Why study a PhD at UWS London?

Learn from experts
Our inspiring team and esteemed guest lecturers bring a wealth of knowledge and global experience garnered from their extensive careers in both UK-based enterprises and across international markets.

Immerse yourself in the world’s capital
Live and study in London; one of the leading cultural, financial and cosmopolitan capitals of the world.

Build your network
Our alumni network spans across more than 100 nationalities, offering a dynamic platform for connections that can drive your career forward. 

Exceptional career prospects
London is a global economic hub, which means there are abundant opportunities for professionals with various skill sets and backgrounds. UWS London careers department will help you to navigate the graduate job market during your studies and up to 2 years after you graduate.

What is a PhD all about?

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree is the highest rated research degree awarded by UWS.

As the highest academic level of study, a PhD is rigorous and demanding. Most students are passionate about their area of interest and pursue a PhD as a result of their scientific and academic curiosity. 

Candidates awarded a PhD are entitled to use the academic title Doctor before their name.  

PhD candidates typically emerge from MRes or MPhil studies, although some candidates apply directly having gained appropriate research experience. 

In most cases the PhD usually requires at least 33 months of full-time study, and requires the submission and oral defence (viva voce examination) of a thesis (typically 60-100,000 words, depending on your field of study) comprising original research undertaken by the candidate. 

PhDs are normally awarded to students who have completed a programme of supervised research training and critically evaluated an appropriate topic over not less than the equivalent of 33 months of full-time study that results in a significant contribution to knowledge.

A PhD is generally a pre-requisite for a successful career in academia, and can help you to secure senior research and management roles in government agencies and companies. A PhD from the University of the West of Scotland enable you to work at the cutting-edge of your industry or sector and contribute to the advancement of knowledge.

To be a successful research student you must be passionate about your subject area, with enthusiasm for research and analysis, and the motivation to manage a personal learning programme. You will have already demonstrated research aptitude in undergraduate or masters-level studies.

As a career-focused university we work with international businesses, regional enterprises, local and international education partners to ensure that UWS research drives innovation and supports the future needs of society, industry and government. This focus increases your employability and career prospects, whether you seek a career in an academic or commercial environment.

Why do Research at UWS?

UWS’s research vision is to deliver transformational change through outputs that have a tangible, early and positive impact on society across the globe.

We have a proud record in developing effective partnerships with business, industry and the public and voluntary sectors across Scotland, and in many countries around the world. With our cutting-edge facilities, practical knowledge, and proven expertise, we aim to help our industry partners get ahead. We focus on what we do well and what we can achieve, identifying opportunities we can exploit and problems we can solve. The result is that our research work has a tangible, early and positive effect on society. Right here, right now, we are making the world a better place.

Every year our expert academics work with around 600 students, including more than 250 students from 25 countries, to support them through high-quality, highly-regarded research degrees at MRes, MPhil and PhD level.

With cutting-edge facilities, specialist knowledge and world-leading and internationally excellent expertise, UWS aims to develop research outputs that have a tangible impact on society across the globe.

Areas of Research

Areas for the School of Business and Creative Industries

  • Accounting and Finance 
  • Marketing/Digital Marketing 
  • Management 
  • Entrepreneurship and Enterprise  

Areas for the School of Education and Social Sciences  

  • Educational Leadership 
  • Pedagogy and Curriculum 
  • Public policy and governance 
  • Global public health and social policy 

The Application Process

UWS London has two intakes of PhD students per year, January and October. To apply you will need to demonstrate that you understand of the research process, the research that you are going to carry out and how you are going to carry out the research. To do this you will need to submit a research proposal that will be evaluated for its research potential.

Once your proposal has been evaluated you will be invited to take part in our Foundational Research Methods Course where you will be guided through all aspects of the research journey ahead and strengthen your research proposal if necessary. On completion of the Research Foundation you will then be apply to UWS London.

Academic Entry Requirements

Postgraduate Research students work at the forefront of their academic subject and contribute to the advancement of knowledge. To be a successful researcher, you must be passionate about your subject area, with enthusiasm for research and analysis, and the motivation to manage a personal learning programme. You will have already demonstrated research aptitude in undergraduate or masters-level studies.

Entry onto a postgraduate research degree normally requires you to have obtained a good Honours degree (First or Upper Second Class) or a postgraduate taught or research qualification in a relevant area of study.

Professional qualification may be considered along with extensive work experience, but this would be at the discretion on the School. Out-with the academic requirements, applicants are also required to provide 2 references (1 which should be academic, if studied within the past 10 years).

Applicants holding qualifications other than those specified in (above) shall be considered on their merits and in relation to the nature and scope of the programme of work proposed. These are, however, minimum requirements, which do not guarantee entry and many PhD candidates, especially for competitive studentships, would have also gained Master’s degrees.

English Language requirements

For our research degrees (MRes, MPhil, PhD, DBA, DProf), applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0

IELTS certificates should be dated within two years at the time of applying to study at UWS.

Supervisory Arrangements

Once you have been accepted onto our programme you will be allocated a supervisory team Supervision of postgraduate research students is undertaken by experienced, research-active members of academic staff. The School to which you are admitted is your base and will play a crucial role in providing guidance, resources and support for your research project. You and your project will have a Lead Supervisor and at least one other supervisor (2nd Supervisor) who will support your development and the progress of your research. In addition to Lead Supervisor and 2nd supervisor, an additional supervisor and advisor may be appointed to contribute particular specialist knowledge or a link with an external organisation. It is essential that you work closely and maintain regular contact with your supervisory team. There will be a statement of an agreement at confirmation of registration between the Lead Supervisor and the student as to an appropriate specified frequency of contact.

The Doctoral College

UWS Doctoral College provides support for our community of around 600 postgraduate research students at the university, creating an interdisciplinary research environment that enables the generation of impactful research.

The Doctoral College is here to ensure that your time as a doctoral candidate at UWS is as rewarding and enjoyable as possible and that you are prepared to meet your needs, expectations, and career ambitions. The Doctoral Training Programme will equip you for key roles in higher education and beyond, and enables you to make the most of the excitement and challenges of research.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

UK (excluding Scotland)
International (including EU)

Enquire now

To apply for a PhD degree at UWS London, please submit an enquiry form and one of our admission’s officer will be in touch to book an initial interview to assess your suitability for the course.

After passing the interview, you will be required to submit your research proposal.

After submitting your research proposal, you will be taken through the admission process by our research department.

Please see application timeline for 2023 academic year.