All research programmes involve a majority of independent study but can also be delivered in different ways. You can study full-time, part-time or by distance learning. You can also study a jointly supervised PhD, external research degree or professional training.
Before you choose a postgraduate programme, consider the options available. You can check the specific programme page or use our course search and filter by study mode.
Full-time / part-time
Full-time study allows you to focus solely on your postgraduate programme. Similar to undergraduate level, you spend the majority of your time in seminars, lectures and completing practical work and independent study. It is a popular method for students progressing directly from an undergraduate degree.
Part-time taught programmes generally take twice as long as full-time programmes to complete, but they also allow you to work throughout your studies. Studying part-time can also help you to enhance your career prospects while remaining with your employer.
The University does not sponsor international students for part time programmes or part time mode of study. A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) will only be issued for full time programmes/mode of study.
If you require immigration permission as a Student to study in the UK, you will only be able to study full time.
January / May start
At Kent, it is possible to start some postgraduate research programmes in January or May, as well as September. These additional start dates give you more opportunities to apply for postgraduate funding and the flexibility to begin your studies without waiting for entry in September.
See the programme pages for more information about alternative start dates.
Dual research awards (widely known as cotutelles) offer PhD students the chance to be jointly supervised by the University of Kent and a university in another country. This results in a dual award of a PhD from Kent and a doctorate from the partner university.
The University of Kent has partnered with specific global institutions and have set up cotutelles for students to apply to. These opportunities are found on our find a scholarship page when available.
The University will issue immigration sponsorship to international students requiring a Student visa for the academic year that they intend to undertake their studies in the UK.
Kent offers a number of postgraduate qualifications in alternative delivery formats. Some of our programmes are purely online distance learning and others incorporate study days at one of our campuses. Support is always available from your tutors and the University. The main advantage is that you have the flexibility to plan your study around work or family commitments.
Studying by flexible learning has the benefit of allowing you to develop your career without having to leave employment and many of our programmes incorporate a work-based element. You will be able to apply new knowledge and insights to your working life while you are still studying.
The University does not sponsor international students for distance learning programmes. Should you be required to come to the UK for study related purposes for a short period, you should be able to apply/enter as a Visitor.
The University of Kent has an excellent reputation for research, both in the UK and internationally. We have developed an external research degree programme that allows you to remain in your home country while studying for a fully accredited UK qualification.
External research degrees are designed for those who are in the process of establishing their careers or who need to study alongside other commitments. They are ideal for individuals who are looking for an opportunity to undertake a PhD but may not be in a position to relocate or take time out from work.
As an external research student at Kent, you are required to meet the same entry requirements as all other research degree candidates at the University. Full details of the application process and requirements are available from the links below. You will be notified by the Graduate and Researcher College when a decision has been made regarding your application.
- Regulations for Research Programmes of Study
- University Procedures for the Approval of External Research Degree Candidature (PDF)
For international students wishing to undertake their entire programme from overseas and who would not therefore require immigration sponsorship, you should apply as an external research student.
External research fees are calculated as a percentage of the overseas full-time rate. You pay 75% of the overseas fee for full-time study or 50% for part-time study. See our course fees look-up table for the overseas full-time rates for each programme.
Candidates from outside the University of Kent may apply to the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy by means of submitting published works. The University will award this degree to registered candidates whose submitted work:
- forms a coherent body of research
- is timely and current as determined by academic judgement
- demonstrates the use of appropriate research methodology
- meets the criteria for the Doctor of Philosophy as specified in the Regulations for Research Programmes of Study.
Admission is a two stage process. Not all Schools offer this mode of study so check with the relevant School prior to preparing a submission.
Stage 1 (prima facie assessment)
You are required to undergo a prima facie assessment of your existing work prior to formal admission. To apply, forward the following information to the Admissions Processing Unit, Enrolment Management Services, The Registry, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NZ:
- the name of the School to consider your published works and your research topic title
- a full CV
- three of four examples of existing published work
- a detailed list of publications and a brief summary. A signed statement should be provided from co-authors, detailing and confirming your contribution to the work.
There is a £500 fee for this initial assessment, which you can pay online.
Stage 2 (formal application)
If you pass the prima facie stage, you are eligible to progress to full registration. You will be registered as a part-time student for 12 months and liable to pay fees at the Research Councils UK rate.
For more information, please see the Regulations for Research Courses of Study and select Annex 1 if you are an existing member of staff, or Annex 2 if you are a new candidate.