Skip to main content


The School of Engineering is committed to providing the best possible environment for our research students including excellent facilities, teaching staff who are internationally recognised, and a supportive environment for our students.

We are internationally renowned for our research and are a friendly supportive School with a diverse range of students from across the world. We pride ourselves on our multidisciplinary approach to research and organise our research into five priority research areas:

  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Civil infrastructure
  • Compound semiconductors and applications
  • Engineering for health
  • Sustainable energy.

We offer a 3 year PhD programme and a 1 year MPhil degree programme.

Programme aims

  • Develop research skills through a programme of in-depth study.
  • Develop expertise in appropriate methods of research and enquiry.
  • Produce high quality research outputs which demonstrate critical judgement.
  • Produce a thesis (PhD thesis approx. 80,000 words).

Distinctive features

  • We have a world renowned reputation for research and the impact of that research (REF 2014).
  • Teaching opportunities – we offer a range of teaching and demonstrating opportunities across our undergraduate teaching programme.
  • We have strong links with other institutions and research organisations as well as industry and business.
  • A wide range of funded studentships are available.
  • Our research income currently exceeds £10 million from public and private sectors and supports innovative research in traditional and emerging areas.
  • State-of-the-art experimental and computational facilities and modern laboratories.

Key facts

Mode of study Full-time, part-time
Qualification PhD, MPhil
Full-time duration PhD 3 years; MPhil 1 year
Part-time duration PhD 5-7 years; MPhil 2-5 years
Start dates January, April, July, October
Application deadline(s) Applications to self-funded PhD projects will be considered on an ongoing basis.

Doctoral students are supervised by at least two qualified, experience academic staff. The supervisory team guide and advise through regular meetings and support the students through the University’s academic processes and procedures. Research students are expected to undertake approved research training during their studies.

PhD programme

The general structure of the standard three year PhD programme is as follows:

  • Year One: Research methods training and literature review.
  • Year Two: Experimental work/Data collection/fieldwork.
  • Year Three: Data analysis and writing-up.

Students are expected to produce an extended piece of written work each year to satisfy the University’s progress review monitoring procedures. This will usually take the form of a draft chapter from your thesis.

As well as the supervisors, doctoral students are also allocated a ‘Progress Reviewer’ who will independently assess and give constructive feedback each year on the work submitted for review.

Research training

Research training is a strong feature of all of our research degree programmes. All students are required to participate in our supporting studies programme and to complete a skills development and training audit to agree a Personal Development Plan.

This, in addition to any taught components of your scheme, helps to ensure that you have the appropriate skills to complete a piece of high quality research, and to develop your professional and personal skills for application in your chosen career.

The research undertaken in the School is wide ranging and interdisciplinary. Our research covers the main engineering disciplines i.e. civil and structural engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical and electronic engineering, and medical engineering.

We are conducting research and advancing knowledge across a wide range of disciplines. Researchers at Cardiff are leading cutting-edge projects that have numerous practical applications. We work closely with industrial partners and other organisations to ensure that our research contributes to the needs of industry, business, economic development, and the community, both at home and abroad.

Research projects

We are inviting applications to a number of self-funded PhD projects in various fields of study. These projects are open to UK/EU and overseas students.

Prospective applicants are also welcome to contact any member of academic staff working in their area of interest to discuss ideas for their own proposed research project.

Research areas

To create and sustain a dynamic research culture, research in the School is organised into the five priority research areas:

These themes reflect the role that engineering plays in finding solutions to contemporary and future environmental, social, health and economic challenges.

UK government postgraduate doctoral loans

Candidates for the Professional Doctorate programme may be eligible to apply for a UK government postgraduate doctoral loan.

Find out more about UK government postgraduate doctoral loans


There are a wide range of PhD studentships available each year and we are part of the EPSRC Water Informatics Centre for Doctoral Training which provides research studentships.

We provide financial support to every PhD student to enable you to attend training activities, and to purchase basic equipment needed for your research.

See our latest PhD studentships and projects and find out more about other funding opportunities.

Tuition fees

Students from the UK

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from the rest of the world (international)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Suitable for graduates in engineering and related subject areas such as physics, mathematics, earth sciences and computer science.

English language requirements

IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with 5.5 in all subskills, or equivalent. Please see our English Language Requirements guidance for more details.


Administrative contact(s)

Postgraduate Research Admissions, School of Engineering


Apply now
See the range of PhD studentships and projects currently available.

Related courses

Related subjects