A postgraduate research degree is your chance to create original work and advance knowledge in your academic field. You’ll have the opportunity to make new discoveries, challenge conventional wisdom, and make a real impact in your subject. We have 20+ areas of research and welcome applications from students interested in pursuing research degrees in these areas. We also welcome businesses interested in working with us on Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.

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The Nature of a Research Degree

At the University of Bolton we’re proud to be ‘Teaching Intensive, Research Informed’. We value the impact that research brings to society and academia, and we embed research throughout our teaching.

Research degrees offer you the opportunity to develop and demonstrate your ability to undertake research into an area of personal or professional interest. For PhD the research must be original, i.e. it must make a contribution to knowledge in the field. Different routes are offered in different subjects. If you are considering a research degree now or in the future, you should contact the relevant Research Coordinator in the first instance. This will help inform you of the types of research specialism that we are able to support.  A list of the Research Coordinators in each academic area can be found on the Research Admissions page.

Types of Postgraduate Research Degrees

The university continues to be committed to excellence in research and encourages graduates in all disciplines to consider studying for a PhD, the highest award conferred by the university, or an MPhil. To this end, the university offers the opportunity to study for a PhD or MPhil in any subject area where we have relevant research expertise, in discussion with the Academic Group, Research Institute or Research Centre.

  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
    • The MPhil is awarded to a candidate who, having critically investigated and evaluated an approved topic and demonstrated an understanding of research methods appropriate to the chosen field, has presented and defended a thesis by oral examination.
  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Innovation
    • The MPhil (Innovation) is a unique approach to developing new ideas for potential commercialisation. It has been developed following collaborative work between various faculties specialising in arts, media, education, business and creative technologies and the Institute of Materials Research and Innovation. The qualification will be of relevance if you have a personal research interest, if you are working in a research and development role in one of these fields, or in a sector where these different disciplines overlap.
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    • By thesis
      • The PhD by thesis is awarded to a candidate who, having critically investigated and evaluated an approved topic resulting in an independent and original contribution to knowledge and demonstrated an understanding of research methods appropriate to the chosen field, has presented and defended a thesis.
    • By published work
      • This programme is designed for those whose work is primarily in research or involves a substantial research element and enables them to receive academic credit for that work, assuming it is at doctoral level. There are two potential routes depending on how many publications the candidate has made.
    • By practice (route a/b)
      • This programme is designed for those whose work involves them in innovative and advanced professional or creative practice and enables them to receive academic credit for that work, assuming it is at doctoral level. There are two potential routes depending on how much evidence of professional or creative practice the candidate has.

To find out more about the entry requirements and how to apply for a research degree, please visit the Research Admissions page or contact the Research & Graduate School on ku.ca1585664260.notl1585664260ob@ni1585664260mdA-h1585664260craes1585664260eR1585664260 or +44 (0)1204 903 883. For information about funding and tuition fees for research degrees, please click here.

Life as a Research Degree Student

As a research degree student, you’ll have all of the benefits of being part of the University of Bolton. You’ll have the option to stay in our student accommodation, you can join all of the Students Union sports clubs and societies and you’ll have access to the same student services. As well as this, you will be part of the Research & Graduate School (R&GS), be able to take advantage of our excellent Researcher Development opportunities and have the option to be involved with the Postgraduate Research Students Society.

Studying for a research degree is an intensive and demanding commitment; that is why, across the university, considerable practical and academic support is offered to all research students. During your studies you will be supported by a supervisory team who will guide you in the development of your project. They will offer advice and encouragement at every stage, helping you to develop increasing independence as you gain knowledge of your field. You will also broaden your knowledge of research training by attending and/or engaging with the university’s postgraduate research student development programme and related research seminars hosted on campus or at national or international conferences.

We will ensure that you have access to all the materials you need to undertake your research. The small and friendly environment of the university means you will have ready opportunities to share ideas and concepts. We also offer office facilities as well as first-rate IT services, campus-wide wireless and the option of remote access to all university systems.

At the outset of your research degree you will determine your area of study and develop an outline of your research project with a supervisor who has expertise in the proposed area. You will then carry out the agreed research programme, under supervision and with regular progress monitoring according to your supervisors’ and the university’s requirements. Successful completion of your research degree will require you to satisfactorily present and defend a thesis (or equivalent) in oral examination.

Thesis Binding

Theses may be submitted for examination either in a permanently bound form or in a temporarily bound form which is sufficiently secure to ensure that pages cannot be added or removed. Following the award of the degree the Research Degrees Administrator shall require and lodge one permanently hardbound copy of the thesis or equivalent in the university library, one in the library of any collaborating establishment, and one to be passed to the student’s Director of Studies. A digitised version shall also be required for submission to the university’s institutional repository and, subject to agreement from the student on the candidate’s declaration form, to the British Library. For further details of the binding, form and presentation of the thesis, please refer to points 8.7 and 12 in the Research Degree Regulations.

The University of Bolton library provides a thermal and a comb softback binding service for students. Comb binding has a plastic spine and thermal binding has a hard metal spine. Both types of binding have a clear plastic front and back cover. The library also offers a professional hard back dissertation binding service in conjunction with Walkers Binding. Orders can be placed at the help desk in the University of Bolton library. Please click here for further details about temporary and permanent thesis binding services at the University of Bolton.

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