PhD by Publication

The PhD by Publication is an accelerated, part-time PhD award intended for those who have carried out extensive research over a significant period of time and have a number of publications arising from this work which have already been published in high-quality journals.

This should not be confused with the standard PhD (3-4 years full-time).

If you have any questions about the PhD by Publication degree which are not answered on this page, please email us or call us.

What should the word length of the submitted publications be?


Where written publications are being submitted as evidence in the application for admission to the PhD by Publication, the total word length of publications when combined with the critical analysis (15,000 words) should be broadly comparable to that of a submission for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, which is typically between 80,000 and 100,000 words. The quality of the journals within which publications have been published will be assessed as part of the application procedure.


Can only standard academic publications be considered?


As well as standard academic or creative publications, for Schools in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, ‘published work’ may include performance, exhibition, installation, media of various kinds as defined in the University’s Award Regulations, provided that it is made available in an appropriate digital or other recorded format.


How is the PhD by Publication assessed?


As well as submitting the published work, candidates for the PhD by Publication need to prepare a critical analysis of around 15,000 words and to undertake an oral examination (viva) on the critical analysis and the published work. The University provides supervisory support for this.

Can it be done in every subject?


UEA currently offer the PhD by Publication within all Schools and Institutes, except for the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing.

How long does it take?


The period of study is six months part-time (0.5FTE), extendable at the discretion of the School or Institute to a maximum of twelve months part-time study.

Who is the PhD by Publication suitable for?


The PhD by Publication may be appropriate for you if:

  • You have been carrying out research over a long period of time (at least five to ten years)

  • This work is already published in high-quality journals (or equivalent as above), forms a coherent programme of research and represents a significant contribution to understanding

  • You want to seek academic recognition for this work by a doctoral award.

What are the academic requirements of the programme?


The minimum University academic requirement for a PhD by Publication degree is the same as that required for a PhD: you need the equivalent of a 2:1 in a UK Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree in a relevant field of study. However, depending on which School you are studying in, some may set a higher or more specific entry requirement. If English is not your first language, you may also be asked to provide evidence of proficiency in English language. This will be listed as a condition on your offer letter.


What should I do if I want to apply?


To apply for a PhD by Publication degree, we advise that you take a look at the research areas UEA offers and then contact at least one potential academic supervisor you would be interested in working with, stating your interest. At this point it would be a good idea to read up on your potential supervisor’s research papers that are related to your interests. You will then be able to fill in an application form which needs to contain your formal research proposal. Take a look at our guidance on how to write a research degree proposal.