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PhD opportunities

We have a thriving PhD programme with over 100 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 also offers Professional Doctorates in Education, Ministry and Strength & Conditioning.

Vice Chancellor’s Doctoral Studentships 2021/22

Following confirmation of its Research Degree Awarding Powers on 1st April 2021 and the launch of its new Research Strategy, St Mary’s University is offering five Vice Chancellor’s Doctoral studentships.

We are looking to recruit exceptional candidates across our research portfolio, with particular focus on the following five Research Pillars in our Research Strategy

  • Catholic values and the common good
  • Health and social wellbeing
  • Creative industries and wellbeing
  • Professional practice and social impact
  • Human dignity and social justice

The studentships are available on a full-time basis only and will cover payment of Home* fees and an annual stipend of £14,000 for 3 years.

*Home fees will include EU students starting in 2021/22. International applicants will receive a fee waiver at the home fee rate and will be required to self-fund the remaining fees.

Application Process

Please apply via the online application system

In addition, we require you to submit the following for consideration alongside your application:

  • Please entitle your proposal “VC Doctoral Studentship” - a 3,000-word research proposal focused on a topic aligned to one or more of the five pillars in our Research Strategy.
  • CV
  • Copy of qualifications at Bachelor and Masters levels
  • Copy of IELTS, if English is not your first language
  • Please entitle your Personal Statement, “VC Doctoral Studentship” - the personal statement should explain why you would make a suitable candidate for the studentship and how your proposal would fit into one or more of the Research Strategy pillars
  • Two academic references

Closing date: 4th November 2021.

Facilities and development

All students have dedicated study facilities. A Researcher Development Programme is provided for all students and, in the second year, there is a Career Development Programme which also provides students with the opportunity to engage with our experts in residence.

The development programmes are compulsory for full-time students. Part-time students have their needs assessed by their supervisors, but are free to attend all sessions.

All students, on the recommendation of their academic faculty/institute, will have the opportunity to train for and apply to be an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Your academic and other needs are overseen by Claire Tapia, Head of Research Services and the Associate Deans for Research and Enterprise.

Requirements and application

Information about entry requirements and how to apply is available within this section. If at any time in your application process you have any queries, please contact