Integrated PhDs

Study both a Masters and a PhD

This image is of a male electronic engineering research student in a lab doing some project work.

Become a game-changing researcher

At Essex we offer a range of Integrated PhDs. These are postgraduate courses which enable you to spend a year studying at Masters level before beginning a PhD where you will focus on a specific area of research.


We offer a wide range of Integrated PhDs across the social sciences, and science and health. Read on to learn more about what Integrated PhDs are and what we can offer you. 

Why an Integrated PhD?
  • Study Masters-level training and conduct your own research - be awarded a PhD at the end of the course.
  • Gain the skills you need in the first Masters-level year in order to undertake research study.
  • Receive guidance, supervision and expert teaching from world-class academics.

What is an Integrated PhD?

An Integrated PhD provides a route into research study if you do not have a Masters degree, or have very little research training. It enables you to spend your first year completing Masters-level training, followed by a full-time PhD. The PhD element of the course will allow you to study your chosen subject in depth, whilst being supervised by one or more members of our academic staff.

How is an Integrated PhD different from a standard PhD?

Integrated PhDs are different from standard PhDs in a few ways.

  • An Integrated PhD combines both taught study (in your Masters year) as well as independent research (during the PhD element of the course).
  • An Integrated PhD should take longer to complete (because it includes the Masters year).
  • Integrated PhDs are designed for students who have not previously completed a Masters course but are particularly interested in pursuing research study.

Which departments offer Integrated PhDs?

The following Departments all offer Integrated PhDs.

Faculty of Social Sciences

Faculty of Science and Health

Our Faculty of Humanities does not currently offer any Integrated PhDs, but does still offer a wide range of Masters and PhD courses.

Discover our Integrated PhDs below.

How long does an Integrated PhD take to complete?

An Integrated PhD can take anywhere from 4-8 years to complete, depending on your study mode. The initial Masters year can only be studied full-time, which will take you a year to complete. When you begin the PhD element of the course, this will take you a further 3-4 years studying full-time, or 6-7 years studying part-time.

Where will I be based?

All of our Integrated PhDs are taught and supervised from our Colchester Campus, except for three Essex Business School courses, which are based at our Southend Campus. These are:

  • Integrated PhD Business Administration
  • Integrated PhD Management Studies
  • Integrated PhD Entrepreneurship

How will I be assessed?

During your PhD element of the course, you will undertake a large, independent research project and you will be examined by viva. Short for 'viva voce', the viva is an oral examination in which examiners (usually two) pose questions to the candidate about their thesis. The assessment of your Masters year will depend on the specific course you are studying, but this is usually a combination of coursework, a dissertation and examinations.

What qualification will I achieve?

Upon successful completion of the entire course, you will gain a PhD.

Is there any funding available?

We have a wide range of funding sources available for postgraduate students - from loans and discounts to bursaries and scholarships. Visit our fees and funding page to learn more about the different options that may be applicable to you.

I am an international student. Is there anything extra I need to know?

If you require a student visa to study in the UK, then we will issue a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) to you when you have met the requirements for this. The CAS will allow you to make a single visa application for a student visa which will cover the full duration of the Integrated PhD course.

Two researchers talking over a laptop
Find a supervisor

If you have a good idea about what the focus of your research will be, you'll need to find a suitable supervisor at Essex. Search for a research area or subject first and then make contact with a supervisor to discuss your ideas before you apply.

Find a supervisor