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Bath is a top five UK university

University of Bath

A world-class University in a World Heritage city

At the University of Bath we are known for excellence in teaching and research, a superb student experience and providing outstanding preparation for the workplace. We are a top ten UK university (Guardian University Guide 2020 and the Complete University Guide 2021), ranked fifth for graduate prospects by The Complete University Guide 2021 and were awarded Gold in the most recent Teaching Excellence Framework.

Doctoral researchers who join us enjoy a diverse, research-intensive environment with a strong interdisciplinary ethos. They have the opportunity to work with academics and researchers of international reputation, known for the originality and significance of their work.

We advertise funded studentships across our three Faculties and School:

Join our growing Doctoral College community and your network will include students from around the world, studying across a range of programmes including PhDs and integrated PhDs, MPhils and professional doctorates. Around a third are studying part time, some combine research and a career, many are based on campus and others are in professional organisations.

You will share ideas and best practice, attend seminars and conferences and explore thinking at the forefront of your discipline. You will gain access to resources and archives at four leading research institutions through our GW4 Alliance. And you will benefit from a Professional Development programme that will give you the tools to support your research, and give you a head-start in your chosen career.

Find out more about how to apply for doctoral study

Explore our research degrees

Find out more about our Doctoral College community

The city

Bath is a wonderful place to live and study or use as a study base. It is a cosmopolitan city with a rich cultural heritage and is only one of three cities in the world to be included on UNESCO's World Heritage list.

Small enough to explore on foot, you can discover its beautiful stone buildings and the natural hot springs which gave the city its name. Indulge yourself in year-round arts festivals, museums, galleries and the spa.

Watch His Royal Highness, The Earl of Wessex, Chancellor of Bath explain why Bath is such a special place to be a student or academic.

Our campus

Our purpose built campus is set in rural grounds overlooking the historic city of Bath. In addition to new academic buildings and new postgraduate accommodation, students also benefit from investment in the arts and sport which has seen us named Sports University of the Year (The Times & The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018).

Bath is a top five UK university

Academic Units

  • Our Department provides excellent opportunities for academic teaching and research collaborations with other departments, such as Education, Psychology, Social & Policy Science, Biology & Biochemistry and Pharmacy & Pharmacology. We also have a range of specialist equipment.

    Our postgraduate teaching and research courses now form part of the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences Graduate School. The Graduate School can provide you with dedicated support and a strong community in which to base your studies, whether on campus or by distance-learning.

    Our aims:
    -To develop a research portfolio that is both of the highest academic standard and has applications in the real world
    -To provide excellent teaching in a stimulating learning environment designed to maximise student attainment and graduate employment prospects.
    -To build on external links with the public services and other bodies concerned with human function, health and society
    -To promote innovation in the design and delivery of healthcare services
    -To identify and facilitate opportunities for academic collaboration and new developments

    The Department for Health was first established within the University of Bath in 2003. The Department was devised to centralise the high profile research and teaching in the health-related disciplines already taking place throughout the University, creating a single entity through which links with the health sector at national and international levels can be channelled, co-ordinated and developed.

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  • We offer research programmes in a variety of areas including:
    - BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials
    - Centre for Advanced Studies in Architecture (CASA)
    - Centre for the Engineering and Design of Environments (EDEn)
    - Research unit for Water, Environment and Infrastructure Resilience (WEIR)

    Our philosophy

    As a joint Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering we engage in research and develop graduate courses where integration between the disciplines is likely to be most valuable.

    Research is also carried out in collaboration with other departments in the University, particularly Mechanical Engineering, Electronic & Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Management, and Computer Science.

    The dissemination of research findings is seen as a vital component of the research process and graduate students are encouraged to prepare papers for publication as part of their research training. We encourage a wide range of interests. Academic staff are always open to ideas which extend existing work or introduce new topics to their existing subject areas.

    Our applicants
    The MPhil and PhD programmes are an integral part of the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering. Successful applicants are welcomed as junior academic colleagues rather than students, and are expected to play a full and professional role in contributing to the Department’s objective of international academic excellence.

