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Programme Structure

picture 1The NewRoutePhD™ is an integrated programme of postgraduate training which combines research with a structured programme of advanced training in discipline specific and generic skills. 

NewRoutePhD™, which was developed with full support of the UK Government, the Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE) and the British Council has been taken up by leading UK Universities across a range of disciplines.

The structure of this 'Integrated PhD' is designed to place students in an enhanced learning environment, where their achievements in research are underpinned by a structured programme of formal training. Taught masters level courses provide advanced theoretical and practical research skills to ensure a secure knowledge of the research area. These discipline specific courses are front-loaded into the early years of the programme to provide a secure platform for the research. In addition, generic training in professional and personal skills is provided throughout the programme.

This training is of direct value to the world of work, whether in academia, industry or government. The research project itself will be undertaken in the high quality UK research environment. Participating universities have excellent research ratings and a strong reputation for effective research supervision.

Benefits to the Student

Successful graduates of the NewRoutePhD™programmes are equipped as independent researchers with the personal and transferable skills required to make a significant contribution to their chosen field. Whether as professional educators, researchers or business leaders in the public or private sector, their high level of training will give them a distinctive competitive edge when entering the world of work. Graduates benefit from: picture 2

  • An individually designed structured research programme 
  • Explicit training in effective research skills
  • Acquisition of generic skills, including leadership and enterprise
  • High likelihood of completion within timeframe
  • Development as an independent researcher 

Benefits to the Sponsor

The NewRoutePhD™ programmes retain the core elements of the traditional UK PhD but are augmented by additional formal training to support the academic and individual development of the student. The student is supported by an academic supervision team, who will advise on the project, monitor progress and performance and give regular constructive feedback. Formal assessment of the doctoral thesis is via the traditional Viva Voce oral examination conducted by internal and external expert examiners. Studentship sponsors will benefit from:

  • Enhanced formal training of sponsored researchers
  • A broad range of skills for the workplace
  • Trainees able to network with the international research community
  • Quality assurance of programmes via institutional and national QAA audit
  • High likelihood of completion within time period 

Research Environment 

picture 3The NewRoutePhD™Consortium of UK Universities are committed to International excellence in postgraduate training. Programmes are subject to audit and review by the consortium to share best practice in training. NewRoutePhD™ students are often members of a cohort group and enjoy supportive environment of other cohort members, as well as the support of regular PhD students in their area. In recent years cohorts of NewRoutePhD™ graduates from as far afield as ASEAN countries, China, SouthEast Asia, the Indian Sub-continent and Islands, the EU, the Middle East, North Africa and the UK itself have embarked on distinctive careers in education, linguistics, management science, environmental science, biological sciences and a wide range of engineering disciplines. 

Completion Time

Students studying on the NewRoutePhD™ programme normally  qualify for their award after four years of full-time study although  this varies by programme. The four-year integrated framework is  widely accepted by UK Research Councils as a model for  postgraduate training. Interim awards at Diploma, Certificate or Masters level, and professional qualifications as appropriate to the  discipline may be offered in some NewRoutePhD™ programmes.


The academic and English language requirements for entry into the NewRoutePhD™ are set at the same level as for the traditional UK PhD. All programmes are open to students from  the UK and throughout the world. For further details of how to apply please refer to the NewRoute PhD™ website (

A Powerful Learning Experience

Through the specific research training and generic & transferable  skills elements of the framework NewRoutePhD™ students are  given an advanced start to their research and rapidly acquire training  for their future career. Training topics are personally selected from a  menu of taught modules, which will include:

  • Subject-specific research modules, giving depth and clarity in the research area
  • Interdisciplinary studies to broaden subject knowledge
Presentation and communication skills Media skills
Successful “grantsmanship” Research Ethics
Enterprise & spin-out companies Technology transfer
Language skills Teaching
Team building IT and Web skills
Management Career planning
Interpersonal communication Teamwork