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Industrial PhD Programmes

Join our NSIRC 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 

Industrial PhD Programme: Overview

Our 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 and technology related to industry needs. With founding partners at Lloyd's Register Foundation (LRF), TWI Ltd and bp, our proven PhD programme is now available in the UK and new international locations.

With NSIRC, students conduct their 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 fees and provide a stipend to support their research. Join us on your industrial PhD journey and choose NSIRC.

During this three year industrial PhD programme, students will spend much of their time in the state-of-the-art NSIRC laboratories at TWI near Cambridge. They will design and carry out cutting-edge experiments guided by supervisors from TWI, their sponsor and 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. Our PhD programme 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 programme best matches the career ambitions of those who wish work within the energy sector, power generation, petrochemical, nuclear and transportation, renewables, aerospace, automotive, health and many more. The degree will provide the platform for rewarding careers in which to ensure structures and truly good design is paramount.

Read the Latest PhD Studentship Opportunities


Duration and Funding

  • 3 years (minimum) full-time PhD based at TWI offices in the UK or overseas at the awarding university
  • 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 Programme 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.


Innovation and Management PhD: Overview

The Innovation and Management programme is a specialised 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 degree is for 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 PhD
  • 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. 


Ask us anything

If you have a question about any of our PhD topics, postgraduate courses, funding, location, anything, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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