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phd in uk

Updated at : July 13, 2024

PhD In UK 

Apart from being famous for its historical landmarks, rich literary heritage, iconic music acts, the British Royal Family, and the global influence of the English language, the United Kingdom (UK) is also recognized for its prestigious universities. These universities are globally renowned for their academic excellence and groundbreaking research. Its education system is known for rigorous standards, innovative research, and a diverse range of programs. This attracts a vibrant international student community for PhD programs in the UK. These reputed universities are also offering a highly flexible doctoral degree which is Known as a Doctorate of Business Administration(DBA) for working professionals.

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PhD in UK Program Overview

The UK provides a highly conducive environment for pursuing a PhD. With its prestigious institutions, it offers world-class research facilities and resources. Universities in the UK are known for their cutting-edge research, academic excellence, and strong global reputations, which can significantly benefit PhD students. The UK’s research environment is collaborative and interdisciplinary which encourages innovative thinking and diverse approaches. Students have access to a wide range of academic and professional networks. This fosters connections with experts, scholars, and industry leaders. The UK’s emphasis on research quality ensures that PhD programs are structured to promote independent, impactful research. Students Also Ask | PhD for Working Professionals!

Due to the highly competitive environment, extensive admission process, costly fee structure, and formidable eligibility requirements most students do not get the opportunity to pursue their doctorate in the UK. Besides this, most working professionals who are eager to pursue their doctorate in the UK face the problem of flexibility. The schedule of an on-campus PhD in the UK is fixed and working professionals must leave their jobs. To encounter these problems, a highly flexible and affordable Online DBA is now offered by some of the most prestigious UK universities.

tuition-fees-for-phd-in-ukOnline PhD/DBA in the UK is a doctoral degree designed specifically for working professionals who have relevant work experience of 3 to 5 years. Online PhD/DBA offered with a duration of just 3 years. The Online doctorate course focuses on advanced research and practical application in business management. Unlike a PhD, which is more theoretical and research-oriented, an Online PhD/DBA emphasizes the practical implementation of business theories and concepts to solve real-world business problems.

Students pursuing an Online PhD/DBA in the UK are prepared to take on high-level consulting roles, executive positions, or academic careers. With highly flexible learning schedules and affordable fee structure, Online PhD/DBA bridges the gap between business theory and practice and fosters innovation and improvement in the business world. Students Also Ask | PhD Distance Education!

Key Highlights of PhD in UK In India

The following are some of the Key highlights of pursuing an online PhD/DBA in the United Kingdom-

  • The Online PhD/DBA in the UK is acknowledged worldwide and regarded as equivalent to an on-campus PhD.
  • Online PhD/DBA offers an opportunity to pursue a doctoral degree from globally recognized universities in the UK.
  • Online PhD/DBA offers cutting-edge research and groundbreaking research facilities in some of the top universities in the UK.
  • Working professionals enrolled in Online PhD/DBA programs will have the flexibility to manage academic learning alongside their professional commitments.
  • Online PhD/DBA in the UK offers numerous opportunities for connections and networking that are highly beneficial for hiring and placements.
  • Online PhD DBA is 3 years doctoral degree. 
  •  Online PhD/DBA program in the UK offers a more cost-effective option for obtaining a doctorate than a conventional on-campus degree. 
  • Online PhD/DBA in the UK does not require proof of language proficiency, unlike On-Campus PhD.
  • There is no requirement for an admission exam for admission in the Online PhD/DBA program as most of the On-campus PhD programs in the UK do.
  • Online PhD/DBA offers flexible learning schedules and classes can be attended through well-developed online learning platforms as per the availability of the student. 
  • No need to apply for a student Visa. 

