The PhD by published work route is intended primarily for mid-career research-active academics who, for one reason or another, haven’t had the opportunity to undertake a research programme leading to a PhD.

Submissions for this award will consist of a coherent body of work which is of the same quality, rigour and volume as required of a standard PhD in your field and which constitutes an original contribution to knowledge.

We welcome applications from Westminster staff and from outside the University. Applications are considered on their merits within the relevant colleges and applicants are advised to approach the relevant members of academic staff for an informal discussion before applying.

If your application is successful, you will be assigned one or more supervisors who will advise on which of your publications should form your final submission to be examined and how your commentary should be written. The commentary (usually between 5,000 and 10,000 words) describes the aims of the research you’ve undertaken to produce your publications, incorporates an analytical discussion of the main results and puts the total work submitted in context.

What kind of publications are considered to be appropriate for a submission via this route?

  • a portfolio might contain one or more of following:
    • books and book chapters
    • refereed journal papers
  • other media/other public output (eg architectural or engineering designs)
  • The submission of a single book, work or artefact is also possible
  • The body of work may not include any material produced more than ten years before the date of submission

How do I apply?

You should first make contact with the relevant academic or relevant College for an informal discussion of your publications and how they might be considered for a PhD by Published Work. If you decide to apply, you will make an application in the normal way.

What should my application consist of?

In addition to the standard application process, your application should also include a portfolio of publications, accompanied by a proposal not exceeding 2,000 words in length, which contextualises the selected publications, demonstrates their coherence and outlines the intended contribution to knowledge.

View the guidance on how to write your PhD by published work research proposal.

What happens after I’ve applied?

Your application will be considered by a College panel, which will assess the quality and the coherence of your publications and your proposal, and if the panel wishes to take your application further, it will invite you to interview, following which you will receive a decision.

How long will it take from initial enrolment to final submission of the work for examination?

This is a part-time programme which takes a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of 24 months.

What should I do next?

If you decide to proceed, you can find links to apply and all the information you need on our Research area pages.