    We seek applications from outstanding individuals from anywhere in the world who are strongly committed to and potentially capable of high-quality academic research in any of the disciplinary areas covered by our Research Centres.

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  • The Department of Biology and Biochemistry is a dynamic and ambitious Department with 47 academic staff, 58 postdoctoral researchers, 81 graduate students and 54 support staff. The Department is one of the largest and most successful in the University and is firmly committed to excellence both in research and teaching. The Department has adopted an integrated approach embracing the view that tomorrow's breakthroughs are likely to occur at the interfaces of traditional biological subdivisions. It was recently placed 5th in a national league table for Biological Sciences, compiled by Times 2005. Current research grants are valued at over £16 million, the Department scored a top grade 5 in both the 1996 and the 2001 national Research Assessment Exercises and a maximum of 24 points in the 1999 national Teaching Quality Assurance review. The department is an EU Marie Curie Training Site for the Postgenomic Analysis of Microbial Virulence and an EU Marie Curie Training Site for Early Stage Researchers in Regenerative Medicine.
    The Department currently has a number of three and four year BBSRC standard research and CASE studentships. A limited number of these studentships may qualify for a targeted stipend enhancement of £2000pa. There are also a number of University studentships available. The Department also welcomes enquiries and applications from self-funded Overseas applicants. Further information on the research areas within the Department can be found at:
    If you identify a specific project, research area or an academic that they would be interested in working with, please contact the Department’s Postgraduate Administrator, Dr Emma Lawrence ( for further information.
    The Department has a range of different PhD routes available, which allows the traditional PhD programme to be tailored to the needs of individual students. Available PhD routes are:
    • Traditional 3-year PhD
    • 4-year integrated PhD
    • 1 plus 3-year PhD
    • 4-year PhD.
    The Department is also part of the Centre for Regenerative Medicine, which currently has a number of Marie Curie Visiting Fellow Scholarships available for EU and Overseas students. For further information on these scholarships, together with the PhD projects available, please see, or contact Dr Emma Lawrence (
    Deadline: imminent

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  • The department of Chemistry at Bath is a highly successful and expanding department. A new research building (opened in 2000) and teaching building (opened in 2003) plus state of the art laboratories and equipment make Bath a first choice for many people looking to pursue graduate studies in the general area of Chemistry in the U.K.

    Currently, there are 24 full time, fully research active members of staff. We are a young department – the average age of academic staff is just 37! Current there are over 60 postgraduate students, but this number is set to greatly expand in the coming years.

    Areas of specific expertise include: asymmetric synthesis, development of new chiral catalysts, electrochemistry, solar-cell research, biological chemistry, biophysical chemistry, polymers, X-ray crystallography, chemical education research to name but a few key areas.

    There are generally more than 16 postgraduate studentships available per year for students wishing to pursue Ph.D. degrees. It should also be noted that strong collaborative links exists between other departments in the University (including Biology and Biochemistry, Pharmacy, Physics, Chemical Engineering) and other academic intuitions world-wide.

    We are always on the look out for bright, highly motivated students to do research at Bath.

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  • The Department of Economics is the second largest department in the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences for student numbers.

    We are currently about 40 members of staff engaged in research and teaching in the field of economics.
    Our research output is highly visible with regular publications in many of the leading journals in economics.
    We are currently ranked 8th in the UK for economics in the Complete University Guide 2017.
    Teaching and facilities

    Our graduates have excellent career prospects including leading finance, higher education and governmental institutions. Part of this success is based on our exceptional placement programme.
    We offer various undergraduate, postgraduate and research degrees which enjoy an excellent reputation in both the private and public sector and in academia.

    Research and expertise:
    The results of REF2014 confirm that our research is of excellent quality.
    Our department is organised in five research groups working on:
    -Macroeconomics and Finance,
    -Public and Environmental Economics,
    -Labour, Education and Health Economics,
    -Economic Theory and Econometrics.

    We are contributing to various large-scale international funded research projects including GLAMURS, Econadapt and Nudge-it. Our research has a widespread impact on society which is documented through numerous impact cases.