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PhD in UK Course Subjects/Syllabus

The curriculum design of the Online PhD/DBA in the UK is structured to impart advanced research that has practical application in business management. The program runs for 3 years with flexible learning schedules and incorporates the latest syllabus to produce quality research in the field of business management to meet industry trends. The brief Overview of the Online PhD/DBA syllabus is mentioned below-

Business Management Track

  • Managerial Skills
  • Accounting for Financial Reporting
  • Managerial Economics
  • Cutting Edge Leadership
  • International Business Environment
  • Strategic Management: Integrating the Enterprise

Research Track

  • Introduction to Academic Research
  • Research Design
  • The Landscape of Literature Review
  • Designing a Quantitative Research Methodology
  • Business Statistics
  • Designing a Qualitative Research Methodology

Strategic Management: Integrating the Enterprise

Written Proposal Defense

Doctoral Residency

Reflection and Minutes of the Meeting with the Supervisor

Report Writing

Written Dissertation and Oral Defence

PhD in UK Eligibility & Duration

Candidates who are interested in pursuing their PhD in the UK must meet the following eligibility requirements-

  • Excellent academic qualifications- To apply for PhD program in the UK, students must have completed their master’s degree with an excellent academic record.
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency-  Language proficiency in English is mandatory to apply for PhD program in the UK. Generally, an IELTS with a score of 7 is required for application to PhD programs in the UK.
  • Research Proposal- Students are required to submit a research proposal that specifies their research interests, questions, and approach. The proposal should correspond with the research strengths of the department or the chosen supervisor.
  • Letter of Recommendation (LOR)- A Letter of Recommendation from academic professionals who can endorse the research abilities and suitability of the student for the PhD program is required at the time of application. Generally, students are required to present 2-3 letters of recommendation. 
  • Statement of Purpose(SOP)- Students need to submit a statement outlining their academic background, research interests, career aspirations, and reasons for choosing a specific PhD program and university.
  • Valid Passport- Students also need to have a valid passport from the country of their residence to apply for a student visa after the admission offer.

All the eligibility criteria listed above apply to students applying for the On-Campus PhD program. These eligibility requirements are complex and quite stringent and can only be met by a selected group of students. However, if a student applies for an Online PhD/DBA, they will need to fulfill the simpler requirements listed below.

  • Obtained a Bachelor's degree from a recognized and accredited university, along with 3 to 5 years of relevant professional experience.


  • Obtained a Master's degree from a recognized university.

Duration: The full-time on-campus PhD in the United Kingdom takes 3 to 4 years to complete. This duration may increase or decrease based on the student’s capability, field of study, and arrangement of sufficient funds. Meanwhile, an Online PhD/DBA has a fixed duration of just 3 years and students can easily earn their doctorate from a prestigious university in the UK. 

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Program Fees for PhD in UK

Starting at ₹ 6,776/month

Program Fee: ₹60,000 - ₹2,50,000

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The fee structure for a full-time On-Campus PhD in the UK ranges from GBP 15,000 to GBP 55,000 per year for International students. When converted to Indian currency, it will range from INR 16 Lakhs to 58 Lakhs per year. This fee structure is prohibitively high for international students, making it unaffordable for most of the aspiring students who want to pursue their doctorate in the UK. On top of the highly expensive fee structure, international students also have to bear the high living costs in the United Kingdom.  Students have to arrange sufficient funds to enroll in the PhD program in the UK. 

On the other hand, enrolling in an online PhD/DBA program in the UK entitles students to a much more cost-effective fee structure. The fee structure for an Online PhD/DBA in the UK is INR 7,00,000 (Without Immersion) and INR 9,75,000 (With Immersion) for the entire coursework. The fee structure of an Online PhD/DBA is 3 to 4 times cheaper than the On-campus PhD in the UK. Moreover, students enrolled in Online PhD/DBA in the UK are saved from the additional expenses that a student enrolled in an ON-campus PhD in the UK incurs.

PhD in UK Admission Procedure

The detailed overview of the PhD admission process in the UK that students are required to follow-

