Research Degrees at St Mary's

We offer the opportunity to study for an MPhil, PhD or EdD, working on your research project alongside highly experienced researchers.


Entry Criteria

Degrees of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Applicants normally possess a Master's Degree with Distinction from a UK University, or one of the following:

  • A Master's degree with Merit from a UK University, including a Distinction grade for the Dissertation (or equivalent)
  • A Master's Degree from a UK University that does not offer awards with Merit, the Registrar at Liverpool Hope University having confirmed that the profile of marks awarded by that University satisfies or exceeds Liverpool Hope University's requirements for the award of a Master's Degree with Merit, and that the Dissertation([or equivalent) was awarded a Distinction grade
  • An equivalent qualification from outside the UK. Please note that equivalency of qualifications is judged by Liverpool Hope University, and all decisions are final.

In addition applicants must be able to demonstrate a high level of competence in written and spoken English.

Degrees of Professional Doctorate (EdD)

EdD Contact: jane.renowden@stmarys.ac.uk

Applicants for admission to a programme of study leading to the award of Educational Doctorate should normally possess:

  • Either a Master's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK University or an equivalent qualification from outside the UK.
    Please note that equivalency of qualifications is judged by Liverpool Hope University, and all decisions are final.
  • Applicants must have at least three years' experience of leadership in a professional area relevant to the programme of study.

In addition applicants must be able to demonstrate a high level of competence in written and spoken English.

Advanced Standing

MPhil, PhD and EdD applicants who have successfully completed one or more years of full-time study (or two or more years of part-time study) for a research degree at a UK University may be considered for admission with advanced standing. In such cases, the admissions procedure shall be identical to other applicants; however, the duration of the programme may vary and shall be as specified at the time of entry.

An MPhil is normally in the region of 60,000 words in length and is usually completed within two years full-time and four years part-time.


A PhD is normally in the region of 80,000 words and no more than 100,000 words, and is usually completed within three years full-time or six years part-time.

In both cases you will be examined through your thesis and by viva voce examination. All students are required to undertake an agreed programme of research skills training and development. This will be agreed at entry and reviewed regularly.


The professional doctorate in Education is designed to provide research competence for professionals in a range of social science settings and not just from an educational background; and to enable professional and institutional development through research engagement at a high level.

EdD graduates will expect not only to have a critical understanding of all forms of research in their field, but to generate research and publications which will make a significant contribution to that field.

The programme is delivered by part time study and is typically studied for four years. Phase 1 is a delivered as a taught route with a core curriculum and students are expected to attend three residential weekend studies which take place during year one and year two. Phase 2 students move into the traditional ‘thesis stage’ of the programme. A thesis submitted for the Professional Doctorate should not exceed 60,000 words.