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Research Degrees 

Durham attracts some of the strongest postgraduate students in the world, and we will support you to develop yourself and your career. 

With a research degree, you will develop a topic in an original way and so make your mark on the disciplineThe degree is examined by an extended piece of written work and taught through close supervision from two supervisors. 

Learn more about our degrees

MA by Research - A one year full-time (two years part-time) programme, examined through a thesis of up to 50,000 words. If you demonstrate aptitude, this degree can lead to further postgraduate research. 

PhD - The PhD programme formally takes three years full-time (or six years part-time), though some students may complete during a fourth year. It is examined by a thesis of up to 100,000 words and an oral examination (viva voce). 

How to apply


In addition to advising on the direction, shape and content of the thesis and the methodology of the research, supervisors discuss research students' training needs with them and work out a programme of training to ensure that students are best placed to undertake their research. A range of research training will be available for you, organised by the department or centrally.

Classics and Ancient History students reading round a seminar table.

Find out more about our research areas.