Overview

With research centres on Belfast and Magee Campuses, our vision for Engineering Research is to continue to exploit our unique ability to merge the disciplines of health and wellbeing technology and advanced future materials & manufacturing. In turn, creating world leading research with impact in important global challenge areas and promoting a healthy and sustainable future for all citizens.

PhD researchers form an integral part of our Research Environment working across a broad spectrum of research areas.  From computational modelling, through to production and characterisation of nanomaterials, microsensors and large composite structures, we provide state of the art facilities and technical assistance to support our researchers in conducting world-leading research. Our facilities include a broad range of managed open-access equipment that include dedicated suites for advanced materials characterisation (including TEM), rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing, microelectronics, composites (3D-woven materials), general chemistry and both tissue engineering and microbiology laboratories.

Over the past decade, Engineering research at Ulster has continued to grow both in terms of scale and quality.  The 2021 Research Excellence Framework has judged that 100% of our research has outstanding or very considerable impact in terms of its reach and significance.  An outstanding 94% of our research was judged as world-leading or internationally excellent, with 100% of our research environment described as being conducive to producing research of world-leading and internationally excellent quality.  These attributes underline Ulster as an excellent choice when considering pursuing postgraduate research studies in engineering.


Summary

Our current research activity is conducted in a vibrant, collaborative research environment consisting of a multi-disciplinary group of over 150 researchers (academic, contract researchers and PhD researchers) with expertise in:

  • Aerospace composites
  • Biomaterials
  • Healthcare technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Materials characterisation
  • AI and machine learning for engineering applications
  • Nanotechnology
  • Photocatalysis
  • Plasma science and engineering
  • Tissue engineering

Entry requirements

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.


English language requirements

In order to be admitted to research study at Ulster, you will need to provide evidence of your English language proficiency as part of your application.

Get full details on the requirements for both home and overseas applicants can be found on our English language requirements page.


Careers and opportunities

PhD graduates are recognised by employers to hold valuable transferrable skills, as the nature of the degree trains candidates in creativity, critical inquiry, problem solving, negotiation skills, professionalism and confidence.

The most recent Ulster survey of PhD graduates found that 92% had secured employment within the first year since graduation (HESA Destination of Leavers Survey 2015), and while two thirds end up in the Higher Education or Research sectors, the range of skills acquired equips the remainder for employment in a wide range of contexts.


Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Details of tuition fees can be found under the fees schedule for the academic year of entry.

To work out for which fees you would be eligible and to find out more information about potential sources of funding, please view the Fees and Funding pages on the Doctoral College website.


Apply

We are delighted that you are considering Ulster University for your research studies.

Get full details on the application process and further guidance on how to apply, and what you will need to upload as part of your application.

Once you have identified supervisors, discussed a research proposal and are ready to make an application, please apply using the online application system.

Ulster University welcomes applications from all sections of the community and from persons with disabilities. It is University policy to assess all applications using academic criteria and on the basis of equality of opportunity and you should be assured that reasonable adjustments will be made should you require them.