Have you ever considered a PhD? Find out more!Watch
Have you ever considered studying for a PhD? Or perhaps you’ve never even thought about a PhD, but might like to learn more about what it involves?
This is the thread for you!
Below we have posted some useful information and resources about what a PhD involves and how you can find funding.
Be sure to check back here for the latest funding and PhD research news from Loughborough, or you can register for email alerts if you prefer.
If you have any questions at all, please feel free to post them in this thread, send us a PM or email us - we are happy to help!
Quite simply, a PhD is a doctoral degree and the highest academic qualification you can complete.
Your PhD should enhance current understanding of your research area of interest, by contributing new ideas, delving deeper into a topic or addressing unresolved problems.
A typical PhD is organised into stages. The first stage focuses on developing a research question and reviewing existing research, then you will conduct new research and write up a thesis (the length will vary depending on your subject area).
Although the title 'PhD' means 'Doctor of Philosophy', the study areas can range across all subjects, from management theory to scientific issues.
Check out our ‘What is a PhD?’ video on YouTube
Studying a PhD allows you to become a world expert in your chosen field, and governments, organisations and the public are reliant on researchers to solve a broad range of real-world issues.
Studying a research degree is a unique opportunity for self-discovery and personal growth. You will need to be flexible, resilient and self-motivated, but in return, you’ll develop expert knowledge and gain a wide range of invaluable skills to enhance your employability and advance your career, whether this be in academia, industry or elsewhere.
At Loughborough, we host careers events and offer networking and placement opportunities across a range of sectors. We also invite renowned international scholars to our Institute of Advanced Studies, to ensure your work is informed by the latest insights, developments and discoveries.
Our researchers are also expected to engage in wider developmental activities beyond the focused scope of their research topic, to create well-rounded, resilient and employable individuals.
Check out these resources to learn more:
Video - The Doctoral Experience at Loughborough University
Video - PhD studentships – Why choose Loughborough?
Why study a research degree at Loughborough?
At Loughborough University, our PhD degrees normally take 3 years full-time or 6 years part-time to complete.
The entry requirements for a PhD vary and will be outlined on the individual advert.
Contrary to popular belief, whilst a PhD is usually the next step after studying a master’s degree, it is not always necessary to have studied a master’s before applying to study a PhD.
Undertaking a research degree is a long-term commitment. In order to focus on your studies, it is important to ensure funding is in place for the full duration of your degree. You may fund yourself or obtain funding to support your research.
A funded opportunity is often referred to as a ‘studentship’, which is another term for a PhD scholarship. A studentship provides funding for students working on a specific project and is usually provided by an organisation, the University, or both. Our studentships typically cover the full cost of tuition fees and may also include a tax-free stipend or living allowance. In some cases, additional funding will be provided for research support expenses for running the project and/or additional training.
If your PhD does not have funding attached (i.e. you’ll be self-funding), there’s a range of options available to you:
- Our Alumni Bursary offers a 20% discount on tuition fees for Loughborough Alumni who are self-funding their research project
- For UK nationals ordinarily resident in England, you could borrow up to £26,445 to cover the cost of your PhD or equivalent research programme with the UK Government PhD Loan. You may use the loan to pay for tuition fees or living costs
- Other sources of funding are also available through independent organisations and external bodies, charities and trusts.
To supplement your income during your studies, there’s plenty of options available at Loughborough. You could become a Subwarden in one of our halls of residence or represent the University as a Student Ambassador. Both the University and the Students’ Union list several job vacancies, whilst our Careers Network can provide advice on finding and securing part-time work.
Please note that if you will be studying on a student visa (also known as the Student Route), you must not exceed limits on the number of hours you are permitted to work by UK Visas and Immigration.
Find out more about research degree funding
Here are the next steps towards becoming a doctoral researcher at Loughborough:
Find out what’s currently available
The first stage of the process is to find out what’s currently available. Take a look at our website to learn more about the research areas we specialise in. We also offer a number of part or fully-funded studentships and these are updated regularly throughout the year.
