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Research degrees in the School of Engineering and Applied Science

PhD Research

If you want to pursue a rewarding postgraduate research degree leading to MPhil or PhD qualifications that match not only your interests but prepares you with high level knowledge and skills in the fields of: 

Photonics (Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies (AIPT))

  • Adaptive Communication Networks (Adaptive Communication Networks Research Group (ACNRG))

  • Bioenergy (European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI))

  • Bio-Materials / Molecular Science (Polymer and Advanced Materials Research Group)

  • Biomedical Engineering (Biomedical Engineering Research Group)
  • Nanoscience (Nanoscience Research Group (NRG))

  • Non-linearity and Complexity (Nonlinearity and Complexity Research Group (NCRG))

  • Computer Science (Computer Science Research Group (CSRG))

  • Power Engineering & Power Electronics (PEPE Research Group)

  • Project & Supply Chain Management (Project & Supply Chain Management Research Group)

  • Engineering Education (Engineering Education Research Group)

  • Sustainable Environment Research (Sustainable Environment Research Group (SEG))

Then the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Aston University is the right choice.

Current student research

If you are interested in studying for a PhD at Aston then it might interest you to look at some of the recent research conducted by current PhD students.

Information about how to apply for a PhD at Aston can be found at the bottom of the page.

MSc By Research

The MSc by Research is a one year research degree for students looking for a research programme, but who may not be ready or able to commit three years of study as with a traditional PhD programme, e.g:
• people with work experience who only want to take one year out of industry (or two years part time) to complete a research degree;
• exceptional BSc students who want to take their final year project work further.

Students may transfer to a PhD if the first few months go very well and necessary funding is in place.
The MSc by Research can be studied with a supervisor from one of the school’s cutting-edge research groups listed above.

We have also recently launched an MSc by Research in the Mathematics of Complex Systems.

Training Programme
As part of the MSc by Research, every student agrees a bespoke training programme with their Supervisor, which comprises:

• Research Skills and Professional Development: a generic research skills module, delivered by the Centre for Staff and Graduate Development
• Specialist Research Skills and Techniques: this module is individually tailored to to help students develop the specialist (i.e. subject and discipline specific) research knowledge and skills necessary for their project..
• Individual Training Plan: to be agreed with your supervisor at the outset and updated at the three monthly reviews.

Assessment
All students must complete and pass the two research skills training modules; assessment is based on coursework.
MSc by Research students must also submit a thesis for examination; the thesis is the primary focus of this degree.

Key information

E-mail: seasres@aston.ac.uk
Duration of Programme: 1 year full time, or 2 years part time

Start Date: October

Entry QualificationsA first or second class honours degree, or equivalent, in a subject appropriate to the proposed programme of study.

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification (IELTS score of 6.5, TOEFL score of 600 or equivalent)


How to Apply // Studentships // Fees & Funding



  • We offer a vibrant research environment that reflects the cutting edge research of academic staff. Over 80 per cent of staff were reported as research active in the recent Research Assessment Exercise, where over 40% of research output was rated in the internationally excellent to world-leading categories.

  • In the same national Research Assessment Exercise, we were praised for the "excellent training and support for research students", the "prizes won by research students at international conferences", and our "strong engagement with industry, and commercialisation of research".

  • We have an established history of postgraduate study and research which has evolved and responded to the demands of postgraduate students. We have a dedicated postgraduate student support service and offer a research skills training programme to ensure that we provide the best environment for your postgraduate study.

  • We are diverse and international reputable with 40 per cent of students coming from over 30 countries.

  • You will be a member of School Student Research Society, enjoying a range of events (seminars by external distinguish speakers, annual poster competition, inter-school collaboration, social gathering and outing) organised by the Society to enrich your academic and social life experience.

A copy of the University's Research Regulations, Procedures and Code of Practice can be found here.


Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research