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The following subsections outline the research degree courses we offer, what you can expect from the research degree programmes, the various research areas that can potentially be supervised, financial regulations, entrance requirements, and the different modes of study and programme lengths.
The degree for which you register as a research student will depend on your academic qualifications and research experience, as well as your own personal preferences. Please browse the following course titles for further information on the specific courses we offer.
The research degree fees for 2018/19 can be found here. Please note the research degree fees increase by approximately 4% each year.
Any offer is subject to payment of the appropriate research student fees, each year, for the duration of the programme of research. In accepting this offer, you are accepting this financial agreement. The University Research Degree Regulations state in Section 2.5 that, “Before being accepted, self-funded students should provide evidence that they are able to adequately fund the whole of their research degree programme”, for example in the form of a letter from your bank confirming that you are of good financial standing and will be able to cover the cost of the fees for the duration of the programme. If your fees are to be paid by a Sponsor, Research Council Scholarship, or stated other method you should provide a letter from the sponsoring body confirming the award and its duration. Please be aware that all financial issues should be addressed before embarking on the programme.
Please note that the research degree fees contribute to the costs of supervision, the central costs associated with the programme and the use of University facilities, as specified in the offer letter. Any additional costs associated with the research project must be borne by the student.
Please see Research Degree Fees for information on the financial requirements of undertaking a research degree at Oxford Brookes University.
Please be aware that funding opportunities are limited and competition for sources of funding for research degrees is strong. We recommend that you set aside plenty of time in advance of your proposed start date to research possible funding opportunities.
Additional information can be found at the following links:
Entry requirements can be found under Section 2 of the Research Degree Regulations
Applicants whose main language is not English must meet the Faculty’s English language requirements. The minimum IELTS score required for entry to the research degree programme is 6.5–7 overall. In addition, we require a minimum of 6.5 in each component of the test. We do not accept IELTS certificates that are over two years old. We are not required to test the English language ability of applicants who have completed a qualification equivalent to a UK degree which was taught in English in a majority-speaking country. Evidence of this must be provided (eg. Masters Certificate).
It is very important that you are able to understand and use English well, so that you can benefit fully from your time at Oxford Brookes University. If you have any queries regarding acceptable English language qualifications, please contact Oxford Brookes International:
Tel: +44 (0) 1865 483874 Fax: +44 (0) 1865 484377 firstname.lastname@example.org
In exceptional circumstance you may register as a part-time research degree student at Oxford Brookes University and conduct part of your work outside of the UK. If you choose to register on this non-resident basis for a period of time:
The Faculty reserves the right to decline an application from a candidate who wishes to conduct part of their work outside of the UK if there are concerns over supervision, attendance or the separation of the student from the research environment.
You may register for most of our research degree programmes on either a full-time or part-time basis (however see Residence requirements).
A full-time student must be able to devote a minimum of 35 hours per week over a 44-week year to their research. In addition, they should not undertake more than 20 hours per week paid employment or other commitments (including a maximum of six hours per week teaching, demonstrating, or other paid work directly related to their research training). A part-time student must be able to devote a minimum of 15 hours per week over a 44-week year to the programme of research.
MPhil, MPhil/PhD and PhD students may take up to eight weeks holiday in each year, inclusive of normal public holidays. MA/MSc/LLM by Research students may take up to four weeks holiday in each year (pro rata for parts of a year), inclusive of normal public holidays. In each case the timing of the holidays must be agreed with by the supervisory team.
The minimum length is listed by programme in the table below:
If you would like to be considered for a research degree you must
apply direct to the university.
You must supply all of the required supporting documentation (detailed on the
application page). Omitting any supporting document will delay the application process.
There is no deadline for the receipt of research degree applications; you may apply at any time of year. You should be aware, however, that the enrolment dates are in January and September (ie. the start of Semesters 1 and 2). Whilst we recommend
that you submit your application as early as possible, we will aim to process your application within
of receiving it although this may take longer during busier times of the year. Thus applicants need to apply at least eight weeks before their proposed start date
unless you are an international student, in which case your application will require more time. (Please see below.)
If you are an international student you will need to apply for a Tier 4 student visa in order to come to the UK as a student. Following changes to the UK immigration system in 2009, the University now issues a Confirmation of Acceptance for
Studies (CAS). This is a unique reference number that students use when they make their visa application. The CAS is only issued to students in receipt of an unconditional offer to study at Oxford Brookes University. The Graduate Office recommends
that international students require at least three months between receiving their unconditional offer and gaining the necessary visa. Therefore, if you are an international student please allow at least five months between submitting your application
and your expected start date, to allow enough time to process your application.
Please see the University research degree fee pages:
If studentships are being offered they will be advertised on the following website:
The following links may also be of use:
The Doctor of Education (EdD) is a professionally-focused, cohort-based doctorate, aimed primarily at experienced professionals working in education, health and related fields. It is an opportunity to pursue doctoral study in the context of your
professional role, combining taught courses with independent research.
The taught component comprises a number of assessed modules which take place on Saturdays throughout the year. The independent research component is led by specialist supervisors from the School of Education, who will help you to develop a
research project in your chosen field.
The programme is currently only available on a part-time basis. The minimum period of enrolment is 5 years.
Please see here for further details:
The MPhil/PhD can be studied full or part time and is research degree with no taught element.
