Postgraduate Research

Research Degrees at Lincoln

A research degree offers a tailored, supervised approach to study and is especially suited to students wanting to focus on a specific area of interest and make an original contribution to knowledge. As well as gaining an additional qualification, a research degree can help you to strengthen your critical and analytical skills, boost your confidence, and give you the opportunity to become an expert in your field.

At Lincoln, we offer several different types of degrees, and which programme is right for you will depend on a number of factors, including your current stage of study and your career aspirations.

Master's by Research

MA/MSc by Research are Master’s-level courses that take up to 16 months full-time and 32 months part-time to complete and don’t usually include lectures or seminars. They can provide a good foundation for those wanting to progress to an MPhil or PhD.


This can be a standalone qualification or form part of a PhD and takes 18 months to 32 months full-time to complete. It comprises a substantial piece of research that demonstrates a critical understanding of an aspect of an academic discipline.


A PhD is the highest level of qualification and usually takes between three and four years full-time to complete, or up to eight years part-time. It culminates in a thesis, which makes an original contribution to knowledge in an academic discipline.

How You Are Assessed

For a Master's by Research, you will need to produce a thesis of around 25,000 words, for an MPhil your thesis will be around 40,000 words, while at PhD level it will be 80,000 words.

For an MPhil and PhD, you will normally need to defend your thesis in an oral examination (viva voce), where you are expected to demonstrate an expert understanding of the subject, and to show how your research findings contribute to knowledge or build on existing understandings of the subject. 

Explore Our Courses

Our course pages provide the most detailed information about our research degrees, including start dates, entry requirements, fees, programme structure, duration, assessments, and other subject-specific elements such as research facilities and opportunities for collaboration.

Explore Our Courses
A student sat reading in the library

Claudio Coppola, PhD in Robotics

Applied Scientist at Amazon

Claudio currently works as an Applied Scientist at Amazon, supporting the Transportation Services department in making their product more efficient through machine learning models.

I was really interested in the PhD project I started at Lincoln, and built most of my technical knowledge while at University. I have published my work in several journals and have presented at international conferences and am now enjoying solving problems and working on exciting projects in my current role. I would encourage everyone to develop their passions. It pays off in the end.

An abstract image of multi-coloured lights

Research at Lincoln

Postgraduate students are an integral part of our vibrant research community and are able to learn from, and work alongside, leading academics, many of whom are working on groundbreaking studies that are addressing major global challenges.