Doctor of Philosophy - MPhil / Phd

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Why study this course?

A PhD at London Met is conducted purely by research. Each PhD is the unique development of a student’s individual research project, conducted under the guidance of at least two supervisory members of staff with expertise in the research area. A PhD can be pursued in any area of research within the University where suitable expertise is available to support the proposed research. The University provides a supportive framework for research and each student’s work is carefully overseen. It is also possible to study a PhD via distance learning at London Met.

More about this course

Each PhD is an individual and unique project. The research may be conducted in any of the University’s disciplines (or across disciplines) where there is appropriate research expertise.

Although the degree is awarded for research with no taught component, research students are provided with research training and have access to any master's level module that will facilitate the research.

Your progress is closely supported by your supervisors and School. You will be encouraged to attend conferences, write papers and publish while pursuing your research.

The University has strong links with industry, business, the legal profession, and governmental and non-governmental organisations that facilitate your research and future career.

Research students are an important part of the academic community at London Metropolitan University and are included in all conferences, lecture series and research seminar series.

The University has a large number of specialist research areas, many (although not all) of our research students are associated with one of these. These include: The Global Policy Institute, The Centre for Communications Technology, The Intelligent Systems Research Centre, Statistics Operational research and Mathematics, and The Cellular and Molecular Immunology Research Centre; just to name a few.

 Staff undertake research and offer supervision in areas including:

  • 3D design
  • architecture for rapid change and scarce resources
  • architecture practice and theory
  • banking, finance and economics
  • curation and socially engaged art practices
  • education with a commitment to social justice
  • fine art and photography
  • intelligent systems 
  • interiors and environmental design
  • migration and migrants
  • molecular sciences
  • nutrition
  • politics learning and teaching in higher education
  • urban policy
  • violence against women and children and the emergence of trafficking
  • visual communication
  • work and working lives

For a full list of our research centres, visit our research section.


To obtain a PhD the candidate is expected to investigate a topic and make an original contribution to knowledge.

During the course of the research, each student’s work is assessed annually by a Research Student Progress Group in order to ensure that good progress is being made and that adequate guidance is available.

The degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is awarded by the University after the successful presentation of a thesis based on an original piece of research, completed under the supervision of University staff, and the successful defence of the thesis at an oral examination.

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Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • a good honours degree from a UK university or equivalent (first or upper-second class), although applicants will usually tend to have obtained a master's degree before entry

Candidates with other qualifications are considered on their merits.

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Tier 4 student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

The University only offers supervision to candidates if there is adequate available supervisory expertise in the area of the research project.

Modular structure

We have PhD students in all our Schools: the School of Art, Architecture and Design; Guildhall School of Business and Law; the School of Computing and Digital Media, the School of Human Sciences, the School of Social Professions, and the School of Social Sciences.

Each PhD project is unique, and yours will be fine-tuned in consultation with the two supervisors dedicated to your research. Recent research areas include:

  • Gujarati women in London learning English
  • Putting the Syrian “Spring” in context
  • Occupational stress in Malta
  • Counter-terrorism in the UK
  • The Left in West Germany
  • The experiences of counselling trainees
  • Childhood malnutrition in Khartoum
  • Depression among black and ethnic minority men
  • Smartphones and machine learning
  • Managers and self-directed learning
  • Leadership development in the hotel industry

This is in addition to many others across all schools and disciplines.

PhD study is self-directed. Students are allocated a supervisory team composed of a lead supervisor and at least one other supervisor. These are allocated on the basis of the candidate's application, research topic and interview. We only offer supervision to candidates when we have adequate available supervisory expertise.

What our students say

"The supervisory team was excellent - they had first rate knowledge and research expertise, were highly supportive and always willing to help. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at London Met and would recommend studying here for a doctorate."

Dr Deborah Butcher

After the course

Many people with an PhD become lecturers, teachers or researchers, but these are by no means the only destinations.

Depending on your discipline, you may go into industry (this is frequently the case for graduates in biological or computer science), the City (business and law graduates), public sector management and/or policy-making (social science and business graduates), international governmental organisations (social science and business graduates), the social professions or non-governmental organisations.

Many of our graduates are mid-career and use their degree for career enhancement in (for  services, education, counselling, health and social care, or diplomacy.

Distance learning

There is a distance learning option available.?

PhD by prior publication/output

The University will award the degrees of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) to registered students who successfully complete approved programmes. All proposed research programmes will be considered for research degree registration on their academic merits.

A PhD by prior output allows students who don't have traditional qualifications but have produced research and developed their knowledge to a doctoral level to gain academic recognition.

The publications of the student must be accessible to scholars or other interested persons. The work submitted must have been subjected to peer review by the relevant academic community and also provide evidence of an independent, original and significant contribution to knowledge and critical judgement. All work should have been published in the last 10 years, and be traceable in publicly available databases, catalogues etc.

Programmes of research may be proposed in any field of study, as long as the proposed programme is capable of leading to scholarly research. The written thesis may be supplemented by material other than written form, if special provision has been made and agreed.

What is the difference between the MPhil and PhD?

Research students at London Met can work towards a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). To obtain a PhD you’re expected to investigate a topic and make an original contribution to knowledge. At MPhil level, your research should represent an extension of existing knowledge, although the demands of originality and sustained enquiry are less than those required for a PhD.

Additional costs

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips, fieldwork, specialist conferences or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field

trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be

notified when the activity is being arranged.

How to apply

Use the apply button to begin your application.

Non-EU applicants looking to study part-time should apply direct to the University. If you require a Tier 4 visa and wish to study a postgraduate course on a part-time basis, please read our how to apply information for international students to ensure you have all the details you need about the application process.

When to apply

September entry:

  • Application deadline: 1 July (international applicants)
  • Application deadline: 1 August (home/EU applicants)

January entry:

  • Application deadline: 1 November (international applicants)
  • Application deadline: 1 December (home/EU applicants)

Our research centres