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  • Our department is a thriving academic community focused on furthering our understanding of policy, culture, pedagogy and diversity within a global educational context. We hold a strong national and international reputation for our research.
    We have an excellent network with a wide range of educational institutions including, schools, colleges, universities, local authorities and government departments, within the UK and also internationally.

    We currently host around 40 academic and research staff, and have over 170 students enrolled on our doctoral programmes studying and researching both on campus and via distance learning throughout the world.

    Our research is centred on the following areas:
    -Educational Leadership, Management and Governance
    -Internationalisation and Globalisation of Education
    -Language and Educational Practices
    -Learning, Pedagogy and Diversity

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  • We offer research programmes in a variety of areas based on the work being carried out by our Research Centres and groups.

    Our philosophy
    The Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering is in the vanguard of progress in a fast-moving discipline. It offers a broad spectrum of research expertise supported by state-of-the-art facilities.

    Its international reputation reflects substantial levels of research income and journal publication, and it offers outstanding opportunities in postgraduate research.

    The dissemination of research findings is seen as a vital component of the research process and graduate students are encouraged to prepare papers for publication as part of their research training.

    Our applicants
    We encourage a wide range of interests. Academic staff are always open to ideas which extend existing work or introduce new topics to their existing subject areas.

    Successful applicants are welcomed very much as junior academic colleagues rather than students, and are expected to play a full and professional role in contributing to the Department’s objective of international academic excellence.

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  • The Department of Mathematical Sciences is an integrated department, whose work in the three areas of Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics and Statistics has an international reputation. In the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise, Applied Mathematics was rated 5* with Pure Mathematics and Statistics rated 5. The Department was placed 8th for Mathematics and Statistics in the ‘Good University Guide’ published by The Times (2007), with the University placed 9th overall. We were one of only two departments in the country to achieve the top score of 24/24 in the Teaching Quality Assessment.

    Staff in all three areas are involved in a very wide range of national and international research activities and several members of the Department have won prestigious prizes, medals and research fellowships for their work.

    All parts of the Department welcome research students (both full-time and part-time) working towards the degrees of PhD, Integrated PhD and MPhil. With 18 Professors and 30 other academic staff, a wide range of research topics can be supported in depth and students with a good honours degree, or equivalent, will find much to enrich their scientific interests. Research in the Department covers a wide spectrum from the very pure to rather more applied aspects of Mathematics and Statistics. Some research is of a fundamental theoretical nature while much of the more applied work involves collaboration with other departments in the University, with industry and technology, and with government research departments. Each of the research groups within the Department runs regular seminar programmes.

    A major new complex systems initiative started in 2005.

    Main areas of research specialisms: Algebra and Geometry, Analysis, Control Theory, Differential Equations, Industrial Applied Mathematics, Mathematical Biology, Numerical Analysis, Solid Mechanics, Brownian Motion, Stochastic Processes, Mathematical Finance, Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, Environmental Statistics, Multivariate Analysis, Computational Statistics, Bayesian Modelling.

    Facilities and equipment: A comprehensive network of around 300 computers.

    International and industrial links: The Department has many close links with industry, especially through the Industrial Applied Mathematics group. We have joint research projects or other links with with mathematicians in Canada, the USA, Japan, most European countries and several others worldwide.

    Careers information: Recent PhD graduates have been in demand for academic posts, both in the UK and overseas, as well as for posts in industry.

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  • We offer research programmes in a variety of areas encompassing our Research Centres, Units and groups.

    Our research
    The Department of Mechanical Engineering has a proud record of achievement in education and research. Our research impact was officially recognised in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). 89% of our research was graded as either world-leading or internationally excellent, placing us 10th in the UK for our submission to the Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering.

    Our research activities cover the full spectrum extending from fundamental investigations to applied research. Many of these activities are carried out in conjunction with industry and other universities, both in the UK and overseas.

    Our applicants
    We seek applications from outstanding individuals from anywhere in the world who are strongly committed to and potentially capable of high-quality academic research in any of the disciplinary areas covered by our Research Centres.

    We encourage a wide range of interests. Academic staff are always open to ideas which extend existing work or introduce new topics to their existing subject areas.

