropriate discipline and appropriate research or professional experience at postgraduate level which has resulted in published work, written reports or other appropriate evidence of accomplishment

For the award of Doctor of Business Administration

Applicants will normally hold one of the following:

  • A Masters degree in Business Administration or the Social Sciences
  • Significant management experience

English Language requirements

If you are from a country where the first language is not English, you will need to provide evidence of your English Language proficiency. For all research degree programmes a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 is required (with a minimum of 6.0 in each individual band) although some disciplines may require a minimum of 7.0.


For information regarding our fees please click here