Skip to main content
Apply Now – Bath Spa University

Submit your postgraduate application

It's time to jump in and explore the possibilities. Apply now for one of our research degrees.

We offer two enrolment dates per year, on 1 March and 1 October.

Application deadlines

  • March start: 8 January 2024
  • October start: 12 August 2024 (all courses except PhD Creative Writing, which closes on 31 May 2024)

Start your application

Student-led research degrees University-led research degrees
PhD EdD Professional Doctorate in Education
MPhil PhD Creative Writing
PhD by Practice PhD Creative Writing (Low Residency)
PhD by Publication PhD Story Foundry (Distance Learning)
  PhD Story Foundry (Low Residency)

Apply now


The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is awarded to candidates who have critically investigated and evaluated an approved topic and by doing so have made an independent and original contribution to knowledge.

It will contain a major research, constructive or reflective component, which in sum, or part, is worthy of publication. They also need to demonstrate an understanding of research methods appropriate to the chosen field.

The thesis produced will normally be between 40,000 and 80,000 words, depending on subject area and research topic. This falls within the description for degrees awarded at Level 8 and is drawn directly from the 2008 QAA framework document.


The degree of Master of Philosophy is awarded to those candidates who have engaged in critical investigation and evaluation of an approved topic and have demonstrated an understanding of research methods appropriate to the chosen field through the submission of a thesis.

The thesis will be no more than 40,000 words (though final length can vary depending on the subject - i.e. 20,000 words for creative practice research). This falls within the description for degrees awarded at Level 7 and is drawn directly from the 2008 QAA Framework document.

PhD (Low Residency)

The Low-Residency PhD courses are structured programmes limited to specific subjects and open only to international students.

Please note that this has specific deadlines for application, and it is the responsibility of the applicant to be aware of and adhere to these.

PhD by Publication

The PhD by Publication is no less rigorous than the traditional route. No prior connection with the University is required, but the candidate must be an active researcher who has developed their skills to doctoral level.

They must demonstrate, through a critical commentary and either an extensive portfolio of creative work or publications, an independent and original contribution to knowledge. Research outputs may have been produced inside or outside academia, but must be available in the public domain.

Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD)

Designed to meet the needs and career aspirations of experienced professionals working in education, training, and professional development, our Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD) focuses on cutting-edge research methodologies to extend your knowledge and understanding of education practice.

Please note that this programme recruits every two years. Applications for October 2025 will open from September 2024 and will have a deadline of 31 May 2025. 

For more information, and a list of specific course requirements please visit the course page.

PhD by Publication (CLEPP - The Centre for Leadership, Ethics and Professional Practice)

Our innovative PhD by publication offers an interdisciplinary approach to practice-based research specifically in themes of leadership, ethics and professional practice.

This programme is aimed at senior leaders who have made a significant contribution to organisational policy, practice or knowledge. It will allow students to locate their knowledge, practice and understanding in a theoretical and cultural context and in doing so, influence theory and support the principle of evidence-based practice.


As a postgraduate research student, you'll be part of the CLEPP community here at Bath Spa. This will provide a supportive, stimulating and creative inter-disciplinary setting for your research, where you can benefit from our collective expertise and institutional resources. Outside of the Centre's support, we will also offer additional training through a compulsory three-day module on where ‘Professional practice meets academia’.

How to apply

Our programme is delivered part-time over 12 months. Acceptance to the programme is through a portfolio of evidence; this portfolio is central to the 20,000 word reflective thesis, in which the student will be supported by two supervisors in preparation for their viva-voce.

Please note that, before any application to this programme is initiated, it is expected that a conversation with a member of the Centre for Leadership, Ethics and Professional Practice should take place to discuss suitability, funding options and more. As such, please email where you'll be directed to an appropriate academic advisor.

Entry requirements and supporting documentation

  • Sample of previously written work (i.e. dissertation extract or subject related work project if nothing academic can be provided
  • Where possible, a copy of the highest degree certificate or transcript to be provided. Other alternatives could be:
    • Letter from employer (HR or similar) confirming current role, status, length of service, level/standard of work, etc
    • Details provided of last university studied at
  • Two referees should be provided and where possible one of these should be academic. Other alternatives could be:
    • Letter from employer (applicant's line manager or equivalent)
    • Character reference or letter from a previous employer
    • Commanding Officer letter/reference

Get in touch

For additional details and how to apply, you can email the team at

PhD Story Foundry

These PhDs are hosted by leading industry experts within Bath Spa University’s Research Centre for Transcultural Creativity and Education (TRACE). Since 2016, Professor Bambo Soyinka and the TRACE team have supported students from diverse backgrounds to complete innovative PhDs across borders. Our alumni and current students include published novelists, Hollywood scriptwriters, film festival directors, spoken word artists and broadcasters.

Find out more and apply on the course pages:

Edit section | Website feedback to