New Route PhD

New Route PhD logo

Brunel is one of a number of English universities selected to offer this prestigious type of PhD programme. Supported by the UK national research, quality and funding agencies, this programme aims to educate graduates not only to the high academic standards expected from PhD research but also provides advanced training in generic and discipline-specific skills. The successful completion of this training will result in a PhD with integrated Postgraduate Diploma that explicitly recognises your development as a professional researcher. Extending the usual PhD from three to four years the programme ensures you are able to develop an integrated range of skills and knowledge that will broaden and deepen your subject expertise beyond the bounds of the usual research degree.

About Brunel

Brunel has a long tradition of offering quality taught and research programmes and is particularly renowned for the applied nature of much of its activity. Links with business, industry and the public sector have always been the key to our success. In fact we pioneered the four-year 'extended' degree at undergraduate level, too, and with the similar purpose of integrating academic study with generic skills such as communication, interpersonal skills, business know-how and other qualities that have always made our graduates so employable.

The disciplines in which we have chosen to offer this extended PhD programme (see navigation bar on the left) reinforce this approach; all are areas of enormous value to business and industry and are in sectors where there is high demand for well qualified, articulate professionals. So graduates from this programme will immediately be able to make a significant contribution to their chosen fields.

Why the New Route PhD?

The New Route PhD is a unique and innovative structured programme which equips independent researchers with the personal and transferable skills required to make a significant contribution to their chosen field. Whether as professional educators, researchers or business leaders, the high level of training on this course will give you a distinctive competitive edge when entering the world of work. New Route PhD students benefit from:

  • an individually designed structured research programme
  • explicit training in effective research skills
  • acquisition of generic skills, including leadership and enterprise
  • high likelihood of completion within timeframe
  • development as an independent researcher
  • enhanced student support and guidance throughout the PhD
  • award of Postgraduate Diploma in addition to the PhD

Research Areas

 You can choose to study the New Route PhD in any of the following research areas:

(Click on subject area for further course details)

Programme Structure and Control

The four-year programme comprises two closely interwoven strands: the development of your thesis and the taught element. For your thesis, you will be supported and guided by two supervisors who will be academics working in your area. To support your overall progression and development you will also be assigned a programme coach from the Graduate School. Regular 3-way Advisory Panel meetings (comprising programme coach, supervisor and research student) will provide continual review of your training needs and achievements. In addition regular Group Development Meetings will take place between the programme coach and student cohort as a whole. These meetings provide a forum for group reflection and support on participants’ methods and skills development, allowing you to put any issues into context and to explore different ways of approaching your own personal development.

Your taught programme will promote critical analysis, independence of thought, an awareness of broader issues which create an impact on the environment of research and an understanding of subject-specific knowledge at the forefront of your discipline. The taught element will cover generic and research skills and discipline-specific modules as follows:

Module Code
Module Title
GS5525 Theory and Practice in Research 15
GS5527/31 Research Design, Methods and Analysis (Behavioural/Physical Sciences) 30
GS5530 Research Management, Leadership and Personal Development 15
GS5528 Academic Research Dissemination 15
GS5529 Knowledge Exchange and Research Impact 15
GS5526 Guided Study or Subject-specific modules 30

Total 120
This programme is designed to be flexible and meet your individual needs therefore the modules above may run over several consecutive years allowing you to negotiate your route through the programme in a way that best supports your individual development. Research methods training will normally be completed within two years of commencement while transferable skills training, Group Development Meetings and Advisory Panel Meetings will continue for the full length of the programme.

Details of your course can be found by following the link to the discipline in which you are studying on the left-hand navigation bar.

Supportive Management

A quality learning experience amounts to more than just academic rigour and breadth. The environment in which you live and work, the personal support you receive and the resources you can access all add to the equation. Enhanced student support and guidance is integral to the New Route PhD Programme design.

Your home school will almost certainly become your 'social' as well as 'academic' focus and your first lines of support are your two personal supervisors who will be members of academic staff working in your research area.

You will have regular meetings with them to discuss your progress and help you with problems associated with your studies. In addition to your two academic supervisors, you will be assigned a dedicated programme coach (based in the Graduate School), who, in consultation with your supervisor, will guide and support you in your progress through the programme.  You will have opportunities, too, to get together and exchange ideas with other research students across the University and to take part in intergroup activities such as visits, conferences and social events.

Graduate School

The Graduate School, of which every postgraduate student is a member, has both an academic and pastoral role. It coordinates all the core teaching and assessment you will receive during your course. The School oversees the administrative side of postgraduate admissions, accommodation, quality assurance and special study facilities. It also ensures that your requirements are considered in policy-making and that you have a voice on the Programme Management Group which has student representatives from every participating department.

