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Information for Prospective Research Candidates

An overview of the routes by which you can access postgraduate research programmes, whatever the discipline you choose.

The Postgraduate Study Experience

Over the years, the essential nature and purpose of a higher degree by research has generally been seen as offering an opportunity to make an original contribution to research and scholarship through a programme of research training governed by rigorous intellectual standards. Today, this ideal is being perceived increasingly in broader terms: in some academic disciplines, postgraduate research allows you to develop and improve skills, such as creative artistic ability, critical thinking, professional responsibility, organisational skills and proficiency in oral and written communication, as well as offering thorough training in the process of research and acquisition of transferable and interpersonal skills. In other academic disciplines, scientific research aims to increase understanding of the natural world using scientific methods, which may be defined as the testing of hypotheses by observation or experiment, for example.

Choosing the right Research Degree

First of all, it’s important to remember that whatever programme you choose, you will be working at an advanced level of study above and beyond what you may have experienced on earlier, undergraduate or taught masters courses. As your postgraduate research career unfolds, you’ll be expected to deepen your subject-specific knowledge and to develop your critical awareness of research debates shaping your chosen field of enquiry. You will also accumulate valuable knowledge of advanced research skills and methodologies and discover new kinds of conceptual understanding, allowing you to evaluate cutting-edge scholarship and to explore new hypotheses. At this more complex level of research, you’ll learn how to be flexible in your project management, negotiating unforeseen challenges and unexpected findings.

Equally importantly, there are a number of pathways at Bangor to choose from for your doctoral programme. You’ll need to decide whether you wish to follow your programme full-time or part-time (remember that you can move between these modes during your time at Bangor). You may wish to work full-time at the university or you may wish to combine study with periods at another institution or at an external place of employment. If you are a published scholar/writer already, you may like to consider applying for a PhD by Publications or you may wish to pursue your course wholly by distance-learning. These pathways will depend, of course, on the nature of your proposed project and the format of the programme at Bangor. Before you apply, do go ahead and contact the relevant academic staff member to discuss your choices.

Contact a member of Staff

Compare Postgraduate Research Degrees

PG RESEARCH DEGREE TIME (equivalent part-time options can be negotiated) RESEARCH
Masters by Research
One year (Full Time)
  • A substantive evaluation and analysis of a body of knowledge


  • An original research project
Master of Philosophy
Two years (Full Time)
  • A critical evaluation and analysis of a body of knowledge


  • An original contribution to knowledge

The Doctorate (PhD)
Doctor of Philosophy
*can be wholly distance learning*

The Professional Doctorate

Typically, three years
(Full Time)
  • Produce new findings
  • Interpret new knowledge through original research or other advanced scholarship
  • Engage with debates at forefront of the discipline
  • Meets standards of peer review
  • Worthy to be considered for academic publication
PhD by Publications One year registration
(Full Time)
  • Candidates should have a substantial portfolio of published work prior to application
  • The portfolio will include single- and/or co-authored peer-reviewed publications with scientific/academic presses. Subject-specific considerations are acknowledged when assessing a portfolio.
  • Constitutes an opportunity to showcase the portfolio with the guidance of an experienced supervisory team. typically, the candidate is required to supplement the portfolio with a critical analysis developed during the period of registration at Bangor University.


The Research Environment

Successful postgraduate researchers are self-reliant, well- organised and able to call upon a variety of inner resources, notably stamina. Of particular importance, of course, is the intellectual environment resulting from the presence of a large postgraduate research community and the active involvement of staff in research at the highest level. Equally importantly, postgraduate researchers can gain much intellectual stimulation during experimental or observational work from their peers.

It is essential that postgraduate researchers develop a good relationship with their supervisors. At different points during your postgraduate career, supervisors will assume a range of different identities: mentor, colleague, friend. They are there to advise and to guide as well as to introduce you to new research environments and teams. They will be key to finding out how and where to showcase your research at national and international conferences as the years go by. So this relationship not only involves initial direction and later guidance, but can also enable a postgraduate researcher to gain access perhaps to research resources, to possibilities of funding and to relevant research teams elsewhere in the university and beyond. Where appropriate, supervisors will introduce their postgraduate researchers to technical, administrative and archival staff who are able to provide assistance with a project, and it should be appreciated that in the environment of university research, the quality of this input is inevitably enriched by having a good working relationship with all the colleagues involved.

Students from the AIMLAC doctoral training centre outside Bangor University (Computer science)

Meet our Researchers

Read profiles of members of our Postgraduate Researchers.  By working with our researchers, you will have the opportunity to grow and achieve your full potential.

Discover Bangor University

Support for Postgraduate Researchers

Support for International Postgraduate Researchers

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Postgraduate Scholarships, Studentships & Bursaries

Scholarships, Studentships and Bursaries are funded by both the University and our individual academic schools. In addition, the International Education Centre also supports international students through a range of awards for international students. Numerous other sources of external funding are also available.

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Postgraduate Researcher Community

The Bangor University Students’ Union offers extra-curricular activities for Postgraduate Researchers - over 60 sports clubs, 100 societies and 20 volunteering projects as well as social events and campaign activities. There’s always something to interest you. 

The Students’ Union is also responsible for running the university-wide Course Rep. system, where Postgraduate Researchers on each course are elected to represent their peers at University committees and field opinions on a wide range of topics.

The Postgraduate Researchers’ Society is a representative body of Postgraduate Researchers at Bangor University. It offers a social platform for all Postgraduate Researchers to meet one another and to aid the exchange of ideas between different disciplines. It also organises an annual Postgraduate conference.

Doctoral School, Bangor University, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2DG, UK.

Contact Us

Doctoral School, Bangor University, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2DG, UK.

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