  • Identify research interest- The first step in the admission process for a Ph.D. in the UK is to determine the area of study. Students must decide the field in which they are willing to conduct their research. 
  • Select the appropriate University - The United Kingdom is home to numerous universities. Students are required to choose a suitable university that offers a PhD program in their selected area of study. 
  • Find Potential Supervisor- A confirmation from a potential supervisor from the selected university is necessary at the time of application for PhD in the UK. Students have to reach out to the regular and full-time faculty members for their research supervision.
  • Prepare documents as per University Requirements- Students should go through the documents required by the particular UK university for PhD admissions.  After checking the document requirements, students should prepare strong application material that maximizes their chances of selection. Generally, universities in  the UK require the following documents for PhD admissions-
  • Academic qualifications 
  • Research Proposal 
  • Letter of recommendation 
  • Statement of purpose 
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency 
  • Resume 
  • Application form
  • Apply- Complete the application form at the admission portal of the selected university in the UK by submitting all the application materials. 
  • Application review- After the successful submission of the application form, the admission committee of the UK university will review the application material and shortlist the appropriate candidates for interview.
  • Interview- Once the application has been shortlisted, the selected candidate will be called for an interview to defend the research proposal. 
  • Admission offer- Based on the performance of the candidate in the interview, he/she will provided with an admission offer from the university. Candidates must accept the offer and pay the initial course fee to secure a seat in the university.
  • Student Visa Application- After accepting the admission offer, students have to apply for a student visa to attend the university. They should submit their visa application to the UK embassy or consulate.

The admission process mentioned above can be followed by the students who are interested in an On-campus PhD in the UK. However, the admission process seems challenging and complex to complete. Meanwhile, students applying for Online PhD/DBA in the UK can bypass such a lengthy and time-consuming admission process. The admission process for an Online PhD/DBA is much simpler than an On-Campus PhD in the UK. The steps for applying to an Online PhD/DBA in the United Kingdom are as follows: 

  • Step 1- Find an accredited UK university with an Online PhD/DBA program.
  • Step 2- Navigate to the official website of the university you selected.
  • Step 3- Access the admission page on the university’s official site.
  • Step 4- Complete the application form by entering the details requested by the university
  • Step 5- Examine the application details and hit the submit button.
  • Step 6- Wait for the university to process your application and reply.
  • Step 7- After reviewing your application, the university admissions committee will extend an admission offer.
  • Step 8- Accept the admission offer and submit the first installment of the course fee.
  • Step 9 -The admission will be confirmed once the fee payment is successfully made.
  • Step 10- Start the Online PhD/DBA at the online learning portal of the university. 
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Growth of Online Education in India

  • Online education in India is set to grow at a CAGR of 19.9% by 2030.
  • Skill development and employment are the major driving forces for this growth.
  • Higher education is gaining popularity in this online medium.
  • Financially affordability is a significant contributor to this boom.
  • The increased adoption of technologies, i.e., the Internet and smartphones, has increased accessibility significantly.
  • The advantage of flexibility in terms of time and location is the key highlight.
Growth of Online Education in India

Education Loan/EMI Facilities for PhD in UK

For online PhD/DBA programs, UK universities offer several EMI and loan options to lessen the financial burden on students. This allows them to pay their fees in convenient installments. On the other hand, students in on-campus PhD programs in the UK do not have access to these payment options.

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Is PhD in UK Worth it?

Pursuing a PhD in the UK can be highly rewarding for those seeking advanced research opportunities. UK universities offer world-class programs with strong research facilities and expert supervisors. With the cutting-edge research facilities in UK universities, they foster innovation and critical thinking in the students.  PhD can open doors to careers in academia, industry, and government roles globally. However, it requires a significant commitment of time, effort, and more importantly sufficient funds to finance the PhD program in the UK. These requirements act as a drawback for the students to aspire to obtain their doctorate from the UK. Working professionals who want career progression through a doctoral degree in the UK may not be committed to the fixed schedules of PhD in the UK. An Online PhD/DBA from a prestigious university in the UK is the best alternative for these students and working professionals. 

The Online PhD/DBA is an advanced degree designed for working professionals aiming to elevate their careers and contribute to the field of business. This program offers high-level research with practical application. Unlike conventional PhD in the UK which is more research-focused and theoretical, the Online PhD/DBA combines advanced management theory with practical application to address difficult business challenges and strategic decision-making. The program is delivered through a highly advanced Learning Management System(LMS ) which enables working professionals to flexible learning. This supports them in managing their doctoral degree along with their professional commitments effectively. 

Overall, enrolling in an Online PhD/DBA program is a transformative step for a career that offers the tools and knowledge needed to make a substantial impact in the business world. 

