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Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing
Kingston University
Penrhyn Road
Kingston upon Thames
Surrey KT1 2EE

Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 9000

Research Degrees in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing

The Faculty offers three research degrees: MSc by Research, MPhil and PhD. These are potentially available in every School and subject area. Research students are a key and valued part of the activities of the Faculty: they help to build a strong research reputation, are vital members of the Research Centres of Excellence, assist in some of the labs, and occasionally help with teaching undergraduate students.

As a research student, you will be part of an ambitious Faculty that offers fantastic opportunities for inter-disciplinary research and experience, a great research student community, world-class facilities, and the opportunity to develop contacts with external organisations in close collaboration with the Faculty. You will also be able to take part in a broad programme of research training, present your work at conferences and poster days, and attend workshops, seminar series, lectures from external speakers, and other activities organised by the Faculty and the Research Centres.

All research degrees are programmes of independent study at the end of which you are expected to produce a dissertation or thesis and to be able to defend this at a viva voce (oral) examination. The exact nature of this research will vary with the subject studied. Some may involve extensive fieldwork or laboratory testing, whilst others may be more theory-based.

The research areas covered by the Faculty include environmental change, geological and crustal processes, fire and explosion studies, imaging research - including visual surveillance, molecular electronics and photonics, construction materials and sustainable technology, mobile information and network technologies, biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences and vision research.

Recent successfully defended dissertations have been on topics as wide-ranging as:

  • the synthesis and evaluation of a fluorescent/colorimetric marker for the rapid detection of Staphylococcus aureus;
  • Lithological, fluid and structural controls of gold mineralisation at Massawa, Eastern Senegal;
  • Computer Aided Detection and Segmentation of Intracranial Aneurysms in CT Angiography.

Currently there are more than 240 research students across the Faculty, many of whom have successfully secured studentships, industry sponsorship or University and Faculty funding. New opportunities for funding and study are advertised on the current research opportunities page.


The length of time it takes to complete a research degree varies depending on the mode of attendance:

  • MSc by Research Full-time - 1 year
  • MSc by Research Part-time - 2 years
  • MPhil Full-time - 2 years (with optional additional 1 year writing up)
  • MPhil Part-time - 4 years (with optional additional 1 year writing up)
  • PhD Full-time - 3 years (with optional additional 1 year writing up)
  • PhD Part-time - 6 years (with optional additional 1 year writing up)
  • PhD by Publication/Portfolio

Entry Requirements

To apply for all of our research degrees you should have a first or upper second class honours degree in a relevant area. For consideration for a PhD, a Master's degree and some research experience would be beneficial.

If you are not from an English speaking country, or have not studied at an English university before, you will need to show proof of IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent). Please visit the language requirements page for further information.

For further information on all the documentation needed to consider your application please see


We take great care to ensure that you're well supported with appropriately experienced, specialist supervisors. Your supervisory team will consist of:

  • First Supervisor (FS) - who has subject expertise relevant to your research project, and who will be your principal tutor over the course of your studies. You will be expected to meet with your First Supervisor at regular intervals. At each tutorial you should agree on a goal for you to meet, or a task to complete, by the time of the next supervision meeting. This will measure your progress through the project step by step.
  • Second supervisor - who will support your First Supervisor by providing additional advice and expertise, perhaps from a different perspective or methodology. Whilst it's important that these two work as a team, it is your responsibility to acknowledge and address any differences of perspective in shaping your own research plans
  • Third supervisor - if your project is inter-disciplinary, or needs further specialist support, you may have a third supervisor who may be external to Kingston University.

You can investigate potential supervisors in our research interests directory.


For more information about fees please see the research fees page. Additional bench fees may be charged and this will be agreed at interview.

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