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Distance learning research degrees

Distance learning postgraduate research study is now available, starting in October of every academic year.

A research degree can improve your career prospects and help you shape the future of your sector. With our distance learning research degrees, you can pursue your passion and discover new knowledge, wherever you are in the world.

Apply now, start your PhD in October

Adapting and innovating

Our distance learning research degrees were inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns.

We've learnt from the past year and adapted, taking advantage of the huge technological innovations and new, flexible methods of learning and communicating.

Our distance learning research degrees aim to ensure you have consistent access to the materials, resources and support networks you need - wherever you are, and whatever your circumstances.

As we move out of the pandemic, our distance learning options will continue to provide a practical alternative to traditional campus-based study.

A person sitting at a desk typing on a computer keyboard and looking at two computer monitors.


Research areas typically considering applicants for distance learning are listed below.

Distance learning may not be feasible if your research needs a lab or specialist facilities, unless you already have access to these, for example, in your workplace.

If you're seeking research in an area not listed, please make an enquiry to discuss your options.

  • Accounting, Finance and Economics
  • Business and Management
  • Computer Science
  • Development Studies
  • Film Studies
  • Health Studies
  • Law
  • Peace Studies
  • Psychology
  • Social Work and Social Care
  • Sociology and Criminology

Apply or make an enquiry

You can apply online for a distance learning research degree. If you would like more information, please complete an enquiry form.

Distance learning study

You will conduct field work for your project using resources and facilities close to home, rather than in Bradford.

The online resources available to our campus-based students are also available to distance learning students.

You will be required to visit campus for two weeks every October during your studies. This is for inductions, to meet your supervisors and support staff, to undertake identity checks, and to attend any relevant training events.

Supervision will be undertaken via video conferencing. Distance learning students have the same amount of contact time as campus-based students.

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Distance learning students are able to remotely access the same personal and academic support services as campus-based students.

Our extensive range of support services includes counselling, disability support, financial advice, language support, and careers services.

You can find out about the range of support services available to all our students on the Support available to you page.

The University offers a number of online events and meetings to ensure our distance learning students don't feel isolated during their studies.

Our PGR Connect peer support scheme is also available to distance learning research students. PGR Connect is a support network and community which aims to foster wellbeing and a sense of belonging for researchers.

Find out more about PGR Connect.

Training and development

The PGR Framework is a training and development portal for our doctoral research students.

The Framework offers a range of support services and opportunities to help you succeed in your research, including training modules, one-to-one development, wellbeing support, and a range of seminars and events.

Find out more about the PGR Framework.


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How to apply

You can apply online for a distance learning research degree:

  • Choose a project available to distance learning students
  • Complete our online application form (for 2022/23 entry)
  • Include your CV/résumé and any degree certificates and transcripts with your application
  • Your completed application will be passed to the supervisors named on the project for review

Submit a research proposal

If there's a specific area you would like to research, you can submit a proposal.

Use our research proposals guide to help you write your proposal.

Your proposal should be approximately 1500-2000 words of original text, and consist of a clear working title, an introduction and background, intended research design, conclusions and references.

  • Complete our online application form (for 2022/23 entry) and attach your proposal, CV, and any degree certificate and transcripts
  • Your completed application will be passed to the Director of Postgraduate Research and potential supervisors for review

Fees and finance

Find out about the cost of studying a research degree, and the financial support available:

Tuition fees cover the cost of your registration, tuition, academic supervision, assessment and examination.

The government provides doctoral loans of up to £27,265 to help cover your course fees and living costs.

Every year the University of Bradford invests over £4m in scholarships to help students from all backgrounds. 

Apply now or make an enquiry

You can apply online for a distance learning research degree. If you would like more information, please complete an enquiry form.