What is a PhD?
A PhD is an independent piece of research and writing that presents an original contribution to existing knowledge within a given discipline. Liverpool Hope University will award the degree of PhD to students who have demonstrated:
- the creation and interpretation of new knowledge, through original research or other advanced scholarship, of a quality to satisfy peer review, extend the forefront of the discipline, and merit publication;
- a systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge which is at the forefront of an academic discipline or area of professional practice;
- the general ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the generation of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the discipline, and to adjust the project design in the light of unforeseen problems;
- a detailed understanding of applicable techniques for research and advanced academic enquiry.
Typically, holders of a PhD degree from Liverpool Hope University will:
- be able to make informed judgements on complex issues in specialist fields, often in the absence of complete data, and be able to communicate their ideas and conclusions clearly and effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences;
- continue to undertake pure and/or applied research and development at an advanced level, contributing substantially to the development of new techniques, ideas or approaches.
- have the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility;
- demonstrate largely autonomous initiative in complex and unpredictable situations.
The maximum length of a PhD thesis at Liverpool Hope University is 100,000 words.
How long will it take?
The period of study for a PhD is:
- Full-time candidates: typically 3 years; final deadline 4 years
- Part-time candidates: typically 5 years; final deadline 6 years
What is a Professional Doctorate?
Professional Doctorates are structured courses designed to meet the needs of practitioners. They are equivalent to a PhD as the highest level of academic qualification there is. They focus on research which has the potential to inform professional practice.
The first part of the programme is taught using a modular curriculum and regular time in the classroom. The second part uses a supervision model, just like the traditional PhD. If you are professional who is passionate about improving practice, and want to develop advanced research skills and the confidence to create and promote new ideas, methods and approaches, then one of our Professional Doctorates could be for you.
We offer Doctorates in Education (EdD), Social Work (DSW), and Health & Social Care (DHSC). The programmes provide a structured environment in which you engage at an advanced level with a range of academic and professional issues relevant to your own practice. The learning and teaching strategy seeks to develop the three key skills of independent learning, independent research, and sustained critical and self-reflexive analysis.
How is the degree structured?
The programme is divided into two parts. In the first part, you undertake three ‘strands’ of taught study (equalling 40 credits each). This is followed by the writing of a substantial research proposal (60 credits), which forms a good foundation for the supervised thesis in part 2. This will be based on a research question broadly related to professional practice.
A thesis submitted for the Professional Doctorate should not exceed 60,000 words.
How long will it take?
Our Professional Doctorates are offered part-time and take 5-8 years to complete.
What is an MPhil?
The MPhil is an award of considerable distinction in its own right, and is awarded for the successful completion of a substantial element of research or equivalent enquiry. The MPhil differs from the PhD only in terms of the scope of study required, demonstrated by the shorter word limit of 60,000, and the extent of the original personal contribution to knowledge.
Liverpool Hope University will award the degree of MPhil to students who have demonstrated:
- a systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of their academic discipline, field of study or area of professional practice;
- a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research or advanced scholarship; originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline;
- conceptual understanding that enables the student: to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses.
Typically, holders of an MPhil degree from Liverpool Hope University will:
- be able to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences;
- demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level;
- continue to advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level.
- have the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring: the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility; decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations; the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.
How long will it take?
The period of study for an MPhil is:
- Full-time typically two years; final deadline three years
- Part-time typically three years; final deadline four years
The UK doctorate: A guide for current and prospective doctoral candidates
The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and the National Union of Students (NUS) have created a guide for PGR students which recognises the diversity of awards and the student population to help guide doctoral students and applicants through what a UK doctorate is. We would encourage you to refer to this guide during the application process.