The Centre for Ecology and Conservation has a thriving and dynamic population of PhD students. They work at sites around the UK (from Scotland to Cornwall) and around the world (from South Africa, to Gabon, the Cayman Islands and Cyprus). A diverse range of topics are studied by our students, the breadth of these can be seen by accessing the staff pages on this site. We welcome approaches from interested students throughout the year; although it is usually Easter when we know exactly how many students we will take on each year.
If you are interested in pursuing a research degree, please contact us to help you identify suitable supervisors before making an application.
NB When applying, please identify the location of relevant members of staff and make sure you use the appropriate application form links for either Exeter-based research or Cornwall-based research, depending on the location of your proposed supervisor.
What is an MPhil or PhD?
Both MPhil and PhD research degrees involve an extensive investigation of a particular topic.
MPhil research takes a maximum of three years to complete full-time, or five years part-time, and is assessed by the submission of a dissertation of up to 60,000 words. The PhD takes a maximum of four years full-time and seven years part-time and the results of your research will normally be assessed by a written thesis of up to 100,000 words and oral examination. The PhD is only awarded when the results of your investigation make an original contribution to knowledge in the field.
A PhD is the highest qualification that a university can award and offers a challenging and exciting opportunity to work at the cutting-edge of research: if you have these qualities Exeter can offer a very supportive environment in which to pursue research.
Advice for PhD applicants
Our online learning resource 'Considering a UK PhD?' provides lots of helpful advice and information from staff and students about the PhD experience at Exeter.
You may wish to read our general advice for PhD applicants webpages, which give tips on how to put together a successful research degree application.
Applicants for research programmes are also advised to visit the College's webpages to check for specific advice (see further information link). Here you will be able to find out about staff research interests and make preliminary enquiries about supervision. We advise that you do this before applying.