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* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here


The PhD Programme is part of a portfolio of doctoral programmes within Northumbria University.

The PhD Programme allows students to undertake an individual programme of research development that will enable original research to doctoral level in their chosen field of study. The Programme is designed to challenge students at the highest level of thought and to advance career opportunities through enhancing academic and professional development.

The programme aims to enable students to:

  • Develop research skills through a programme of in-depth study, and personal and research development.
  • Develop expertise in appropriate methods of research and enquiry.
  • Produce high-quality research outputs which demonstrate critical judgment and original contribution to knowledge.
  • Produce a research thesis (of approximately 80,000 words). 

Students will be expected to pass through milestone targets in each year of study giving clear structure to the PhD programme. For both full and part time programmes, these milestones include Project Approval and Annual Progression.

Northumbria University is a research-rich, business focused, professional university with a global reputation for academic excellence. The University is in the Times Higher Education UK top 50 for research power, based on the results of the Research Excellence Framework.

Click here to find out more about Research at Northumbria and PhD courses.

Discover more about the 5 year part-time PhD programme.


We've invested £200 million to make sure that our campuses are places where you enjoy spending time. Our modern city campus is designed with you in mind, you'll find everything to give you an outstanding student experience including our world-class Sport Central, award-winning university library, new Trinity Square accommodation and excellent catering facilities.

The Graduate School is at the heart of the university's support network for research students, working closely with the research community across the university to promote high-quality academic and professional standards through the network of the Graduate School Committees and School Research Committees which monitor quality and manage student progression on behalf of the Academic Board. From enrolment to viva, you'll benefit from focused training and development programmes solely reserved for research students. Contents of programmes are designed to support students at all stages of your research degree.

The university is firmly committed to developing the careers of researchers, whether they are pursuing a dedicated research career or carrying out research as part of a wider teaching and research role. The university has made significant investment in research, and we aim to be known for our development of Early Career Researchers.

Northumbria University was awarded the European Commission HR Excellence in Research award in January 2013, rewarding the University's commitment to supporting both research careers and excellent working conditions for researchers.

We have a large number of research groups focused on different subject areas, including, but not limited to;

  • Applied Chemistry
  • Health Interventions and Wellbeing
  • Mammalian Cell Biology & Immunology
  • Disasters
  • Development & Resilience
  • Social and Cultural Geographies
  • Brain Performance and Nutrition Research Centre
  • Language and Cognition
  • Microwave Imaging and Antenna
  • Power and Wind Energy (PaWE)
  • Creative Writing and Modern & Contemporary Literature
  • Digital Business and Strategic Innovation
  • Entrepreneurial Leadership

Please click here to find out more about our research.

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines are as follows:

October DBA /DBL* 1 June 
October entry 1 July  (1st June for the Faculty of Business and Law)
March entry 1 December

*DBA / DBL is an October intake only. The deadline is 1 June.

Course Information

Level of Study

Mode of Study
3 years Full Time

Various Locations


Fee Information

Entry Requirements 2024/25

Standard Entry

Applicants should normally have

A minimum of a 2.1 honours degree; or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.

A 1000 word research proposal, outlining your area of research; please note that even if you are applying for a specific research vacancy with a pre-defined research proposal, you are still required to write a proposal expanding on the provided description of the project. For guidance on writing your research proposal, please see here. Applied Sciences studentships do not require submission of a proposal, please refer to the studentship advert for further information. 

If you are applying for a course within Newcastle Business School or Northumbria Law School you will need to use the PGR Research Proposal Template

International qualifications:

If you have studied a non UK qualification, you can see how your qualifications compare to the standard entry criteria, by selecting the country that you received the qualification in, from our country pages. Visit

English Language requirements:

International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with component 6.0 in each component (or approved equivalent*). Applications to the Faculty of Business and Law also require a writing component score of 6.5.

*The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS.  You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit

Fees and Funding 2024/25 Entry

Full UK Fee: TBC

Full EU Fee: TBC

Full International Fee: TBC

Please note, the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) programme is not eligible for the Doctoral Loan.  Further information can be found on the Government website.

Click here for UK, EU and International scholarship, fees, and funding information..


There are no Additional Costs

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* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here

How to Apply

Please use the Apply Now button at the top of this page to submit your application.

Certain applications may need to be submitted via an external application system, such as UCAS, Lawcabs or DfE Apply.

The Apply Now button will redirect you to the relevant website if this is the case.

You can find further application advice, such as what to include in your application and what happens after you apply, on our Admissions Hub Admissions | Northumbria University


To start your application, simply select the month you would like to start your course.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Any Questions?

Our Applicant Services team will be happy to help.  They can be contacted on 0191 406 0901 or by using our Contact Form.

Accessibility and Student Inclusion

Northumbria University is committed to developing an inclusive, diverse and accessible campus and wider University community and are determined to ensure that opportunities we provide are open to all.

We are proud to work in partnership with AccessAble to provide Detailed Access Guides to our buildings and facilities across our City, Coach Lane and London Campuses. A Detailed Access Guide lets you know what access will be like when you visit somewhere. It looks at the route you will use getting in and what is available inside. All guides have Accessibility Symbols that give you a quick overview of what is available, and photographs to show you what to expect. The guides are produced by trained surveyors who visit our campuses annually to ensure you have trusted and accurate information.

You can use Northumbria’s AccessAble Guides anytime to check the accessibility of a building or facility and to plan your routes and journeys. Search by location, building or accessibility feature to find the information you need. 

We are dedicated to helping students who may require additional support during their student journey and offer 1-1 advice and guidance appropriate to individual requirements. If you feel you may need additional support you can find out more about what we offer here where you can also contact us with any questions you may have:

Accessibility support

Student Inclusion support

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


Useful Links

Find out about our distinctive approach at

Admissions Terms and Conditions

Fees and Funding

Admissions Policy

Admissions Complaints Policy

If you’d like to receive the latest updates from Northumbria about our courses, events, finance & funding then enter your details below.

* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here

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Northumbria Open Days

Open Days are a great way for you to get a feel of the University, the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the course(s) you are interested in.

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NU World Virtual Tours

Virtual Tour

Get an insight into life at Northumbria at the click of a button! Come and explore our videos and 360 panoramas to immerse yourself in our campuses and get a feel for what it is like studying here using our interactive virtual tour.

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