Standard PhD Route
Northern Bridge Consortium is a Doctoral Training Partnership (NBCDTP) funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. It brings together the cutting-edge expertise and exceptional resources of Durham University, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Queen’s University Belfast, Sunderland University, Teesside University and Ulster University and their strategic partners.
The NBCDTP runs an annual competition to select the best doctoral candidates and provide a comprehensive and attractive package of financial support over the duration of study, which includes payment of tuition fees and a maintenance award (currently £15,609 per annum).
Full details about the competition, eligibility, application process and timeline are available on the NBCDTP website from the link below. Guidance on uploading and application via the Ulster system can be found here.
Standard PhD route – applicants should consult their proposed Supervisors at the earliest opportunity so that the expertise and capacity to supervise the proposed research can be identified, and to ensure that the applicant will be fully supported throughout the competition process.
Please note that potential applications should register their interest with the Local NBCDTP Administrator before making an application. This should be done before the end of November 2021.
The normal duration of an NBCDTP doctoral studentship is 42 months full-time (3.5 years) for the standard route and up to 48 months (4 years) for a collaborative doctoral award. (Studentships are available for applicants who wish to study on a part-time basis. For example, those who wish to combine their research training with work or personal responsibilities. Applicants should be aware that funding for part-time study is an option, although applicants should be realistic about such arrangements. It is expected that the period of study will reflect the percentage of time spent pursuing doctoral studies, and a minimum of 50% of full time effort is required (with an expected period of study of up to 6 – 8 years (84 months)).
Awards to students who have already commenced their PhD (see guidance) will be reduced by the length of time the student has already been registered on the PhD programme and applications.
Studentships can include a placement or placements with either a Strategic Partner or another non-HEI partner by discussion with the supervisory team.
There are two stages to this process:
Stage 1 – Postgraduate Application (Online) by 4pm on Wednesday 12 January 2022. Applicants should make an online application to Ulster University. All Ulster University. Applicants should insert NBC21 in response to the question relating to how you plan to fund your studies on the Funding Details section of the online application.
Stage 2 - Student Nomination by 4pm on Tuesday 15 February 2022. Following an internal assessment the strongest applications will be selected on the basis of the applicant’s qualifications, research proposal, relevant experience and references. They will be supported by staff in developing a further application for the National level competition as nominated candidates.
Results will be announced to successful candidates by 6pm on Monday 4 April 2022.
- Professor Karen Fleming, NBCDTP Academic Director, Ulster University
Subject Area Contacts:
- Prof. Justin Magee - Design
- Dr Chris McHugh - Visual Arts
- Prof. Elizabeth Crooke - Cultural and Museum Studies
- Prof. Ian Thatcher - History
- Prof. Rory O'Connell - Law and Legal Studies
- Dr Jessica Bates - Library and Information Studies
- Prof. Brandon Hamber - Political Science and International Studies
- Dr Lisa Fitzpatrick - Drama and Theatre Studies
- Dr Robert Porter - Media and Communication Studies
- Dr Brian Bridges - Music
- Dr Frank Ferguson - Languages and Literature
- Dr Maxim Fomin – Linguistics
- Dr Kyle Boyd - Information and Communication Technologies
Academic Qualifications and Experience
Competition for Northern Bridge studentships is intense, and we require evidence of academic excellence at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, as well as evidence that the candidate has sufficient research skills to undertake the project.
This generally means a first-class or good upper-second undergraduate degree and performance at or around distinction level in a masters degree.
In exceptional cases, candidates with lower qualifications may be considered if they can demonstrate that relevant professional practice or work experience has equipped them with equivalent academic and research skills.
Applicants should hold, or expect to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree in a subject relevant to the proposed area of study.
We may also consider applications from those who hold equivalent qualifications, for example, a Lower Second Class Honours Degree plus a Master’s Degree with Distinction.
In exceptional circumstances, the University may consider a portfolio of evidence from applicants who have appropriate professional experience which is equivalent to the learning outcomes of an Honours degree in lieu of academic qualifications.
