What is a PhD?

A PhD is a Doctor of Philosophy. Each PhD is unique but at York St John University all involve working closely with two or more academic supervisors to conduct detailed research into a specific topic over three to six years. PhDs require more time and commitment than most taught degrees (40 hours a week, 45 weeks a year full-time or an equivalent of half this part-time). If you have achieved at least a relevant 2:1 degree or relevant taught masters and enjoyed working on a research project (for example your dissertation or participation in the York St John University 'Students as Researchers' Scheme) a PhD may be right for you. You need to identify a new topic (or new approach) that you are passionate about. Please visit our Supervision Areas by Academic School page to see research areas in different disciplines.

In addition to carrying out the research and 'writing up' the thesis (up to 100,000 words long), PhD students attend seminars and conferences (sometimes overseas) and engage in skills training appropriate to their individual needs. At York St John University, many of our PhD students publish articles during the course of their doctorate and gain experience of teaching (from their second year onwards). Many (about 50%) have gone onto academic jobs.

For more information on PhDs the following book has been recommended by many of our staff and students:

Estelle Phillips and Derek Pugh, How To Get A PhD: A Handbook For Students And Their Supervisors 5th Edition, Open University Press, 2010 ISBN: 978033524202

Electronic copies of this book are available for current York St John University students from ILS.

We offer PhDs in all of our nine Academic Schools, and for viable interdisciplinary research topics, cross-school supervision can also be arranged.

To apply, please click the 'PhD' tab on our Application Links webpage, which will connect you to the relevant online application system.

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