Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a PhD take to study? (Part time and Full time)

Full time PhD study takes a minimum of three years and maximum of 4 years. On a part time basis it takes 4 years minimum to 6 years maximum to complete.

Do you offer distance learning?

Lancaster does not offer distance learning. We do however offer PhD part time away where a student can study away but will need to visit 3-4 times a year for around 2 weeks at a time. This mode of study must be agreed upon between applicant and supervisor from the very beginning. If the PhD is progressing well then there is the flexibility for the supervisor to reduce the number of visits, or if the studies are unsatisfactory- increase visits where necessary.

When can I start my PhD studies?

Research students may be admitted at any time of the year, on the 1st of the month for fee purposes. However, the normal month for admission of full-time students is October and it is generally better to adhere to this as you can then attend the University's Introduction Week and its events.

How long will it take for a decision to be made on my application?

This depends entirely on each individual application. Your application needs to be assessed by the PhD Admissions Tutor and could then be passed to several potential academic supervisors before a decision is made. Please note the application will not be passed onto the School until all supporting documentation has been submitted, if there is a reason why you cannot submit a piece of evidence please contact Faculty Admissions and they can see whether it will be possible to put it through without. Decision dates provided by the Faculty Admissions office are an estimate and many cases will take longer to reach a decision on.

Will I be interviewed for a place?

All of our PhD applicants are interviewed, the majority via phone or Skype unless you are local or close enough to come visit.

Is there a deadline for PhD applications? and is there a fee for applying?

There is no deadline for PhD applications as applicants can start all year around. With certain funded positions there will be application deadlines, so please read carefully to avoid missing these. You will not be charged for applying to Lancaster.

How long do I have to accept my offer?

Faculty Admissions will normally provide you with a date to respond by. If you do not respond by this date and are still interested then your application will need to be re-activated. Therefore it is wise to accept the offer to keep your record active. If for some reason you are unable to join us for your studies then please let us know, there will be no penalty fee for accepting if you cannot attend Lancaster.

Can I speak to any past graduates regarding their time at Lancaster?

Definitely, please contact the PhD Admissions Secretary who will find an appropriate student/graduate to respond.

Do you hold Postgraduate Open Days?

There are University wide Postgraduate Open Days held once each year. If you have missed the date then feel free to contact us and we can arrange a convenient time for you to visit. There are also campus tour dates listed on the University site.

Do I have to pay all my tuition fees at once e.g. at registration?

No, you can pay in three instalments each year. The first is in October, then January and April.

Can I defer my offer if necessary?

Yes if your supervisor issues their consent with this. We allow a maximum of two deferrals before you will need to re-apply.

Can I work during my PhD studies?

Information on working during your studies can be found here. Generally you can work up to 20 hours per week as long as your studies are not affected.