All the core generic modules are taught to interdisciplinary groups of students by experts from within and outside the University so you will benefit from the shared knowledge and experience of fellow graduates from different departments. You will also be able to meet and socialise with each other in the School's dedicated facilities, whether you want access to a computer terminal or somewhere for a quiet cup of coffee.


   Parastoo Ghalamchi, New Route PhD Student in Business and Management:

"Brunel University and Graduate School helped me to achieve my goals through providing me with personalized tutoring, team support, professional guidance, unique workshops, flexible and customised thought modules.

As New Route PhD student at Brunel I have met other PhD students from other countries, backgrounds and research areas. I have made friends and extended my social networking. I have never felt an out within Brunel University as an international student."

0:07 What is so special and unique about this PhD programme?

2:41 What are the benefits of the taught programme?

3:17 Why this PhD programme at Brunel University?

Support Facilities

The Counselling Service, Medical Centre, Placement and Careers Centre and Information and Advice Service are central University services available to all. For overseas students there is Brunel International which provides advice and assistance for overseas students both before and after they arrive at Brunel. Brunel International runs a special orientation programme for you and your fellow students, including a 'meet and greet' scheme whereby you may, if you wish, be met at nearby Heathrow Airport and driven to the University. As part of the all-inclusive package of this PhD, you will also have the option of joining a three-week intensive English Language course immediately prior to the start of your academic study.


All New Route PhD students are guaranteed a place in University accommodation in their first year if they would like it. There is even some availability for couples in studio flats (though unfortunately we cannot accommodate children). For further details see Accommodation.

A Pleasant Environment for Work and Leisure

Our location in the Thames valley west of London - and a short distance from Heathrow Airport - is ideally suited to combining campus life with accessibility to London. Our proximity to the Capital allows easy access to its many world-class libraries and the other information sources important to postgraduate study.

Despite the attractions of London, however, you may well find that most of your leisure as well as study time is spent on campus. The big plus of our campus environment is that all your requirements can be met within a couple of minutes' walk of where you study - on-site halls of residence, extensive catering and social facilities, library, computer centre and welfare services.

Heading away from the University, you soon encounter the lovely countryside of the Home Counties and many of the famous sights of the Thames are also easily reached - Windsor, Eton, Henley and Hampton Court, as well as top quality sporting and social venues. Our location near the junction between the M40 and M25 means the University is easily reached from anywhere in the country and, in addition, the London Underground system extends to Uxbridge.


Entry Requirements

You will normally be expected to hold a good first degree (usually a minimum of 2.1) or a Master's degree of a UK university (or recognised equivalent UK or overseas qualification) in a relevant subject. Other qualifications will be considered on an individual basis. You will also be expected to have an appropriate standard of English Language to join this research programme. Applicants offering IELTS are expected to have an overall grade of 6.0 for science, technology and IT programmes and an overall grade of 6.5 for most other programmes.

Brunel University offers many opportunities to improve your English level by pre-sessional courses, in order to achieve the appropriate English level for a research degree. You can take any of the following  courses at English Language courses. Throughout the academic year there are also a series of free courses, such as:

  • Academic discussion.
  • Academic English for PhD students.
  • Academic grammar with vocabulary.
  • Academic presentation.
  • Academic wirting.
  • English for thesis writing.
  • Pronunciation.
  • Social conversation.

You can find further information here.

Fees 2014/15

Subject Areas
Home/EU full-time
(£ per annum)
International full-time
(£ per annum)
Mathematical Sciences
Economics and Finance
Human Sciences
£8,250 £16,000
Information Systems
Biological Sciences
Electronic and Computer Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Design Manufacturing & Enterprise Engineering
£8,250 £20,000

How to Apply

Admission to a programme of research is the responsibility of the head of the appropriate department, to whom you should direct initial enquiries. Research students joining the New Route PhD Programme can commence on either 1st October or 1st January each year. To apply for this course online, click on the appropriate subject area in the left-hand bookmark, click on the link under ‘Apply for this course online’ and follow the instructions provided.

As a part of your application you will need to provide a research proposal, which will demonstrate that your research area can be supported by the department and should explain your motivation for researching in your chosen field. Detailed guidelines for each department can be found below:

About us

New Route PhD Programme Director
Brunel Graduate School
Dr Kate Hone

Doctoral Programme Manager (General enquiries)
Brunel Graduate School
Jennifer Woodhead
Tel + 44 (0)1895 265347

Module Leaders

Dr Senthila Quirke (Modules: GS5526 and GS5528)
Dr Tina Ramkalawan (Modules: GS5527 and GS5530)
Dr Federico Colecchia (Module: GS5531)
Dr Tatiana Kalganova (Module: GS5525)

Taught Programmes Administrator (General enquiries)
Brunel Graduate School
Dr. Inmaculada Andrés
Tel + 44 (0)1895 265276

Further information


Tel: + 44 (0)1895 265347 or
       + 44 (0)1895 265276

Page last updated: Tuesday 25 March 2014