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PhD Programmes: Full time and Part Time PhD Degrees

Join our PhD Programmes that are the leading choice for industry-focused postgraduate engineering, innovation and managment research around the world.

Industrial PhD Programme

Innovation and Management PhD 

Full Time Industrial PhD

Our funded industrial doctoral programme is designed to train the next generation of highly skilled engineers and leaders of industry with the in-depth knowledge of the engineering, science, technology and research skills related to industry needs. With founding partners at Lloyd's Register Foundation (LRF), TWI Ltd and bp, our proven PhD is now available in the UK and in new international locations.

NSIRC doctoral researchers conduct their real-world research and doctoral training with support from TWI, a leading global centre of engineering research. They receive expert input from our industrial partners (TWI, LRF and bp) and graduate fully equipped with the skills and knowledge required for their future careers in engineering, innovation and related fields. Students benefit from generous PhD studentships to cover their university tuition fees and provide a stipend to support their research project. Join us on your industrial PhD journey and choose NSIRC.

During this three year PhD degree program, doctoral students will spend much of their time in the state-of-the-art NSIRC laboratories at TWI near Cambridge, where they will be a part of a diverse research community, designing and carrying out cutting-edge experiments and postgraduate study, guided by supervisors from TWI, their sponsor and academic staff from their university.

NSIRC is affiliated with over 30 leading universities in the UK and across the globe, including the University of Cambridge, home of the Cambridge Department of Engineering, the University of Manchester, Singapore, Lancaster, and our lead academic partner Brunel University London.

Opportunities are also provided to publish journal articles, present at international conferences and attend courses to support personal development. This degree provides the required advanced theoretical knowledge, and essential practical skills, for graduates to contribute to the field of engineering through the development of new concepts and methods.

This PhD in engineering complements, but is not restricted to, the career ambitions of those who wish to work within a wide range of sectors including energy, power generation, petrochemical, nuclear and transportation, renewables, aerospace, automotive, health and others.

By choosing this doctorate in engineering, you will be provided the platform for a rewarding career in which ensuring the safety of structures and creating truly great design innovations is paramount.

PhD Search: Find a PhD Studentship with NSIRC


Duration and Funding

  • 3 years (minimum) full time study based at TWI offices in Cambridge, UK or overseas at the awarding university
  • Fully funded PhD studentships available

Entry Requirments

Applicants should have at least a 2:1 degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant engineering subject, or significant extensive work experience to a similar level.

Overseas applications should have the minimum level of English language qualification:

IELTS min 6.5 for PhD | TOEFL paper test: 550 (TWE 4) | TOEFL internet test: 79 (R18, L17, S20, W17) | Pearson: 51 (51 in all subscores) | BrunELT: 60% (min 55% in all areas)

The current opportunities for the Industrial PhD can be viewed on the PhD Opportunities page. From there, prospective students can complete an initially application that will be assessed by a member of the NSIRC, before being invited to begin the interview process.


Part Time Innovation and Management PhD

The Innovation and Management research program is a specialised part time doctorate for professionals seeking to develop their careers within the workplace by building an advanced knowledge of the skills and techniques required to lead successful research campaigns and give your organisation a competitive advantage.

Awarded by Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), this doctoral program is only available as a part time PhD, and is suited to a diverse audience of industries and individuals passionate about developing new strategies that could help their organisations thrive in the face of constant challenges and changing market conditions.

Unique with its industry focus, this programme offers you expert supervision from senior academics at ARU, and innovation experts at TWI (The Welding Institute) Ltd, the world-renowned engineering research organisation. Through this support system, only available to students of this programme, you will conduct a self-developed research project that will critically investigate topics with the potential to benefit your organisation and make you an Innovation and Management expert.

Upon graduating, you will be able to thrive within high-level leadership roles with an ability to demonstrate revolutionary thinking and build robust strategies that could future-proof your career and unlock technology potential.


Duration and Funding 

  • 5 years part time study 
  • Self-funded or through your own organisation

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for each programme may vary. Please make sure that your application meets the specific requirements of the programme you are applying for, and if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us and a member of the NSIRC team will respond.

