Postgraduate study

Doctoral training centres and partnerships

Doctoral training centres and partnerships are four-year programmes that are sponsored by one of the UK’s research councils. They focus on your development into an independent researcher, under the guidance of an expert supervision team.

They may be referred to as Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs), Doctoral Training Centres (DTCs) or Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs).

Positions are often advertised as specific, funded PhD degrees with integrated transferable skills training programmes.

Programme structure

Doctoral training programmes are usually structured in a “1+3” format, where you complete a one-year Masters by Research (MScR) degree, before moving onto a three-year PhD on the same topic.

In the first year, you will study a small number of courses designed to broaden your awareness of your subject area and develop your transferable research skills. On successful completion of the first year, you will be awarded a Master of Research degree (MScR).

You’ll then have the opportunity to spend a further three years developing and pursuing a PhD research project, under close guidance of your supervisors.

Some DTPs, DTCs and CDTs offer industrial internships or training opportunities to ensure that your research is informed by real world case studies. You should check the content and structure of the doctoral training programme you are interested in for specific details.

PhD research projects

A-Z of all research programmes