The PhD is awarded to a candidate who, having critically investigated and evaluated an approved topic resulting in an independent and original contribution to the field and demonstrated an understanding of the research methods appropriate to the
chosen field, has presented and defended a thesis by oral examination to the satisfaction of the examiners.
The minimum programme length is three years full-time or four years part-time.
UK Border Agency visa rules state that International students will not be given visas to study for a part time degree. Therefore, our part-time PhD and Doctorate of Education (EdD) programmes are not open to International students.
Home and EU students can study part time. The EdD is five year part-time doctoral programme. An MPhil/PhD should be completed in three years if full time, six years if part time.
In highly exceptional circumstance you may register as a part-time research degree student at Oxford Brookes University and conduct part of your research outside of the UK. Normally a part-time research degree student is expected to be available
to meet with their supervisors on a face-to-face basis regularly. If you choose to register on this non-resident basis for a period of time:
You must be able to visit Oxford Brookes University for at least six weeks per year. This must be agreed by both the Postgraduate Research Tutor and your appointed Director of Studies at Oxford Brookes University.
An external supervisor or advisor of appropriate academic standing and with the necessary experience must be appointed in your local area. The University Research Degrees Committee must also be satisfied that there are adequate research facilities
available outside of the UK.
As you would be registered at Oxford Brookes University, you would be awarded one research degree from Oxford Brookes.
The MPhil can be research degree in its own right but it is also a recognised preliminary stage for PhD study.
An MPhil is awarded to a candidate who, having critically investigated and evaluated an approved topic and demonstrated an understanding of the research methods appropriate to the chosen field, has presented and defended a thesis by oral
examination to the satisfaction of the examiners.
The minimum programme length is two years full-time or three years part-time.
The maximum thesis length is 50,000 words.
A PhD is awarded to a candidate who, having critically investigated and evaluated an approved topic resulting in an independent and original contribution to the field and demonstrated an understanding of the research methods appropriate to the
chosen field, has presented and defended a thesis by oral examination to the satisfaction of the examiners.
The maximum thesis length is 100,000 words.
Another route available to applicants who hold D-level credit is the PhD Direct, where the MPhil criteria have already been fulfiilled.
In some cases applicants may be accepted as research students via the PhD Direct route. This applies in cases where:
This is an unusual route and applicants wishing to be considered for PhD Direct must meet one or both of these specific criteria and have the approval of the postgraduate research tutors before being considered for this programme. The minimum
enrolment period for PhD Direct is 2 years full-time and 3 years part-time.
postgraduate open days
for prospective students.
The Doctorate of Education (EdD) also runs Information Sessions throughout the year. Please
keep an eye on the website
for future events
We also offer
throughout the year
Yes you will need to provide two references, both of which should be academic. It is strongly recommended that one of the references is from the supervisor of your Masters degree. You have the option of giving your referee access to your
application in UCAS Postgraduate so that they are able to attach their reference separately.
You will also need to supply scanned, certified copies of your degree certificates or a transcript of your academic record to date.
Early application is recommended, especially if you are an International student who will need to arrange a visa. In this case, it is recommended that you allow
five months for the entire process.
We aim to process all applications within eight weeks of receiving your completed application form, research proposal, references and supporting documents. You may register at the start of the September or January term, although we recommend a
September start, particularly for overseas students.
Please see the Social Activities page that details various ways to make contact with other students, such as Global Buddies and the Facebook group for International students.
The EdD runs Information sessions throughout the first part of the calendar year which allows opportunities to meet current students.
Please keep an eye on the website for details.
There are also various social events run throughout the year organised by the Faculty and School of Education which is a good way to meet fellow students in the SoE and also from other disciplines.
There are also various Induction events that current students often attend to share their experiences with new students.
We warmly welcome applications in the following five thematic areas. We recognise that proposals might overlap more than one thematic area and may not fit neatly into the categories outlined below, so we welcome enquiries that are largely
encompassed within these areas.
The supervisory capacity in this thematic area includes:
Obtaining a visa is the applicant’s responsibility. Following changes to the UK immigration system in 2009, the university will no longer be issuing visa letters for students to obtain entry clearance. We will now be issuing a Confirmation of
Acceptance for Studies (CAS).
Please see these pages for all the up-to-date advice
on applying for your visa
The International Student Advisory Service pages have plenty of information and advice that are worth reading.
You should be able to work up to a maximum of 20 hours a week. It is very important that you never work more than the maximum hours allowed, even for just one week, as this would be a breach of your immigration conditions and a criminal offence.
Please see this page for further information:
Brookes is known for its excellent teaching and friendly, supportive environment. In addition, 70% of Educational Research in the School of Education has been judged to be of International significance (RAE 2008) and it is anticipated that that
this will be even higher for the current UK research review (REF 2014).
Please see this page:
You may request to defer your offer for up to one year. This request must be approved by your proposed Director of Studies and the Postgraduate Research Tutor. If you have been awarded funding you should be aware that there may be implications to
your award should you request to defer, and this should be checked with the sponsoring body.
We strongly advise applicants request to defer their offer prior to their expected start date and not retrospectively. If your request to defer is supported by your proposed Director of Studies and the Postgraduate Research Tutor you will be
issued with a formal offer letter confirming your revised start date.