Research degrees: Doctoral College

Make a difference

A research student in a science lab

Join the next generation of researchers. Study in a community of over 650 research students at the University of Hertfordshire.

We offer one of the most diverse range of Research Degree programmes in the UK and beyond.

A key part of your research degree experience at Hertfordshire will be found in our comprehensive training provision.

Our programmes are designed to underpin your research work and provide knowledge and skills that will help you to progress successfully through your research degree studies and to equip you for a future career.

Choose your research degree

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    A female research student

    View course list for: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

    The PhD is awarded on the basis of a substantial programme of individual research leading to a significant original contribution to knowledge or its interpretation.

    The expected time period from enrolment to submission is normally three years of full-time study or six years of part-time study.

  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
    A male research student

    View course list for: Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

    The MPhil is awarded on the basis of a substantial programme of individual research, involving the exercise of independent critical powers.

    The expected time period form enrolment to submission is normally two years of full-time study or four years of part-time study.

  • Master of Arts by Research (MA by Research)
    Abstract artwork

    View course list for: Master of Arts by Research (MA by Research)

    The Masters by Research is awarded on the basis of a substantial programme of individual research, involving the exercise of independent critical powers.

    The expected time period form enrolment to submission is normally one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study.

  • Master of Science by Research (MSc by Research)
    A science lab

    View course list for: Master of Science by Research (MSc by research)

    The Masters by Research is awarded on the basis of a substantial programme of individual research, involving the exercise of independent critical powers.

    The expected time period form enrolment to submission is normally one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study.

Professional Doctorates in...

  • Business Administration (DBA)
    A group of students working around a laptop

    View course details: Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA)

    The highest professional qualification available in business management.

    You will learn about the latest management techniques and research methods, drawing on the work of international experts in our Business School and with the support of your peers.

    The skills and knowledge you gain will help improve the effectiveness of your organisation, whatever your subsequent career.

    Your final dissertation will be a combination of project portfolio and thesis.

    Any questions? Contact Dr Moira Calveley

  • Design (DDes)
    Abstract artwork

    View course details: Doctorate in Design (DDes)

    The Doctorate in Design (DDes) is aimed at academic staff in architecture and design broadly understood, in universities and institutes of higher education. It is a structured doctorate that can be undertaken part-time using a virtual research environment to deliver study materials and supervision. It is therefore ideal for candidates based overseas.

    The course directly addresses the international debate concerning the nature of research in creative disciplines and will equip successful candidates with a range of conceptual and practical tools with which to demonstrate leadership in this debate in their own fields. The course begins with a series of study and research skills, which provide a thorough grounding in the philosophical and theoretical issues surrounding notions of practice-led research and the relationship between academic and professional values. Once this phase has been completed, the candidate then undertakes an individual supervised research project in his or her own professional discipline.

    After successfully completing the doctorate the candidate will have the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue research and to contribute to the development of institutional and national structures for research in creative areas in their home countries.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Information on How to Apply

    Any questions?

    Contact Prof Michael Biggs (m.a.biggs@herts.ac.uk) - Programme Director

  • Education (EdD)
    A female research student

    View course details: Doctorate in Education (EdD) 

    The EdD is a research-based programme focused on the improvement of professional practice.

    You will work at doctorate level on issues or problems that are of direct relevance to your professional interests and institutional concerns, bringing significant benefit to the organisation in which you work.

    Any questions? Dr Jon Berry, j.berry@herts.ac.uk

  • Engineering (EngD)
    The engine on an airplane

    View course details: Doctorate in Engineering (EngD)

    The EngD is designed to integrate easily with your work and host organisation.

    It aims to provide a rigorous Doctorate level environment within which important current and future engineering issues are investigated; develop your critical thinking skills and awareness of the application of technology into organisations develop your research and management skills, such as leadership and change management, necessary to deal with the complex issues in today’s and future engineering business activities enable the effective management of innovation.

    Any questions? Contact Dr Andrew Lewis

  • Fine Art (DFA)
    Abstract artwork

    View course details: Doctorate in Fine Art (DFA)

    The Doctorate in Fine Art (DFA) is a part-time doctorate, with an option to study full-time. It is aimed at overseas-based students who want to stay in their home countries and learn how to research with the support and expertise of a UK university.

    Ideally you should already have a postgraduate degree in Fine Art or a related subject, and you will probably have a well developed professional practice as an artist. The degree is especially suited for lecturers in Art and Design who need to upgrade their academic qualifications, or for artists who want to enhance their employability as lecturers.

    The programme includes an introduction to the concept of research in the creative arts, its methods, and a course of training in how to undertake research. Your research project will provide the platform for you to develop your research skills, supported by regular supervision from our experienced staff.

    Every September there is a one-week Symposium at the University, when you will share your research with other students.

    View course details to find out about the fees you need to pay each year.