    Working with us
    Successful applicants are welcomed very much as junior academic colleagues rather than students, and are expected to play a full and professional role in contributing to the Department’s objective of international academic excellence.

    In many cases postgraduate projects are linked to industrial companies and are often carried out in collaboration with other departments within the University and other institutions. Postgraduates thus have the opportunity to work on interdisciplinary projects with a strong industrial relevance as well as on more fundamental engineering topics.

    The dissemination of research findings is seen as a vital component of the research process and graduate students are encouraged to prepare papers for publication as part of their research training.

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  • The Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology is engaged in research of exceptional international standing.
    In the 2014 Research Assessment Framework we had 91% of our research rated as world-leading and internationally excellent, Our approach to drug discovery and translational science is attested to by the outstanding rating for the environment with 100% scored as world-leading and internationally excellent in terms of vitality and sustainability.
    Our internationally recognised expertise in translational pharmaceutical and pharmacological sciences interfaces with clinical research in psychology and health.

    We provide a broad platform for cutting-edge research and is committed to maintaining its position of international excellence. The Department is organised into four groups: Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Pharmaceutics and Clinical Pharmacy/Pharmacy Practice. This structure allows for focussed as well as interdisciplinary research within the Department as well as collaborative projects with the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare providers. Postgraduates have the opportunity to work on projects ranging from fundamental aspects of drug discovery, action and development to applied areas that are closer to healthcare delivery. Currently, there are more than 50 research postgraduates and 40 post-doctoral research officers working in the Department.

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  • Physics at the University of Bath is a top-ranked UK research department offering scientific programmes leading to PhD in the following fields:
    • Astrophysics: Advanced ground and space-based technology is exploited to collect cosmic signals from distant objects and use this information to study the structure, dynamics and evolution of galaxies, the physics of star formation, the role of black holes in galactic evolution, accretion (how matter comes together in space) and the role of cosmic magnetic fields in harnessing the energy of spinning black holes.
    • Nanoscience: Innovative atomic-scale characterisation tools are used for the manipulation and design of novel functional materials on the nanoscale. Techniques embrace low temperature UHV scanning probe microscopy, x-ray synchrotron and neutron scattering, while facilities include the Graphene Centre and the David Bullett Nanofabrication Laboratory. Research encompasses the structural, transport, magnetic and superconducting properties of condensed matter at the nanoscale, including the interaction between electrons and photons in semiconductor and metallic systems.
    • Photonics: The Centre for Photonics & Photonic Materials (CPPM) leads a major international effort in the field of linear and nonlinear photonics and optoelectronics, particularly in the context of novel and microstructured fibres. It benefits from an outstanding international reputation for its work on the optics of micro-structured materials, in particular the photonic crystal fibre (PCF) which was pioneered in Bath.
    • Theoretical and Computational Physics: Computational and theoretical methods are being spearheaded to bridge the behaviour of complex systems on multiple length and time scales. Many projects benefit from access to Balena, the University’s high performance computing cluster with over 3000 CPU cores. Research spans the condensed matter/optical physics spectrum and embraces the electronic and nanoscale properties of surfaces, photonic crystals, nanomagnetism, charge transport in optoelectronic devices, soft matter and biophysics, and network theory as applied to animal behaviour.

    The Department also hosts or is a partner in 4 research centres:
    Centre for Photonics & Photonic Materials
    Centre for Nanoscience & Nanotechnology
    Centre for Space, Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences
    Centre for Networks & Collective Behaviour

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  • Politics, Languages & International Studies (PoLIS) is one of the largest departments in the University.

    Our students are ambitious and highly committed leaders of the future who are preparing for careers in international politics, business and communication. Many staff are leading scholars in their field and are involved in a wide range of research activities, including collaborative projects at both national and international levels.

    We deliver a range of highly successful courses in politics and languages at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
    French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish languages are offered on our undergraduate courses. Students of the MA Interpreting & Translating may also study Chinese. We have an excellent reputation for teaching and students who study with us will benefit from our supportive learning environment.


