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Postgraduate research degrees

Research degrees at St Mary's

We offer the opportunity to study for an MPhil, PhD or a Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD), working on your research project alongside highly experienced researchers.

We have a thriving PhD programme with over 80 students, all supported by a supervisory team of active researchers in the student’s subject area. We have students studying for PhDs in areas such as applied science, theology, sport, health, arts and humanities, social sciences, business and education.

In addition, a number of our students are working in important cross-disciplinary fields such as the relationship between theology and public policy and the provision of health services in prisons.

St Mary's Doctoral College

All research students have dedicated study facilities in the newly-opened Doctoral College, giving them the opportunity to work together and collaborate across disciplines.


Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

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.


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

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.


Professional doctorate (EdD)

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.