Researchers on the PhD programme are registered for either 4 years (full-time) or 6 years (part-time).

The part-time programme is a popular option, giving researchers the flexibility of continuing to work whilst pursuing their doctoral studies.

For all researchers the PhD programme begins with an induction week. This sets the scene for the start of your PhD and provides an introduction to some of the sessions taught on the Core Research Methods Training Programme. Following this training programme, full-time and part-time researchers progress with their studies meeting more frequently with their supervisors, and the formal assessment aspect continues with progress reviews, which enable us to ensure resources and support are in place for researchers to get the most from their studies.


Doctoral Core Research Methods Training (DCRMT) Programme


At Cranfield, we provide all our doctoral researchers with world-class training in research methods. Sessions are run by Cranfield faculty members and occasionally by senior academics from other universities who are recognised experts in their field.

Whether you enrol as a part-time or a full-time researcher you will attend a comprehensive DCRMT Programme which will provide you with a thorough training in research philosophy and design, organisation and management theory, research and intellectual skills, research methodologies and an understanding of contemporary management issues. This training programme, which is delivered in eight one week blocks over years one/two (see note below), will be supplemented in the following years by an on-going programme of personal development and, where necessary, advanced training designed to support you throughout your studies and prepare you for an academic career.


Personal development


Throughout the course of your studies you will be given every opportunity for personal academic development through publishing and attendance at conferences and will be encouraged to fully participate in the wider research activities of the School.

In addition you will be able to benefit from:

  • Personal development:You will also receive personal development training in the form of scheduled, practical sessions, including writing retreats, as well as supervisor-supported activities such as writing book reviews.
  • Seminars and Events:These include lunchtime research seminars from faculty and visiting academics, and the Doctoral Colloquia which is a forum for researchers to present research in a supportive environment.
  • Publishing papers:From year 1 the school will support you in developing your publishing potential and we regularly organise writing workshops to support researchers in this important activity.
  • Supervisors:At Cranfield we place great importance on supervision and the relationship a student has with his or her supervisor. The relationship is intended to be a stimulating and fruitful partnership, in which the supervisor provides guidance on the nature of research and the standards expected, and the student develops as a competent researcher, fully utilising the wide range of resources available within the School.

All PhD researchers are required to complete a thesis that demonstrates an original contribution to knowledge. Examination is based on the written work and its defence at a viva voce.