Research Degrees

Research students are welcomed to Brunel as valued members of our thriving, research-intensive community.

A research degree provides the opportunity to investigate a topic in depth, and contribute new knowledge to your discipline, and there are opportunities to study for a PhD (or MPhil) in all academic Colleges and Research Institutes across the University.

Professional Doctorates and the Brunel Integrated PhD (New Route) enhance the doctoral experience through the inclusion of an integral taught programme, and are offered in a number of subject specialisations.

Taught Masters of Research (MRes) degrees are also offered in some disciplines as a preparation for a research degree.


The 'traditional' PhD involves an in-depth exploration of a research topic. The degree is awarded to students who demonstrate (through a written thesis and Viva Voce examination) knowledge and understanding of their discipline together with a distinct and original contribution to knowledge within that discipline.

Both full-time (over 3-4 years) and part-time (over 4-8 years) study routes are available.

Some practice-based PhDs are available within the College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences. Here students can present evidence of knowledge, understanding and originality through the medium of creative work (for example a substantial piece of creative writing, musical composition or practical performance in dance or drama), supported by an appropriate critical written commentary.


An MPhil involves the exploration of a research topic in less depth than a PhD and is typically studied over a shorter period (1-year full-time). Unlike a PhD, MPhil students are not required to demonstrate a distinct and original contribution to knowledge in their discipline.

Students may choose to register for an MPhil as a stand-alone qualification. In some Schools, however, students may be required initially to register for an MPhil before transferring to a PhD programme after the successful completion of their first year of research.

Professional Doctorates

Brunel is a leading provider of professional doctorates, offering a successful programme in Public Health (DrPH).

The programme has a focus on real-world, professionally-oriented research, and includes a substantial programme of taught modules to support the academic and professional development of the researcher.

Brunel Integrated PhD (New Route)

Brunel is one of a number of leading UK universities, committed to international excellence in postgraduate training, that offers the New Route programme. This is an integrated 4-year PhD that combines research with a structured programme of advanced training in discipline-specific and generic skills.

Brunel currently offers the Brunel Integrated PhD (New Route) in the following research areas: Biosciences, Business and Management, Design and Systems Engineering, Economics and Finance, Electronic and Computer Engineering, Human Sciences (Psychology, Social Anthropology, Sociology and Communications), Computer Science, Mathematical Sciences and Mechanical Engineering.

Brunel Integrated PhD (New Route)


A Master of Research degree can typically be taken either as a stand-alone qualification or as the first stage of a 1-year PhD programme. It comprises a blend of taught modules in research-focused skills an knowledge with a specialised dissertation. Brunel currently offers MRes degrees in the following subject areas: Bioengineering, Social Anthropology.

Taught course finder

Information on PhD and research opportunties at Brunel can be found within relevant website of College or Specialist Research Institute:

Page last updated: Wednesday 17 December 2014