    Our research is categorised around three core clusters:

    -Conflict, Security & International Order
    -Governance and Resistance
    -Memory, History & Identity

    The quality of our work has been recognised by the Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) as over two thirds of our publications and 100% of our departmental impact submission was judged to be outstanding (4*) or very considerable (3*).

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  • The Department of Psychology has a distinctive research profile with a cutting edge approach to theory, methodology and application. We came into formal existence in 1997 when the University was re-organised into faculties - prior to that we had a flourishing undergraduate and postgraduate programme within the School of Social Sciences.

    All academic staff in the Department are actively engaged in research and publication. We have a strong tradition of interdisciplinary work and collaborate with other departments in the University of Bath, local and national institutions, and international networks. The Department has doubled in size over the last five years and we now have 30 students undertaking postgraduate research. Twenty academic staff are augmented by various researchers and research fellows.

    Bath is one of the ten best places to study in the United Kingdom. We have an excellent tradition of obtaining funds from the UK's various research councils and charities and we have strong links with various industrial partners and European agencies. Other sources of income reflect our ties with the various education and health authorities, the Home Office and charities.

    Some of the research grants our staff have obtained include:
    £200,000 from Mistra (Swedish Charity) to Prof. Alan Lewis as part of a 21 million SEK (approx £1.5 million) award for “Behavioural Impediments to Sustainable Investment” in collaboration with Evert Carlsson, Anders Biel, Tommy Garling and Catalin Starica (University of Goteborg),
    £3,448,000 from the DTI and the EPSRC to Dr Danae Stanton Fraser for "Pervasive Computing for Mass Participation in Environmental Monitoring". In collaboration with the University of Nottingham, BT, Microsoft, BBC, Blast Theory, ScienceScope,
    £45,000 from the ESRC to Dr Mark Brosnan, Dr Danae Stanton Fraser & John Trickett (Setpoint) for "Factors affecting success upon a science/engineering project (Lego Challenge)",
    £176,000 from the EPSRC) to Dr Mark Brosnan for "Chaos and Pattern: adventures in Science & Engineering",
    £1,191,435 from the EPSRC and £369,245 from industry to Dr Danae Stanton Fraser for the CITYWARE project under the WINES Programme (Wired and Wireless Intelligent Networked Systems). Partners include Computer Science (lead) and Psychology at the University of Bath, Imperial, Bartlett Institute, Vodaphone and IBM.

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  • The Department of Social & Policy Sciences is an internationally-recognised research-intensive Department with a strong focus on policy and practice and a commitment to contribute to social well-being and social justice. We draw together academic staff with backgrounds in Social Policy, Sociology, Social Work and International Development and work closely with colleagues in Psychology, Economics and Health. The Department has approximately 40 Mphil/PhD research students in Social Policy, Sociology, and Social Work.

    Research at the Centre for Development Studies

    Bath has been a leading UK centre for research and postgraduate study in development studies for more than thirty years. It aims to contribute to combating global poverty and injustice by combining primary research into the reality of global poverty and inequality with critical engagement in development practice and policy making. It includes staff in economics, sociology, social anthropology, politics and human geography.
    Four guiding principles are
    • to link theory with practice, and research with action
    • to understand processes as well as outcomes of change
    • to relate local, national and international levels of analysis
    • to promote interdisciplinary research that builds on strong disciplinary foundations

    CDS is concerned with development in an interconnected world, with ongoing research activities in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, South and South East Asia. Themes include: poverty and policy; wellbeing and collective action; markets and microfinance; gender, youth and childhood; religion and identity; conflict and natural resources. We have around 30 MPhil/PhD students in International Development. For a list of current students and projects, see For further information on current projects see

    Research Profiles:

  • The School of Management is one of the UK's leading business schools. Currently ranked 1st for Student Satisfaction in Business Studies (National Student Survey) and 1st for Accounting and Finance (The Times and Sunday Times), we are a leading centre for management research - placed 5th in the UK in the latest RAE.

    We have an excellent reputation for the quality of our research which covers all areas of management. Research is structured around issue-based, multi-disciplinary groups and a number of industry-funded research centres and projects exist within the School.

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Other PhD Programmes

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