Register your interest
If you can’t see an advertised funded or unfunded project that interests you, then you can register your interest to receive regular email updates from us, including when the latest opportunities arise.
Contact a supervisor
Alternatively, if you would like to develop your own research project, you should identify a potential supervisor and work with them on your research proposal before applying – you can find a supervisor on the school/department website. If you’re applying for an advertised project, we recommend contacting the primary supervisor before applying to discuss the research in more detail.
Develop your research proposal
In terms of the research proposal, if you’d like to develop your own project, you will need to submit a proposal with your application summarising the research you wish to undertake. Some advertised projects also require you to submit a research proposal and will state this on the listing. Our website has some general advice on what to include, but as requirements can differ across subjects, it’s important to discuss this with your potential supervisors before submission.
When it comes to submitting your application, you will need to do this using our online application portal. You will need to upload your degree certificate(s) and transcripts, evidence of your English language proficiency and the contact details for two referees, one of which should be from your most recent academic studies. If you’re awaiting results, you should upload any documents you have and add any outstanding ones when you have these. If you’re applying for an advertised project, you will need to quote the reference number stated on the listing.
It usually takes approximately four weeks to assess your application.
You can find more information on how to apply for a research degree on our website.
Here are some more resources that you might find useful:
The Loughborough Doctoral Experience – An introduction to postgraduate research at Loughborough University
Postgraduate study at Loughborough University
Need more help on going postgrad?
At Loughborough University, we’re kicking off the New Year with over 50 fully funded PhD opportunities across a range of schools and departments at our Loughborough and London campuses!
Our studentships provide funding to cover the full cost of PhD tuition fees for up to three years. They also include a tax-free, annual stipend of around £15,000 to support you with living costs and other commitments during your studies (for UK/EU fee paying students only).
You can find lots more information and browse our studentships on our website.
(Please check the funding eligibility carefully before applying as some projects are only open to UK/EU students due to restrictions set by UK research councils or external industry sponsors.)
All the best,
Are you looking to learn more about studying a PhD from current doctoral researchers?
You're in luck! We have produced a handy Q&A video featuring three of our doctoral researchers here at Loughborough.
Check out the video on YouTube by clicking here.
We hope you find it useful and as always, please don't hesitate to let us know if you have any questions!
All the best,
With a number of PhD studentship opportunities open for applications across the University, we thought we'd remind you of the application process for our funded opportunities.
Find a PhD opportunity for you
Firstly, take a look at all of our opportunities. We have a number of PhD studentships available at the moment and our listings are updated regularly throughout the year as new opportunities arise.
Speak to the academic supervisor(s)
When applying for an advertised project, we recommend getting in touch with the primary supervisor before applying to discuss the research in more detail. You will find the supervisor's contact details in the project listing.
Develop your research proposal
For some projects, you may be asked to submit a research proposal as part of your application. General advice on writing your research proposal can be found on our website but as requirements can differ across subject areas, it’s really important that you discuss this with your potential supervisor(s) before submitting. To find out if your project requires a research proposal, take a look at the project listing.
Apply via our application portal
All applications are made through our website. To apply, you will need to upload your degree certificate(s) and transcripts, evidence of your English language proficiency and two references, one of which should be from your most recent academic qualification.
If you are awaiting results, you should upload the documents you currently have and add any outstanding ones when they are available.
Make sure to quote the reference number stated on the project listing so the admissions team can identify the project you're applying for.
Alternative research routes
Whilst we have a number of studentships available at the moment, there are other routes to study a research degree at Loughborough. If you can’t find a studentship that suits your research interests, take a look at our unfunded projects which already have a topic and supervisor allocated, or develop your own research proposal.
If you have any questions about our research opportunities, please don't hesitate to let us know! You can post here, send a PM or email us.
All the best,
Find lots more information at our dedicated website or via the posts above
Can't see a project you're interested in? Check out our unfunded opportunities or find out how to develop your own research proposal.
All the best,