Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

PhD by Thesis

This is the most popular route to the award of PhD. You will normally initially register for an MPhil/PhD and apply to transfer from MPhil to PhD at the end of your first year. At the end of your programme, you will submit for examination and defend a thesis (no more than 100,000 words) on your approved topic which must demonstrate an original contribution to knowledge.

It may be possible to register directly for the award of PhD if you already hold a Masters degree which included a significant research component providing it is in the same discipline as your proposed research and it included training in research and execution of a research project.

Where your submission involves your own creative works or a scholarly edition of the creative works of others your thesis word count will be reduced to no more than 40,000 words. 


• Full-time: 3-4 years 
• Part-time: 5 years

PhD by Portfolio

You will submit for examination and defend an approved portfolio consisting of a maximum of three projects and associated outputs, together with a critical overview. The projects may be related to professional practice, and / or derived from empirical or conceptual investigation. The submission is expected to demonstrate an independent and original contribution to knowledge at least equivalent to that expected in a PhD thesis.

The majority of projects and associated outputs will be complete at the time of registration.


• Part-time: 1 to 5 years

PhD by Publication

If you are a past or present member of staff, alumni or have very strong links with the University of South Wales, you may apply for a PhD by Publication. You will submit for examination and defend an approved body of published work, together with a critical overview.

Applicants for PhD by Publication normally require six peer reviewed journal articles, or equivalent book chapters or monographs, as sole or first author.


• Part-time: 1 to 2 years

MPhil/PhD (Animation and Visual Effects)

MPhil/PhD (Applied Sciences)
MPhil/PhD (Built Environment)
MPhil/PhD (Business)
MPhil/PhD (Civil / Mechanical / Aeronautical Engineering)
MPhil/PhD (Communication Design & Photography)
MPhil/PhD (Computer Science)
MPhil/PhD (Cyber Security)
MPhil/PhD (Drama)
MPhil/PhD (Education)
MPhil/PhD (Electronic Engineering)
MPhil/PhD (English)
MPhil/PhD (Health)
MPhil/PhD (History)
MPhil/PhD (Informatics)
MPhil/PhD (Law / Accounting & Finance)
MPhil/PhD (Mathematics)
MPhil/PhD (Media, Culture & Communication)
MPhil/PhD (Music & Sound)
MPhil/PhD (Police Sciences)
MPhil/PhD (Psychology)
MPhil/PhD (Social Policy & Criminology)
MPhil/PhD (Sport)

MPhil/PhD (Sustainable Environment)

PhD (Animation and Visual Effects)
PhD (Applied Sciences)

PhD (Built Environment)
PhD (Business)
PhD (Civil / Mechanical / Aeronautical Engineering)
PhD (Communication Design & Photography)
PhD (Computer Science)
PhD (Cyber Security)
PhD (Drama)
PhD (Education)
PhD (Electronic Engineering)
PhD (English)
PhD (Health)
PhD (History)
PhD (Informatics)
PhD (Law / Accounting & Finance)
PhD (Mathematics)
PhD (Media, Culture & Communication)
PhD (Music & Sound)
PhD (Police Sciences)
PhD (Psychology)
PhD (Social Policy & Criminology)
PhD (Sport)

PhD (Sustainable Environment)

Entry Requirements

Applicants will normally hold one of the following:

  • A UK 2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject (or equivalent)
  • A UK Masters qualification in a relevant subject (or equivalent)
  • Appropriate, relevant qualifications/experience regarded by the University as equivalent

For direct registration for the award of PhD (without the need to 'transfer'), applicants will additionally hold one of the following:

  • A relevant UK Masters degree (or equivalent) with a significant research component in the same discipline area as the proposed research which included training in research and execution of a research project
  • Significant research and / or professional experience which has resulted in published work, written reports or other appropriate evidence of accomplishment