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PhDs in Science and Engineering

Types of degree

Before you decide on a project, you’ll want to make sure you’ve chosen the science and engineering postgraduate research path that works best for you.

We offer several different types of research degree here at Manchester, all of which provide an opportunity to build skills and experiences that will help you to achieve your personal and career development goals.

In the Faculty of Science and Engineering these options are;

  • Centres for Doctoral Training (CDT PhD): four-year research degrees which combine research with training
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD): three to four-year programmes of supervised research, with a wide range of science PhDs and engineering PhDs available.
  • Engineering Doctorate: specialised engineering programmes which incorporate a taught component and industry collaboration.
  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil): typically a 12-month programme assessed by the submission and examination of a shorter thesis than that required for a PhD.
  • MSc by Research: a 12-month programme including subject-specific taught course units, research skills training and research project(s).

Look through a full list of our postgraduate research options across The University of Manchester >>

A focus on... Centres for Doctoral Training

Manchester PhD student, Chithra, carrying out a lab experiment.

A Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) is a postgraduate research opportunity provided by a group of institutions, rather than just one university. You’ll be working across several higher education institutions, as well as with industry partners, to contribute to work in nationally recognised priority research areas. Providing cohort-based training and offering generous funding, CDT studentships are an excellent way to gain your PhD while working at the cutting edge of UK research.

The University of Manchester Faculty of Science and Engineering is recruiting for a number of CDTs in 2024 and 2025, with research areas in graphene and 2D materials, artificial intelligence, robotics and nuclear energy.

Find details of Manchester’s CDT opportunities below.

Manchester based CDTs

Recruiting students now:

Recruiting students from 2025:

  • 2D Materials of Tomorrow CDT
    Led by Professor Irina Grigorieva, this CDT will focus on a new class of advanced materials with potential to transform modern technologies, from clean energy to quantum engineering.
  • Robotics and AI for Net Zero CDT (coming soon)
    Led by Dr Simon Watson, this CDT will train and develop the next generation of multi-disciplinary robotic systems engineers to help revolutionise lifecycle asset management, in support of the UK’s Net Zero Strategy.

No longer recruiting students:

External CDTs

Recruiting students:

No longer recruiting students:

Got a question about CDTs?

Use our interactive feature to answer any common queries you might have about studying in a CDT.

Use typeform to ask a question about Centre for Doctoral Training.

A focus on... Dual awards

Want to carry out some of your research in a different country? We partner with a range of international universities, including many which host joint scholarships with us.

Our research projects offer places at such prestigious institutions as China’s Tsinghua University, the University of Melbourne, the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, and the Indian Institute of Science Bangalore.

Here's our full list of currently available dual awards >>

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