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  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions, Part-Time

From Archaeology & Anthropology to Environmental & Biological Sciences, Technology, Design & Engineering, or Psychology & Security, research within the Faculty of Science & Technology is world-leading.

By undertaking a Doctor of Philosophy with us you will become part of our thriving research community. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) results, we were ranked first in the south-west for art and design, based on world-leading research.

Our close links to many local and national heritage sites and projects also make this an excellent place to undertake archaeological and anthropological research, and we support research in these fields that has an impact on modern forensic investigation. You could make a difference in the world of technology and have an impact on saving lives or rehabilitation, or work with our psychologists to improve every day life.

We work closely with colleagues from other faculties and specialisms across the university to deliver impactful and exciting research across a multitude of disciplines.

Key information

Next start date:

January 2017, April 2017 and September 2017


Bournemouth University, Talbot and Lansdowne Campus

Entry requirements:

An Honours degree at 2:1 or higher and/or a relevant Master's degree. If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS 6.5 (Academic) or above. For more information check out our international entry requirements

Course details

To be awarded a PhD, you will need to complete a complex and advanced project. You will be expected to critically investigate and evaluate an approved topic, which results in an original and independent contribution to knowledge, as well as to demonstrate an understanding of research methods appropriate to your chosen field.

You will have to present and defend your thesis and/or practical element by viva voce (oral examination), to the satisfaction of the examiners.

Areas of study

Key subject areas you can focus on during your PhD are:

  • Anthropology
  • Aquatic science
  • Archaeology
  • Biology
  • Conservation
  • Creative technology
  • Cyber security and computing
  • Design education
  • Design simulation
  • Environment
  • Forensic science
  • Genetics
  • Molecular biology
  • Primatology
  • Psychology
  • Smart technology and data science
  • Structural integrity and nano-coatings
  • Sustainable design and renewable energy
  • Toxicology
  • Tribology.


Your supervisory team will:

  • Provide appropriate support and guidance regarding BU’s research degree regulations, policies and procedures
  • Give support when you are planning your research project, progressing through key milestones to successfully completing in the expected timeframe
  • Maintain regular contact with you and provide constructive feedback on written work and during meetings to support your progress
  • Advise you on professional and personal skill development available training opportunities
  • Give guidance about attending and presenting your work at internal and external seminars and conferences
  • Advise on publication of your work in journals and other appropriate media.

Academic support

When undertaking a research degree at BU, you will develop research skills in your specific project area and discipline, and you will also have an opportunity to develop wider, transferable skills which will assist in your future employment, whether within or outside academia.

The Researcher Development Framework, developed by the Graduate School in line with the Research Councils UK (RCUK), will enable you to enhance your abilities in areas which are not necessarily discipline-specific.

An added benefit is the opportunity to meet researchers from other academic schools at BU through the activities of our Graduate School and benefit from their experiences, skills, and perspectives.

Full entry requirements

We would normally expect you to have an Honours degree at Upper Second Class (2:1) and/or an appropriate Master's degree.

Some supervisors may ask you for additional entry requirements such as relevant work experience, evidence of written work, or previous study of a particular subject.

Entry requirements may vary so it is important to discuss your application in principle before submitting a formal application.

International entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally: 

  • IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 5.5 in each component or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

A number of pre-sessional English and preparatory programmes are offered through our partner institution, Bournemouth University International College, and will get you ready for study at BU at the appropriate level.

You can also find further details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our postgraduate entry requirements page.

How to apply

You can apply for a PhD with the Faculty of Science & Technology by clicking on the 'apply now' button and completing the application form. You can find further guidance about applying for a postgraduate research degree in our Postgraduate Research section.

Every year, we offer a number of fully-funded doctoral opportunities across our faculties - you can see what funding is available in your area of interest here.


A research degree can open new career opportunities in commercial research and development, consultancy, or could lead you to starting your own business. You may alternatively consider a career in academia. You may wish to undertake research to contribute to your knowledge of a specialist subject, or develop your employability by enhancing your skills in project management and analysis.

Additional information

About the Graduate School

About the Graduate School

Learn how the Graduate School can support you and find out more about our role in postgraduate student life.

International students

International students

We have a strong international student community. Find all the practical advice and information you need here.