Integrated PhD

The Integrated PhD involves a combination of taught specialist modules, training and skills courses, and research study.

Key Characteristics of the Integrated PhD

The Integrated PhD involves a combination of taught specialist modules, training and skills courses, and research study. This allows Postgraduate Researchers (PGRs) to broaden and deepen subject knowledge and to extend their expertise in new directions.

The integrated Degree of PhD and Masters is a four year full-time programme where PGRs study a combination of taught modules (split across Years 1 and 2) and produce a standard PhD length research thesis by the end of year 4. These are commonly, but not exclusively, part of a Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT).

Consider the following key characteristics of Integrated PhD during the planning process:

  • This is a 4 year degree programme that integrates the Masters programme with a PhD with a single point of entry September/October
  • The integrated PhD results in a single degree: Integrated Degree of PhD and (named title) and the PGR receives just the one certificate of that title
  • The Masters programme can be awarded as a Pass, with Merit or Distinction (this is acknowledged on the degree certificate)
  • The 180 credits of taught masters content is split across the first two years of the 4 year programme
  • Ideally the credit to complete the masters is less in the second year than in the first to allow the research project to be developed in readiness for the Transfer. There should nevertheless be a workable balance so that the PGR is not overloaded in any of these two years
  • The PGR still has to complete a First Formal Progress meeting that takes place at the end of year 1 of the 4 year programme
  • Research activity and research skills training takes place alongside the taught content in years 1 and 2 and related activities such as summer schools and other training events continue during the course of the programme
  • The taught Masters programme must have been completed before Transfer and this must be Passed as part of the progression requirements for Transfer
  • The Transfer takes place at the end of year 2 of the 4 year programme
  • An External Examiner will be appointed to oversee  the taught MSc programme according to the requirements of the rules for award. The requirements for progression and classification of this award will follow the standard requirements for taught programmes.
  • The Masters programme is not awarded as a separate degree at the end of the second year, but is ‘banked’ at this point and is awarded only as part of the Integrated PhD Award after successful completion of the viva examination in the final year.
  • If a PGR leaves the programme before the final thesis examination is assessed and provided that they have successfully completed and passed the relevant credit for the taught award then the Masters (MSc) degree or one of its interim awards such as PG Cert or PG Dip could be awarded as an exit award
  • After the end of year 2, and successful completion of both the MSc and the PhD Transfer, the PhD follows the same pattern as the standard PhD programme with the PGR undertaking an Annual Progress Review at the end of Year 3 and submission of a thesis by the end of year 4
  • The thesis submitted is of the same length as that for the standard PhD

Creating a New Integrated PhD with a collaborative partner in another university? Please discuss the proposal with Doctoral College Programmes as soon as possible.

  • For Integrated PhDs that are delivered in collaboration with another university, a collaborative arrangement is entered into and a Collaborative Agreement must be approved along with the programme specification.
  • Once approved the collaborative arrangement is added to the University’s Collaborative register
  • In addition, the arrangement may be subject to a separate UKVI Sites and Partnership Arrangement this will be determined at the outline planning approval stage