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Admission and Registration

Admission criteria for degrees of Doctor of Philosophy, Professional Doctorates and Master of Philosophy

The following points are a summary of the admission criteria for research degrees.

For a more detailed explanation please refer to Regulations 10 and 11: Regulations for Research degrees.


For the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy and Professional Doctorates

  • First or upper-second class degree of Bachelor at an approved university or institution
  • A higher degree at an approved university or institution or in the case of Professional Doctorate as specified in individual course regulations
  • Exceptionally, candidates with lower than above but with experience and training as suitable preparation

Candidates for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy now register directly on the Doctor of Philosophy award.

For the degree of Master of Philosophy

  • Degree of Bachelor at an approved university or institution
  • Professional qualification approved by the Faculty Research Postgraduate Degrees Sub-Committee and suitable general education and training
  • Exceptionally, candidates with less than above but able to give satisfactory evidence of having obtained adequate standard of knowledge may be accepted by the Faculty Postgraduate Research Degrees Sub-Committee

During registration, all students will have their progress assessed to determine whether or not their PhD registration can be confirmed, in accordance with procedures outlined in the Regulations 10 and 11: Regulations for Research degrees.

Language requirements

For students whose first language is not English the University sets a minimum standard entry requirement of 6.0 IELTS.  However, for research degrees some Faculties/Departments set a higher entry level at 6.5 or 7.0 IELTS.

Who to contact

Interested applicants for research degrees should view our postgraduate study website Research degrees.

If you require guidance about the admissions process for research degrees please contact the Admissions Office, or +44 (0)1274 236088.

Period of study

The following tables summarise the minimum and maximum periods for registration for research degrees.

Information in the tables is taken from the University's Ordinance Governing PhD, MPhil and Professional Doctorate (paragraphs 5, 6, 18, 19 and 20) available on the Academic Quality and Enhancement website. Please note, one year is defined in the tables below as twelve calendar months.

Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

 Normal minimum period of registrationMinimum period with approval from RDC and submission of completed thesisNormal maximum period of registration including writing-up period
Full-time doctorate  3 years 2 years 4 years
Part-time doctorate 4 years 3 years 7 years

Please note: the University's Professional Doctorates (DBA and DPharm Part-time programmes) generally follow the Part-time doctorate pattern of minimum registration above (four years), but in both cases the relevant Course Regulations should be referred as they indicate different maximum periods of registration. 

Moreover, both Professional Doctorate programmes do not have "writing-up" periods as such, but modular and research (thesis) components which are detailed through individual Course Regulations and Programme Specifications.  The University's programme specifications are available through the Academic Quality and Enhancement website.

Degree of Master of Philosophy


Minimum period of registration

 Maximum period of registration
Full-time Master's 1 year 2 years 
Part-time Master's 2 years 4 years

Please note: minimum/maximum periods of registration will be adjusted if you change your mode of attendance, that is from full-time to part-time study (or vice-versa). The Research Support Team (SRS) will confirm this for you should you apply for a change in mode of attendance.

The process from Application to Registration including Fees

The following points summarise the key stages leading up to registration for research degrees:

  • Prospective students for research degrees must apply to the relevant Faculty/Department
  • If the Faculty/Department wishes to offer them a place they will be allocated Supervisors
  • The completed application pack with all supporting documentation must be sent to the Hub-Admissions
  • The applicant will be sent an offer letter and start date by Hub-Admissions
  • The applicant must accept the offer before joining the University and beginning their studies
  • On joining, the student must enrol as a student of the University - new provisional students will receive full details of enrolment procedures by email in advance (only if the Admissions process is complete)*
  • *Faculties ought to check the Admissions processes are completed in order for the Research Support team to ensure timely notice about enrolment is sent to all provisional students
  • We welcome applications for post graduate degrees all year round and will consider alternative starting dates when the timing doesn’t fit with our two enrolment intake dates: October and February
  • All provisional students must normally enrol within 10 days of start of their term commencing
  • Each year it is necessary for continuing students to re-enrol on the anniversary of their enrolment and this is done online
  • New part-time and external students can arrange to enrol online

Tuition fees information, including details of how to pay them can be found on the Fees and Finance website.

Payment difficulties

If you believe that you are likely to experience difficulties with payments at any stage of your registration you are advised to discuss the matter with Credit Control Team (SRS) (see the Paying your Fees link in the Fees and Finance link above.

If you withdraw from your research degree at any time before your expected completion date please notify the Research Support team (SRS) in writing.

Under Ordinance a research degree may not be conferred on any student who has not fully discharged his or her financial obligations to the University. Lastly, the thesis will be not be sent out for examination if tuition fees are overdue.


Please note, payment of tuition fees does not mean you have completed the enrolment process.

For information in regards to enrolment please the Enrolment website.

Initial Registration 

All new doctoral research candidates will now be registered directly on the Doctor of Philosophy award. We will still admit students who wish only to register on the award of Master of Philosophy.  

External study

The University needs to be assured that satisfactory work arrangements are in place for students studying away from the University.  External registration is permitted only where it is mutually beneficial to the student and the University for the study to be done away from the University. 

Information requirements

Candidates wishing to undertake part or whole of their programme of research away from the University must provide the following, prior to registration, for consideration and approval by the Faculty Postgraduate Research Degrees Sub-Committee:

  • 500 word statement by the candidate describing the proposed research
  • Statement by the candidate on the physical conditions in which they will do the research
  • Statement by the candidate on the actual facilities available: equipment, materials, technical assistance
  • Statement by the candidate on the number of hours per week they expect to devote to the research programme
  • Statement by a responsible member of the organisation that the organisation supports the application
  • Statement by a responsible member of the organisation that the University Supervisor has the right to inspect all facilities and physical conditions in which the research is to be undertaken
  • Statement by the candidate and a responsible member of the organisation that on completion they will not object to a copy of the thesis being freely available in the University library (except under circumstances where a confidentiality agreement is in place under the University's IPR policy

Additional requirements

  • Supervisors must endorse the above statements where relevant
  • Students registered on an external basis must maintain regular contact with their University Supervisor(s) throughout the year by email/telephone and visit the University at least once a year to report on and discuss the progress of their research.  It is expected that they will visit the University normally for a minimum of two weeks up to a maximum of four weeks in total per year or at such times as the Faculty Post Graduate Research Degrees Sub-Committee shall determine. 
  • Wherever possible, all external students will have an External Supervisor appointed to take responsibility for day-to-day supervision and ensuring the thesis represents the student's own work

The above points summarise the requirements set out in the regulations for research degrees University Ordinances and Regulations (available on the Academic Quality Unit website).

Transferring from another university or institution

Students may transfer their registration for a higher degree to University of Bradford provided that they will pursue an approved programme in the University of Bradford:

  • for not less than 24 months for full-time doctoral
  • for not less than 36 months for part-time doctoral
  • for not less than 9 month for full-time masters
  • for not less than 12 months for part-time masters

They must withdraw from their previous registration.

The total period of registration must not be less than the minimum required for the degree.

Please also refer to the Regulations for Research Degrees. Click on the letter R and scroll for the research regulations.