Frequently Asked Questions

Thinking of taking the next step in your career and want to work towards a PhD in Engineering? Want to find out more about our development programme? We've provided the guide below to help answer some of the questions you may have.

FAQsIs it the right choice for me?

Did you enjoy writing your dissertation and do you have the desire to find out more about a specific topic. Do you want to change the world? If the answer is 'yes' then read on...

A PhD generally takes three years to complete (or four years for a place at one of our CDTs). It requires commitment, persistence and patience to make it happen. You'll also need to be able to work independently, be able to self-teach, have good problem-solving skills and be able to stay motivated.

Why choose Engineering at the University of Sheffield?

We are one of the biggest and best engineering faculties in the UK. We have an excellent reputation with all our research being recognised internationally, a fifth of which has been classed as world-leading (RAE 2008). 

We have dedicated teaching spaces, workrooms, computing facilities and specialist laboratories to support your research. Our strong links with industry mean that in many research areas you could also directly benefit from industry input.

We'll also support you with a range of specialist services and training, helping you to contribute to the development of new knowledge and make an impact on the future.

What is the role of the EGS?

Visit the about us page to find out about the aims of the EGS.

How long will it take?

Normally a PhD is 36 months, focusing on one specific theme. 

Four-year programmes are also available such as a PhD integrated with a MSc. We also have places available within our Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs). Typically a place at a CDT will include a common taught core in the first year and a specific research topic for the final three years. 

What are CDTs?

Our EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training and Industrial Doctoral Centres offer four-year, cohort-based training and research opportunities, focused on major engineering challenges. Visit our pages here for further information.

How do I find the right supervisor/research group

The first step is to find the right topic and the right supervisor for your research. Once you think you have identified the right person, we encourage you to contact them directly by e-mail before you make a formal application. Click here to find out more or search for a supervisor here.

You can also visit the individual department pages for further information - visit our department page for links and an overview of our research.

What is the Doctoral Development Programme?

The Doctoral Development Programme (DDP) is a training plan for all doctoral researchers (PGR students); it is not optional. However, you can tailor it to match your own needs and as a research student at the University of Sheffield you are expected to engage with the DDP.  The programme is flexible to suit your own needs and will help you acquire both skills to make you a successful researcher and those that could help to increase you employability. All the training and resources on offer are free and well worth taking advantage of! To find out more visit our DDP page.

Why is the Professional Behaviour and Ethical Conduct module compulsory? 

It is essential that you understand, and can apply ethical judgement and know where to find guidance. Professionalism and the ability to assess the outcome of your actions are an important part of being a researcher which is why we provide this specialist training. We've created a page of information about the module here: Professional Behaviour and Ethical Conduct

How do I find out about scholarships and funding?

Visit our applications and funding page for further information.

How do I find out more about applications and entry requirements?

Visit our applications and funding page for further information.

Where can I find help on writing my research proposal?

Visit our page which provides guidance on preparing a research proposal.

Where can I find information about accommodation for PGR students?

Visit the University's webpage which covers accommodation available to PGR students.

Can't find the answer you are looking for? Please use the email address below to get in touch. 

Or you could try Ask Sheffield - the university's FAQ database which has the answer to over 1500 questions!