Types of Research Degree

Are you ready to take your studies to the highest level? We offer traditional PhDs, PhDs by published work, and professional doctorates. You can study for your research degree either full time or part time and, in many cases, by distance learning. There may also be an option for a bursary.

To register for a PhD with us, you’ll typically need both undergraduate and master’s degree qualifications. However, this is not always the case, and we will also consider appropriate research or professional experience.

Traditional PhDs

We offer traditional PhDs where you undertake an in-depth research project while working alongside a supervision team. They are usually self-funded, but funded PhD studentships may be available for some new doctoral research projects. These will be advertised at jobs.staffs.ac.uk as they become available.

Before you apply, please check the research themes to see if we can offer doctoral supervision in the area you wish to research, or look through our ready to go PhD projects to see if any of these appeal to your interests. You can then complete a PhD enquiry form to give us a little more detail about your proposed project. We’ll only offer a research degree where we have relevant expertise to ensure you get the right academic support in your area of interest.

Professional doctorates 

Professional doctorates are designed to develop research and professional skills related to professional practice. They combine taught modules with an in-depth research project. Work must demonstrate an original contribution to knowledge within your profession.

We offer professional doctorates in:

To apply for a professional doctorate, please see the information on our professional doctorate course pages.

PhDs by published work

A PhD by published work allows you to apply for a research degree based on work you have already had published or exhibited. This can include edited texts, creative works or collections of artefacts that you have exhibited in public.

Your application should include a list of your published works that form the basis of your proposed PhD, along with a statement on how they will contribute to knowledge and when your research was carried out. Please contact phdenquiries@staffs.ac.uk for more information on how to apply.

Next steps

Once you know which programme of study you want to follow, the next step is to start your application.


UK University

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

for Job Prospects

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

for Student Satisfaction

Complete University Guide 2022

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

for Course Content

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021