Postgraduate Research Opportunities
The Department of Mechanical Engineering is internationally renowned for high quality research. The expertise of our staff covers a wide range of specialist areas and our mission is to carry out research in fundamental science through to practical industrial applications. The Department was awarded an outstanding rating (30% 4*, 45% 3*, 20% 2*, 5% 1*) in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. All our academic research staff were submitted to the assessment.
Much of the research undertaken by the Department of Mechanical Engineering, is carried out by our postgraduate students as part of their PhD programmes. The Department's current postgraduate research students are working on a wide range of projects, and they are vital to our success in research. Our students come from both the UK and overseas and typically have a first degree in engineering, or a related subject such as physics or mathematics.
Each student is allocated an appropriate research supervisor, who will manage the research programme and give help and advice on a regular basis. Initially, students are admitted onto a MPhil degree and after one year their work is assessed, in most cases allowing the student to upgrade to a PhD.
It normally takes three years of full-time study to complete a PhD, although students can choose to study on a part-time basis. Joint PhD study with another institution is also possible.
Not only do our students achieve a high level of expertise in their chosen field, but they also gain a wide range of generic skills, from modelling techniques and advanced software skills, through to project management and entrepreneurial skills. During that time students develop their own research profiles, attend conferences and publish research papers. Examination is by submission of a thesis and an oral viva.
Doctoral Development Programme (DDP)
While students undertake their PhD studies they also carry out a programme of personal development through the Doctoral Development Programme (DDP). The DDP is tailored to a student's individual needs and helps them progress through their research studies by identifying existing skills and providing opportunities to acquire new skills and experience.
As part of the DDP, each student is given a training plan, reflecting four key areas:
- Generic skills needed to become a high-level professional
- Subject-specific advanced training
- Subject-specific craft skills
- Broad scholarship and wider engagement within the full community of scholars (e.g. networking, dissemination of knowledge, conferences, demonstrating impact and public value of research)
More information about the Doctoral Development Programme is available from the University's Research and Innovation website: