When is a 'PhD' not a PhD? When it's a DPhil, DBA, EdD or other type of doctorate.
The traditional PhD (or 'Doctor of Philosophy') is the best-known advanced research qualification, but several other varieties of doctoral degree exist. Some of these are academic qualifications in specific subject areas. Others are professional doctorates with a slightly different format.
But there's no need to be confused. This page explains and compares the options available to you.
An MPhil (or 'Master of Philosophy') isn't a full PhD. But these less ambitious projects still provide excellent research experience.Read more
The DBA ('Doctor of Business Administration') is a specialised doctorate for Business & Management professionals.Read more
The EdD ('Doctor of Education') is a professional doctorate for experienced teachers and other education specialists.Read more
Sometimes a PhD can be jointly-awarded by two or more universities: perfect if you want to access a range of facilities and expertise.Read more
From subject-specific qualifications to higher doctorates and international degrees: learn more about different types of PhD.Read more
What makes a PhD a PhD? Learn more about the criteria and objectives that define all types of doctoral degree.Read more
Need to balance PhD research with other commitments? Our guide introduces the process of studying a part-time PhD.Read more
Some universities offer the option to earn a PhD for an existing portfolio of publications. Our guide explains how this works.Read more
Wondering which type of doctorate is right for you? The following table offers a quick overview of the most common types of PhD and other doctorates:
|PhD / DPhil||Doctor of Philosophy||All||Academic|
|DBA||Doctor of Business Administration||Business and Management||Professional|
|EngD / PhD (Eng)||Doctor of Engineering||Engineering||Professional|
|EdD / D.Ed||Doctor of Education||Education||Professional|
|DSocSci||Doctor of Social Science||Social Sciences||Professional|
|DProf||Doctor of Professional Studies||All||Professional|
|DArch||Doctor of Architecture||Architecture||Professional|
|MD||Doctor of Medicine||Medicine and Health Sciences||Professional / Higher|
|Th.D||Doctor of Theology||Theology and Religious Studies||Academic|
|DD / DDiv||Doctor of Divinity||Theology and Religious Studies||Higher / Honorary|
|Dsc / ScD||Doctor of Science||Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)||Higher / Honorary|
|DLitt / LitD||Doctor of Science||Arts and Humanities||Higher / Honorary|
Please note that this table doesn't include every type of doctorate. Many other subjects (and countries) award their own specific qualifications, but we've covered some of the most popular here.
You can more about some of these degree types in our guide to different varieties of doctorate.
The doctorates in the above table are divided into different types, as follows:
As a prospective postgraduate student, you only really need to concern yourself with academic or professional research degrees.
We've included higher and honorary doctorates here in order to try and prevent them being confused with more 'conventional' PhDs (and to give you some inspiration for later in your career!).