Funding and eligibility
The University offers the following levels of support:
Northern Bridge Consortium - Doctoral Training Partnership
Due consideration should be given to financing your studies. Further information on cost of living
The Northern Bridge Consortium scholarship at Ulster will cover tuition fees at the ‘Home rate’ and a maintenance allowance of £15,609 (2021/2022 rate) per annum for 42 months full-time (3.5 years) or 84 months part-time (7 years).
- Candidates with pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, who also satisfy a three year residency requirement in the UK prior to the start of the course for which a Studentship is held MAY receive a Studentship covering fees and maintenance.
- ROI nationals who satisfy three years’ residency in the UK prior to the start of the course MAY receive a Studentship covering fees and maintenance (ROI nationals don’t need to have pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme to qualify).
- Other non-Republic of Ireland EU applicants are ‘International’ for the purposes of fees. There are a very limited number of fully funded international awards available at Ulster University.
The Northern Bridge Consortium scholarship at Ulster will cover tuition fees at the ‘Home rate’ and a maintenance allowance of £15,609 (2021/2022 rate) per annum for 42 months full-time (3.5 years) or 84 months part-time (7 years). • Candidates with pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, who also satisfy a three year residency requirement in the UK prior to the start of the course for which a Studentship is held MAY receive a Studentship covering fees and maintenance. • ROI nationals who satisfy three years’ residency in the UK prior to the start of the course MAY receive a Studentship covering fees and maintenance (ROI nationals don’t need to have pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme to qualify). • Other non-Republic of Ireland EU applicants are ‘International’ for the purposes of fees. There are a very limited number of fully funded international awards available at Ulster University.
The Doctoral College at Ulster University
I am Dean and Professor of Fine Arts School, Shenyang University. I received my undergraduate in Graphic Design at Luxun Fine Arts Academy and Masters of Applied Art at Luxun Fine Arts Academy too. My research is about art and social actions.It is one of the best experiences for me to study PhD at Ulster in Belfast. No words can express how much I learned and gained from my supervisors and colleagues and how much I feel grateful to them. They have broaden my views and deepen my understanding about art and art practice. With their help, my work "Cyber Cocoon Kids" was exhibited at UN in New York in 2018, which was one of my proudest moment. What a luck that I am from China, Shenyang, sister city of Belfast. I love Belfast and I would like to contribute to cooperation of the two cities in the future. With this PhD experience, I put what I learned into practice.
Yong Xie - PhD by Published Works in Art and Design
I am a storyteller, photographer and researcher. In 2010 I graduated from University of Wales, Newport (BA Hons Documentary Photography). From 2010 - 2015 I was a trustee and curator of Third Floor Gallery in Cardiff, Wales.My proudest moment was when I was told I passed my Viva. It took a lot of hard work to get to that point. It was a moment of great relief and pride of accomplishment. I am not entirely sure what my favourite memory was, but I will never forget how a good meeting with supervisors made me feel, especially when they were pleased with yet another submitted chapter!I couldn't have got through this without my family. My wife Binta, my daughters Ewa and Kamila (who was born during the year two!!!), my mother and father, and my siblings. I would not be here without my supervisors Paul Seawright and Ken Grant whose constructive criticism helped me to succeed in producing strong research.
Nowicki Bartosz - PhD in Art and Design
The PhD training programme and regular supervision contacts have provided the direction and support necessary to ensure that I deliver a quality thesis in a timely manner.I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working at Ulster University and feel it has put me in a better position to sustain a full time career as an artist and academic in the years to come.
Before taking on a PhD, I was a freelance photojournalist. Before that, I did a Degree in editorial photography at the University of Brighton, prior to that I was a British soldier. My research is based upon British soldiers' personal photographs and my research "question" was why is this area of "war photography" not acknowledged and without agency.I am most proud of getting through and obtaining my Doctorate. Having left school with no qualifications has not been easy, so achieving this has been one of the most important things to happen in my life. My favorite memory at Ulster University was when my fellow PhD researcher and I got through out Confirmation Viva; afterwards, we celebrated and went to a wonderful Belfast pub nearby. We were all so relieved! I could not have got through the PhD without the wonderful support and guidance of my supervisors; also Spike the librarian really helped me when I was having doubts about my abilities. If I could speak to myself at the start of my
Stuart Griffiths - PhD in Art and Design