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Top 5 reasons to do your PhD within industry

Mon, 20 January, 2020

What is the purpose of doing a PhD...?

Let’s start by asking ourselves what a PhD is: it is a postgraduate doctoral degree (PhD), awarded to students who complete an original thesis offering a significant new contribution to knowledge in their subject.

PhD qualifications are available in all subjects and are normally the highest level of academic degree a person can achieve. In order to undertake a PhD you need to have completed a degree first.

Once a student has been awarded their PhD, they can then add the title ‘Doctor’ (of Philosophy) in front of their name.

NSIRC has partnered with top universities worldwide and key industry sponsors to deliver high quality tuition and industrial experience to postgraduates who wish to undertake PhD studentships.

There is a range of different subjects available, offering the opportunity to be involved in research for collaborative projects and R&D as well as projects undertaken on behalf of international industrial clients.

The NSIRC PhD programmes are delivered in Cambridge at TWI Ltd, where students will spend the majority of their time, gaining unique insight into industry and the practical skills they need to develop their careers.

Here is why industrial PhD students have an advantage…

To help clarify your thinking, here are 5 top reasons why undertaking a PhD that is closely linked to industry, is important, and considered a good move.

  • Better employment prospects than with a degree alone.

Work experience in the industry you are interested in will give you that vital edge over other job applicants you are up against.

Most people who have completed a PhD within industry secure future employment. Since 2012, all NSIRC alumni have gone on to work within the field of structural integrity within one year of completing their research.

  •  Salaries levels can be higher if you hold a PhD.

You are offering prospective employers the winning combination of relevant industry experience gained over a substantial period of time, and the ambition and personal application to achieve a higher level qualification.

  • Making a significant contribution to your field.

NSIRC PhD Scholarships offer the unique opportunity to undertake proprietary, funded research that no one has explored before.

After successful completion of your PhD, you will be able to publish your PhD research in the form of journal articles, present content from it at conferences, and parts of PhD theses are often used in books about ongoing and/or collaborative research that is being conducted.

  • Deepening your interests.

If you have already made the decision to focus on a particular area within your preferred discipline, an industrial PhD will give you experience in a real-world, operational workplace environment where you can collaborate with, and learn from, professional experts who are already doing the type of job you aspire to.

  • Acquiring sought after skills that will help you in your future career as well as your personal life.

These include the abilities to think critically, identify and solve complex problems, find the right answers and make correct decisions.

Life and work can be complicated so these are key life skills you will develop to equip you for the future.


Is it worth doing a PhD...?

Yes, absolutely! We certainly think so, and if you are not convinced then contact us with your questions as we'd love to help in any way that we can.

PhD degree requirements:

Requirements for a PhD vary, depending on the affiliated university, subject location, etc.

Typically, a PhD degree requires a relevant degree at 2.1 minimum, or an equivalent overseas degree, with candidates having suitable work experience.

Overseas applicants for an NSIRC PhD should also submit IELTS results (minimum 6.5) if applicable.

NSIRC PhD degrees are funded with the cost of tuition fees being covered and an annual stipend.

To find out more about embarking on a PhD within industry, please visit the NSIRC website. Alternatively, please email to

Written by Sarah Payne, TWIIN Marketing

Here are our top 5 reasons for doing your PhD within industrial, alongside academics and highly-skilled engineers, Image: nsirc
Here are our top 5 reasons for doing your PhD within industrial, alongside academics and highly-skilled engineers, Image: nsirc