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Job Opportunity after PhD in UK

Upon Completion of PhD in the UK, students are open to a wide range of advanced roles in academia, research, and specialized industries. A comprehensive understanding of the specific field enables students to the most sought-after jobs for high-level positions or consultancy roles. Here are some of the popular job roles that students can consider after their PhD in the UK-

Job Profile

Average Salary 


INR 8.25 LPA


INR 10.40 LPA

Senior Writer

INR 5.98 LPA

Product Manager

INR 18.00 LPA 


Top Universities for PhD in the UK

Here is the list of the top and most popular universities in the UK that offer PhD programs-

  • University of Oxford
  • University of Cambridge
  • Imperial College London
  • London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
  • University College London (UCL)
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Glasgow
  • King's College London
  • University of Nottingham

Here is the list of some of the popular universities that offer Online PhD/DBA-

  • Swiss School of Business and Management 
  • Golden Gate University 
  • Rushford Business School 
  • Geneva Business School 

Top Recruiters for PhD in UK

Post completion of the Online PhD/DBA in the UK, a wide range of multinational organizations that are industry leaders in their domain hire students. These organizations value in-depth knowledge and practical expertise in business management and hire students for the highest levels. Some of the top recruiters that hire students after completing their Online PhD/DBA from the UK

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Let's clear up some doubts about PhD in UK

The eligibility requirements for admission to a PhD program in the UK are complex and very broad. A strong academic record in a master’s degree from a recognized university/institution is mandatory. Moreover, UK universities make it compulsory to present proof of language proficiency in the English language at the time of application. Proof of passing English Language proficiency tests such as TOEFL or  IELTS  is necessary to obtain. A research proposal that defines the research objectives, methodology, hypothesis, and expected outcomes of the study is also required at the time of application. Besides this letter of recommendation from 2-3 noted faculty members or academicians a statement of purpose is also required for applying to the PhD programs in the UK. Additionally, a valid passport will also be required for the student visa application after receiving the admission offer.

On the other hand, students applying for the Online MBA/DBA program in the UK do not have to go through these formalities. The eligibility criteria are the bare minimum for this program. Students applying for the Online PhD/DBA program must have a bachelor's degree from a recognized university/institution with relevant work experience of 3 to 5 years. Students with a master’s degree can pursue an Online PhD/DBA program without any requirement of relevant work experience. There is no need for proof of language proficiency and search for a potential supervisor. 

A full-time on-campus PhD program in the United Kingdom typically takes 3 to 4 years to finish. However, the length of the program can vary depending on the student’s abilities, field of study, and availability of funding. However, the Online PhD/DBA program at UK universities lasts for 3 years. This duration is for all the students and does exceed the time limit. 

For international students, the annual fee for a full-time on-campus PhD program in the UK varies between GBP 15,000 and GBP 55,000 which is equal to 16 Lakhs to INR 58 Lakhs. This fee structure is excessively high for international students, rendering it unaffordable for most aspiring doctoral candidates who wish to study in the UK. This financial burden is amplified by the additional expenses such as food, accommodation, and traveling as a result of the high cost of living in the UK. 

Students applying for the Online PhD/DBA in the UK can avail a highly affordable and cost-effective doctorate with the benefit of flexibility in learning. The fee structure for the Online PhD/DBA program is INR 7,00,000 (Without Immersion) and INR 9,75,000 (With Immersion). Additionally, students can save on other expenses such as food, accommodation, and traveling. 

If you are someone who is looking for an On-Campus PhD in the UK then you have to leave your job to join the university. The On-Campus PhD in the UK has a fixed schedule and requires relocation of the students. On the other hand, if you are someone who is looking to apply for an Online PhD/DBA program can continue your current job. The program offers enough flexibility to manage professional commitments and academic learning of a doctoral degree. 

If you are applying for an On-campus PhD in the United Kingdom then proof of language proficiency is a must to obtain. Generally, proof of qualifying for TOEFL or IELTS is required by UK universities for PhD admissions. However, there is no need for proof of language proficiency if you are applying for the Online PhD/DBA in the UK.

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