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The Research degrees we offer

Pursue a future in research at York St John University

research students in lecture

At York St John University we are proud to offer a range of Research Degree awards. Find out which is most suitable to your interests:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Each PhD is unique, but at York St John University they involve working closely with two or more academic supervisors to conduct detailed research into a specific topic over three to six years. If you have achieved at least a 2:1 in a relevant Undergraduate degree or taught Masters and enjoyed working on a research project, a PhD may be right for you. To be a successful PhD candidate you need to identify a new topic (or new approach) that you are passionate about.

In addition to carrying out the research and writing your 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 have gone onto academic jobs soon afterwards.

Practice-led Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

A Practice-led PhD is a research opportunity for students with an interest in pursuing projects with a component of creative practice.

The research is not about practice but grows out of the discoveries, ideas and issues that emerge from the practice itself. While the relation of theory to practice will vary from one research project to the next, as will the relative proportions of practice and the written component of the final submission, it is a requirement that practical outputs (whether performance, exhibition, composition or creative writing) will be accompanied by a written thesis of 25,000 to 50,000 words.

We offer Practice-led PhDs in three of our Academic Schools:

  • School of Art, Design & Computer Science
  • School of Humanities, Religion & Philosophy
  • School of Performance & Media Production

Masters by Research (MA or MSc)

A Masters by Research is studied over a single year full-time and you will be expected to produce a 30,000 word thesis. This may be a good option if you would like to study for a Research Degree but do not feel ready to commit to the three to four years of research required for a PhDYork St John University has considerable experience of MA and MSc by Research supervision and we welcome applications from suitable candidates across a wide range of disciplines.

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

The MPhil programme allows you to explore a specific area of your chosen subject in depth and to work with your supervisor in deciding the direction of your research. An MPhil is a two year full-time or four year part-time programme of research and culminates in a research thesis, normally of up to 60,000 words long.

The University’s specialist research groups and centres provide additional support to those embarking on research work and also encourage interdisciplinary collaboration, broadening the research experience for both students and staff involved.

Professional Doctorate (Prof Doc)

Professional Doctorates allow you to carry out research which will expand knowledge in your profession and develop your professional practice. At York St John University, the subject areas covered by our awards reflect a wide variety of subjects and methodological expertise among our staff:

The programmes (delivered at doctoral level throughout) combine four taught modules and the completion of a research thesis. The taught elements of the programmes allows a more corporate and collegiate-style of learning than is usually possible when studying for a traditional PhD. We accept new Professional Doctorate students on 1 January each year. We strongly recommend that applicants make their applications as early as possible, and by 1 November at the latest to meet the January start deadline.

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