  • 1. Email to express your interest in joining the programme.
  • 2. After contacting NSIRC, we will put you in contact with designated ARU academics to match your research project and our expertise.
  • 3. Prepare the paperwork; CV and a word document containing the full proposed research title and topic.  This should include:
  1. Proposed Project Title
  2. The problem that your project is addressing. Please provide details of the context here, including the industry you’re working in, your own position, and the costs and implications of the problem you are addressing. Where the focus is primarily a conceptual or theoretical problem, please provide the context in terms of extant theory, models, or concepts for the problem.
  3. The specific research questions you want to answer in order to help solve these problems.
  4. The kinds of methods that you envisage using in this exploration. For example, will this be mostly a qualitative or quantitative research project? Will you be using participative research methods or action research models with an intervention and evaluation?
  5. A reflective assessment of your strengths and weaknesses as a researcher in this project. This will help us to identify the most appropriate supervisors to support you.


  • Your degree certificates in the relevant areas and transcripts
  • A4 page, single-spaced personal statement setting out why you are interested in undertaking this project
  • Evidence of your English language capability to IELTS 7.0 or equivalent3.

A panel will review your application and decide whether it can go forward to be submitted. If you are shortlisted we will contact you for a qualifying interview. 


Studying in the UK

The UK is home to some of the world's leading universities, offering a wealth of resources and support to help you achieve your academic goals.

A typical full time engineering doctorate in the UK lasts three to four years and 5 years for part time student. During your studies you will work closely with supervisors and research groups to develop your research project and write a thesis. As a PhD student in the UK, you will also have the opportunity to engage with a vibrant academic community and attend conferences, seminars, and other events to share your research and learn from others. This can be a great way to build.

The safety of students in the UK is taken extremely seriously, and there are numerous measures in place to ensure that they are protected. The UK is generally accepted as a very safe place to live and study, but it's important for students to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to ensure their own safety. Many universities offer safety training and advice to students, such as how to stay safe when walking home alone at night.

Student Cost of Living

The cost of living for a university student in the UK can vary depending on the location and lifestyle. On average, a student can expect to spend around £800-£1,200 per month on accommodation, food, transport, and other expenses. London is generally more expensive than other cities in the UK, with accommodation and food being the biggest costs. However, many universities offer student accommodation at reduced rates, and there are also options for shared housing to keep costs down. Additionally, students can save money by cooking at home instead of eating out and taking advantage of discounts offered to students. Overall, with careful budgeting and planning, it is possible to live comfortably as a university student in the UK.

How to Apply for a PhD in the UK: Brief Summary

If you are unsure how to apply for a phd degree in engineering, or an international student looking to pursue a research degree in the UK, it is important to understand the process of applying for a PhD.

Unlike a Masters degree where you typically pay tuition fees upfront, PhD candidates are usually funded by Research Councils, universities, or industry partners. These studentships cover tuition fees and provide a stipend for living expenses.

Before applying for a PhD programme, you will typically need to identify a potential supervisor in your subject area and discuss your research interests with them. NSIRC PhD Studentships have supervisors pre-assigned, with one supporting from you university and a second from the industry partner. For topics that do not have this in place, it is important to find a supervisor whose research aligns with your interests and who can provide guidance throughout your PhD study. Once you have identified a potential supervisor, you can begin the application process.

The application process for a PhD varies depending on the institution. However, most universities require a research proposal, academic transcripts, and references from academic referees. You will also need to meet the entry requirements for the PhD program, which usually include a Masters degree or equivalent.

The typical length of a PhD is 3-4 years and tt is a challenging  experience, but also very rewarding. You will have the opportunity to work on a research project that can make a significant contribution to your PhD subject area. You will also develop transferable skills that are highly valued by employers, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and project management.

PhD funding is highly competitive, and it is important to explore all options available to you. In addition to Research Council studentships, there are also industry-funded PhDs (and scholarships for international students. It is important to research funding opportunities early and apply for as many as possible to increase your chances of success.


Ask Us Anything

If you have a question about our doctoral degree in engineering, innovation, our PhD topics, postgraduate courses, funding, facilities or location, please get in touch. Email -


NSIRC Students enjoy many social activities organised by TWI.