Doctoral Degrees

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy).

At Canterbury Christ Church University we offer three routes to a PhD:

  • PhD by Thesis
  • PhD by Portfolio
  • PhD by Publication

A PhD normally involves a commitment to at least 3 years of study (5 years if part-time).

The PhD by Thesis requires completion of a monograph or thesis of around 80,000 words.

The PhD by Portfolio is suitable for those working in practice who will generate a series of discrete outputs from their programme of research based upon their area of practice.

The PhD by Publication is designed for candidates who have already developed research skills and specialist knowledge in their field to doctoral level and have produced a volume of published outputs equivalent to that expected in a PhD thesis.

In all cases the research for the award will need to demonstrate an original contribution to existing knowledge in the chosen field of study.

PhD students work closely with academic supervisors whose research interests are compatible with their own.

A PhD is awarded purely on the strength of the research outputs and the ability of the candidate to present and discuss their findings in an oral examination (viva voce, often referred to as a viva). There are no written examinations.

Why do a PhD?

A PhD is often the first stage of an academic research career and most university lecturers have one.

A PhD can also be useful in industry or the public sector, and gives you the opportunity to carry out in-depth research in order to expand the horizons of your professional practice.

A PhD can also be undertaken for the pure joy of learning through research and adding new insights to a subject in which you have a passionate interest.

Could I do a PhD?

Ask yourself some important questions:

  • Do you have a research idea that will sustain you for 3 - 5 years?
  • Do you know, and have a point of view, about the major discussions in your academic subject?
  • Are you prepared to change your ideas completely?
  • Are you able to write convincingly at a level which is as good as the most advanced academic book in your subject?
  • Are you prepared to find, read and use many different academic books and journal articles?

The Masters by Research and MPhil are shorter than the PhD, with a smaller thesis and can be completed over a shorter period – normally one or two years.


The following tuition fees apply to the standard PhD for 2020/21* View the list of standard PhD subjects this applies to.

Per Year






*The fees for 2021/22 will be announced shortly. 

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated, and may be subject to an annual inflationary increase in every year where the course lasts more than one year. 

Students may self-fund their course or a Sponsor may fund or part-fund. Bursaries, scholarships and fee discounts may also be available.

Further information

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students on courses are expected to meet. 

Read further information about the general additional costs which apply to courses at Canterbury Christ Church University.

How to apply

Firstly,  view the research areas on offer to find an academic supervisor.

Once you have discussed your proposed research with an academic supervisor, you can begin your application.


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Last edited: 09/10/2020 11:50:00