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We support students taking MPhil and PhD degrees, whether you want to study full time or part-time. If you're an international student you can also take a split PhD, dividing your time between the UK and your home country.

To be awarded a PhD you continue the research work of your MPhil, with the aim of making an original contribution to knowledge and understanding in your subject area. You present your thesis in an oral examination.

The traditional PhD

You pass through an MPhil stage before moving onto the PhD. The standard duration of a PhD is three years of full-time study, but you can also choose to study part-time. You must be based in the UK.

You're supported by a supervisory team of usually two or three academics throughout your study. The director of studies (a member of the supervisory team) is an academic from the University. The remaining supervisors can be drawn from other organisations, if they have the necessary qualifications as set out by our Research Degrees Committee.

Split PhD (international students only)

You spend a minimum of 2 weeks and a maximum of 12 weeks in the UK. The time spent in the UK is decided and agreed between you and the supervisors, and agreed by the University’s regulatory board. You usually carry out data collection in your home country.

You can choose to study full-time or part-time, depending on your study time available and any employment commitments you have. This decision needs to be made following full discussion with your employer, funder and where appropriate, the supervisory team. Some projects will benefit from a longer time period.

You have a director of studies in the UK and one supervisor in your home institution.

If your first language is not English and your undergraduate study was not conducted in English, you must be able to demonstrate English language proficiency. Suitable qualifications include

  • a Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of at least 600 Paper-based, 250 Computer-based, 100 Internet-based
  • an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 7.0 or above (with at least 6.5 in the written component)
  • a Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) pass

Entry requirements

To study an MPhil or PhD degree you normally have to have either an appropriate Masters degree or a first or upper second class honours degree, or an equivalent qualification.

Don’t hold these qualifications?

If you don’t hold these qualifications, it may still be possible to study a research degree at Sheffield Hallam. We'll consider your application on its own merits and in relation to the nature and scope of your proposed research programme.

We'll also look for evidence of your ability and background knowledge in relation to the proposed research. This could include

  • professional experience, publications, written reports or other appropriate evidence of accomplishment
  • confidential statements about your academic attainment and fitness for research provided by referees who should not be proposed as supervisors or advisers for the project

If necessary, we may also require you to pass an externally assessed qualifying examination at final year honours degree level before being admitted.


Download an application form.

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