Faculty of Engineering

We are committed to maintaining Nottingham as one of the foremost research-led universities in the UK. In the Faculty of Engineering we have a reputation for sustained excellence in research across all four schools, built up over many years of investment and achievement. 

The section below outlines some of the key elements of the different postgraduate research awards available at Nottingham.


Research degrees

Postgraduate student Maghavie Perera (PhD Mechanical Engineering) working on a fibre-tester rig.

Types of research degrees

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

A PhD is a substantial, original piece of research leading to an 80,000 – 100,000 word thesis, usually completed over 3 years (longer if studying part time). It is particularly suitable for career development or personal interest. Your research will be supervised by an experienced academic who will provide support and guidance to help you achieve your objectives.

There are a number of fully-funded studentships available within the Faculty of Engineering where students can expect to earn between £12k and £15k per annum (tax free). These studentships are available to UK citizens and EU citizens who have been resident in the UK for three years.

Also see: What is a PhD?


Master of Research (MRes)

The MRes degree course consists of two elements: 20 credits of non-assessed generic training plus 160 credits of assessed work.

The assessed work can be based entirely on a research project(s), in which case this would be the equivalent of around 10½ months research work.

It is the perfect stepping stone to a PhD programme


Engineering Dctorate (EngD)

The Engineering Dctorate (EngD) is an alternative to the traditional PhD and provides a more vocationally oriented doctorate in engineering than the traditional PhD. It encourages the development of innovative thinking while tackling real industrial problems and combines academic research in an industrial context with taught modules in related subjects.


Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

The MPhil degree is an original piece of research leading to a 50,000 – 60,000 word thesis to demonstrate practical and theoretical understanding.

Students register for two years and usually complete within 2 to 3 years (longer if part-time). Particularly suitable for students wanting to do graduate research rather than a taught course who may not be qualified to enter directly into a PhD.


Key differences between MPhil and PhD

An MPhil degree will demonstrate possession of the skills necessary to carry out supervised research by the analysis of existing data or small original data sets. A PhD will demonstrate your ability to conduct original research. It will be an independent and original study, using new and larger data sets, which advances the frontiers of knowledge in the subject area.


By thesis, and in the case of the PhD, by an oral examination, defined as a unique contribution to the body of knowledge.


A good UK Bachelors or Master’s degree or international equivalent. If you do not have a Master’s degree, or do not feel ready for research at doctoral level, you can start by applying for an MPhil and upgrade to a PhD after 1-2 years. 

Entry onto research degree programmes can take place at almost any time of year (except when applying for specific studentship places where a closing date will be given). 

The University’s on-line application system is the quickest and easiest way of applying and gives you ongoing information about the progress of your application.

For enquiries please use our enquiry form

Funding Opportunities

There are a variety of Postgraduate Scholarships to support research. For details visit: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/gradschool/external.phtml

Faculty of Engineering

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Contacts: Please see our 'Contact us' page