Why study this course?

A PhD is conducted purely by research. Each PhD is the unique development of your individual research project, performed under the guidance of at least two supervisory members of staff with expertise in the research area.

You can pursue a PhD in any area of research within the University where suitable expertise is available to support the proposed project. Cross-disciplinary projects are welcome. The University provides a supportive framework for research and each student’s work is carefully overseen and progress monitored. It is also possible to study a PhD via distance learning at London Met.

More about this course

Completing a PhD means you'll be making an original contribution to knowledge. It requires an excellent overview of existing research in your field, plus analytical skills to assess research claims. You'll also need to be a self-motivator and be able to dedicate considerable time to completing a PhD. 

Although technically there is no taught component to this degree, you will receive research training and have access to any master's level modules that may be useful to your research topic. Alongside your research, you can also study for a PG Cert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.

Our research community is lively and diverse. You'll be joining us at an exciting time where the University is investing into research. As part of our Graduate School, you'll be able to attend frequent events to enhance your personal development and help with preparation for life after your PhD. On top of this, you'll benefit from conferences, lecture series and research seminar series and be encouraged to present at our annual Student-Staff Research Conference.

Your supervisors will support your progress, which will be monitored by your academic School. As part of your PhD, you'll be encouraged to attend conferences, write papers and publish while undertaking your research.

London Met has strong links with various industries, businesses, hospital trusts, the legal profession, as well as governmental and non-governmental organisations, plus local stakeholders in London. These connections and networking opportunities may impact your research and career.

Our specialist research areas include: The Centre for Creative Arts, Cultures and Engagement; The Cyber Security Research Centre; The Cellular Molecular and Immunology Research Centre; The Centre for Primary Health and Social Care; The Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit and The Global Diversities and Inequalities Research Centre, to name a few.

Our staff undertake research and offer supervision in a range of areas, including:

  • 3D design
  • applied health research, health studies (interdisciplinary perspective), public health and nutrition
  • architectural history/culture, design, ecologies and the civic realm
  • cellular and molecular biosciences
  • communications technology
  • computer science
  • criminology
  • cyber security
  • data science
  • design history, global fashion studies, visual and material culture
  • education with a commitment to social justice
  • electronic engineering
  • finance, economics, social marketing
  • health psychology
  • human resource management
  • intelligent systems
  • jewellery, textile and creative practice
  • loose-fit construction, community-led design, architect as craftsperson
  • maritime law and company law
  • media and communications
  • medicinal chemistry and drug delivery
  • molecular sciences
  • operations management
  • politics and international relations
  • public/visual art, performance and practice-based/led research
  • robotics
  • sociology
  • translation studies
  • urban planning, design and participation
  • violence against women and children and the emergence of trafficking
  • visual communication
  • women’s studies

For a full list of our research centres, visit the research section of our website.


To obtain a PhD, you're expected to identify a research gap in your chosen subject area and make an original contribution to knowledge.

During the course of the research, your work is assessed annually by a Research Student Progress Group. This ensures that good progress is being made and that adequate guidance is available.

The degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is awarded by the University after the successful presentation of a thesis based on an original piece of research, completed under the supervision of University staff, and the successful defence of the thesis at an oral examination.

Fees and key information

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Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • a good honours degree from a UK university or equivalent (first or upper-second class), although applicants will usually tend to have obtained a master's degree before entry

Candidates with other qualifications are considered on their merits.

As a part of the application process, you are required to submit a research proposal outlining how you intend to investigate your topic of interest. In the proposal, you will need to clearly state your research questions, aims and objectives, as well as your review of the literature on the topic and the corresponding research design. The document needs to specify what your original contribution to the knowledge will be. You can find more information about the structure and content of the research proposal. Please note that your application cannot be processed without the proposal and you will be able to upload it, once you click 'Apply now' and start the application process.

The University only offers supervision to candidates if there is adequate available supervisory expertise in the area of the research project.

Accreditation of Prior Learning

Any university-level qualifications or relevant experience you gain prior to starting university could count towards your course at London Met. Find out more about applying for Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL).

English language requirements

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. This course requires you to meet our standard requirements.

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

Modular structure

We have PhD students in all our Schools: the School of Art, Architecture and Design; Guildhall School of Business and Law; the School of Computing and Digital Media, the School of Human Sciences, the School of Social Professions and the School of Social Sciences.

Each PhD project is unique, and yours will be fine-tuned in consultation with the two supervisors dedicated to your research. Recent research areas include:

  • Gujarati women in London learning English
  • Putting the Syrian “Spring” in context
  • Occupational stress in Malta
  • Counter-terrorism in the UK
  • The Left in West Germany
  • The experiences of counselling trainees
  • Childhood malnutrition in Khartoum
  • Depression among black and ethnic minority men
  • Smartphones and machine learning
  • Managers and self-directed learning
  • Leadership development in the hotel industry

This is in addition to many others across all schools and disciplines.

PhD study is self-directed. Students are allocated a supervisory team composed of a lead supervisor and at least one other supervisor. These are allocated on the basis of the candidate's application, research topic and interview. We only offer supervision to candidates when we have adequate available supervisory expertise.

What our students say

"The supervisory team was excellent - they had first rate knowledge and research expertise, were highly supportive and always willing to help. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at London Met and would recommend studying here for a doctorate."

Dr Deborah Butcher

Where this course can take you

Many people with an PhD become lecturers, teachers or researchers, but these are by no means the only destinations.

Depending on your discipline, you may go into industry (this is frequently the case for graduates in biological or computer science), the City (business and law graduates), public sector management and/or policy-making (social science and business graduates), international governmental organisations (social science and business graduates), the social professions or non-governmental organisations.

Many of our graduates are mid-career and use their degree for career enhancement in areas such as social services, education, counselling, health and social care, or diplomacy.

Distance learning

There is a distance learning option available. 

PhD by prior publication/output

The University will award the degrees of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) to registered students who successfully complete approved programmes. All proposed research programmes will be considered for research degree registration on their academic merits.

A PhD by prior output allows students who don't have traditional qualifications but have produced research and developed their knowledge to a doctoral level to gain academic recognition.

The publications of the student must be accessible to scholars or other interested persons. The work submitted must have been subjected to peer review by the relevant academic community and also provide evidence of an independent, original and significant contribution to knowledge and critical judgement. All work should have been published in the last 10 years and be traceable in publicly available databases, catalogues etc.

Programmes of research may be proposed in any field of study, as long as the proposed programme is capable of leading to scholarly research. The written thesis may be supplemented by material other than written form, if special provision has been made and agreed.

What is the difference between the MPhil and PhD?

Research students at London Met can work towards a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). To obtain a PhD you’re expected to investigate a topic and make an original contribution to knowledge. At MPhil level, your research should represent an extension of existing knowledge, although the demands of originality and sustained enquiry are less than those required for a PhD.

Additional costs

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips, fieldwork, specialist conferences or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

How to apply

Use the apply button to begin your application.

If you require a Student visa and wish to study a postgraduate course on a part-time basis, please read our how to apply information for international students to ensure you have all the details you need about the application process.

When to apply

September entry:

  • Application deadline: 1 July (international applicants)
  • Application deadline: 1 August (home applicants)

January entry:

  • Application deadline: 1 November (international applicants)
  • Application deadline: 1 December (home applicants)
To find out when teaching for this degree will begin, as well as welcome week and any induction activities, view our academic term dates.

Our research centres