    Find out more about applying for guidance about what to do next, and about how to write a research proposal.

    For detailed programme-specific answers read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

    Any questions?

    Contact Prof Michael Biggs (m.a.biggs@herts.ac.uk) - Programme Director

  • Health (DHRes)
    A research student in the Medical Simulation 

Centre

    View course details: Doctorate in Health (DHRes) 

    The DHRes is the first professional doctorate programme in the UK to focus on the science of health research.

    To explore the interaction of theory and practice in research best practice within the health professions.

    Aims: To provide a programme of advanced generic training in health research methodology at doctoral level in the context of an understanding of health policy, ethics and the social context of health and illness.

    Any questions? Contact Professor Hilary Thomas, H.A.Thomas@herts.ac.uk

  • Heritage (DHeritage)
    A piece of fabric with a heart on it

    View course details: Doctorate in Heritage (DHeritage)

    The Heritage Doctorate is a broad-based, flexible qualification in public history and heritage.

    Students go through the programme as part of a cohort, taking part in workshops that integrate scholarship on a whole range of interdisciplinary themes from digital learning to community engagement to business heritage.

    You will work towards a doctoral thesis and a portfolio of other work based on your professional and academic interests. Supervision and research training will be shaped to meet your individual needs.

    Any questions? Contact Alix Green, a.r.green@herts.ac.uk

  • Management (DMan)
    Two female research students talking

    View course details: Doctorate in Management (DMan)

    Studying for the Doctor of Management will involve you in drawing on your own experience of change at work and trying to think and write about it using concepts you will learn on the programme and from your reading and research elsewhere. You will then be encouraged to reflect further on what you have written, and you will elaborate your ideas iteratively in discussion with others on the programme, bringing together action, reflection, thinking and writing. The DMan is group-based and you will be expected to participate actively with other DMan students in lively discussions about both your work and theirs.

    You will develop your doctoral thesis from a portfolio of research projects written throughout your time on the programme.

    Any questions? Contact Professor Chris Mowles, c.mowles@herts.ac.uk

  • Medicine (MD)
    A stethoscope

    View course details: Doctorate in Medicine (MD)

    The MD has been designed for clinicians working in practice who wish to undertake a substantial programme of individual research, whilst under the principal supervision of a clinical specialist.

    It offers maximum flexibility and is further enhanced by the opportunity for candidates to contribute to the final award using previous research.

    It will give you the opportunity to study a wide range of subject areas relevant to your own clinical practice and these may involve clinically based research, laboratory based research or a combination of both.

    The culmination of the programme will be the thesis of up to 80,000 words, in which candidates must demonstrate a significant original contribution to clinical practice.

    Any questions?Contact Dr Ornella Corazza, o.corazza@herts.ac.uk

  • Psychology (DClinPsy)
    Two research students talking

    View course details: Doctorate in in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy)  

    The DClinPsy is a three-year Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Training Programme which has been accredited by the British Psychological Society and Health Professions Council. It prepares clinical psychology Trainees to function effectively as clinical psychologists within the National Health Service (NHS) and in related settings.

    The Clinical Psychology course has a particular remit to train clinical psychologists to take up NHS posts in Essex, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

    Clinical psychologists working in the region support the DClinPsy course, and many are working in collaboration with the Programme Team to provide placement supervision, research supervision, teaching and skills workshops.

    Any questions? Contact Professor David Winter, D.Winter@herts.ac.uk

  • Psychotherapy (DPsych)
    A male research student

    View course details: Doctorate in Psychotherapy (DPsych)

    Top-Up Doctorate in Psychotherapy

    This new programme is designed for candidates with a postgraduate qualification in psychotherapy who wish to top up their qualifications to doctoral level.

    The programme, which has an expected completion period of two years, includes the submission of a dissertation reporting on a research project relating to psychotherapy, as well as an intensive case report.

    Any questions? Contact Professor David Winter, D.Winter@herts.ac.uk

Doctoral College

A female research studentJoin our Doctoral College which houses over 650 research degree students ranging from Masters by Research through to Doctorate level.

Run centrally through Academic Services we help with all key milestones of the research degree process for students and their supervisors. The College provides research training for students and staff.

Our strategy for the Next Generation of Researchers is:

  • To remain at the cutting edge of important new knowledge, a vibrant, productive research community must nurture new research talent, continually growing in strength and challenging ideas with fresh new perspectives. At the University of Hertfordshire, the next generation of researchers is central to our on going research strategy and we are committed to supporting their developing work.

Read the research strategy, 2011-2015 (PDF - 0.32 Mb)

Promoting a stimulating research environment

A group of studentsTo remain at the cutting edge of important new knowledge, a vibrant, productive research community must nurture new research talent, continually growing in strength and challenging ideas with fresh new perspectives.

Through its social provision for students, the Doctoral College brings junior and senior researchers together promoting a stimulating research environment and cooperation across disciplines.