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Postgraduate Study - PhD and Research Degrees



Degree types explained


Degree duration details

Start date

September, January or April

Location Streatham Campus
Study modes

Study mode details

Full time and part time


Engineering research is organised into six main areas which bring together the world-leading research activities of our Engineering academics and researchers. View our staff profiles for more info about our academics and their research.

View 2024 Entry

How to apply

Apply online

Ask a question


Web: Enquire online

Phone: +44 (0)1392 72 72 72


Web: Enquire online
Phone: 0300 555 6060 (UK)
+44 (0)1392 723044 (non-UK)

Top 10 in the UK for Engineering

10th for General Engineering in The Complete University Guide 2025

Specialist facilities include microscopy suite, aerodynamics and fluids laboratories, additive manufacturing workshop and vibration testing rigs

£6.5million investment in our teaching labs, workshop spaces and equipment.

Research overview

Materials and manufacturing

  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Multi-functional Materials
  • Low-carbon Manufacturing and Sustainable Technologies
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Manufacturing Systems, Supply Chains and Logistics

Civil and structures

  • Civil Engineering
  • Biomechanics
  • Computational Geomechanics

Dynamics and control

  • Vibration engineering
  • Control systems

Nano engineering science and technology

  • Graphene and 2D materials and devices
  • Metamaterials and metadevices
  • Energy harvesting and storage
  • Phase-change materials and devices
  • Magnetics and spintronics
  • Nanomaterials and nanocomposites

Renewable energies

View the Renewable Energy PhD page for full information on research degrees in this area.

Water and environment

The internationally-leading Centre for Water Systems provides vital research into water systems planning, design and operation.

Further information


How to apply

You should have at least a 2:1 Honours degree in engineering or science or have an appropriate MSc qualification.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

International students need to show they have the required level of English language to study this course. The required test scores for this course fall under Profile A: view the required test scores and equivalencies from your country.

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees per year 2024/25

For those studying for more than one year, our fees are expected to increase modestly in line with Consumer Price Inflation measured in December each year. More information can be found on our Student Finance webpages.

Tuition Fees per year 2023/24

For those studying for more than one year, our fees are expected to increase modestly in line with Consumer Price Inflation measured in December each year. More information can be found on our Student Finance webpages.

Our Postgraduate Funding webpage provides links to further information. If you are considering a PhD in the future, in addition to University of Exeter funding, we have been successful at securing postgraduate funding for PhD research through our Funded centres.

Current available funding


You can expect:

  • High-quality research supervision to develop and nurture your potential
  • A tailored supervision approach to help best suit your requirements
  • Accessible supervisors who are enthusiastic about working directly with postgraduate research students
  • Regular timetabled meetings with your supervisor
  • 'Open door' policy to all postgraduate students - instant access to world-leading researchers who will share their expertise and ideas with you
  • Regular meetings with your supervisory team, other members of your research group, and mentors

You will only be able to apply for a PhD when you have received a letter from potential supervisors stating that they are willing to supervise your PhD thesis. You therefore need to initiate contact with faculty who are working on topics that you are interested in and present them with a proposal of no more than 2000 words.


Engineering is housed in a purpose-built centre with comprehensive laboratories, workshops and computing facilities. There is an extensive range of equipment and facilities supporting the activities of postgraduates including

  • an advanced manufacturing suite
  • a class 10,000 clean room
  • laser laboratories
  • materials characterisation laboratories
  • scanning electron and scanning probe microscopes
  • DSP and microprocessor laboratories
  • wind tunnels
  • wave tanks
  • geotechnical laboratories
  • 3D visualisation suite
  • 3D printer

Research students at Exeter are allocated a desk and computing facilities in newly refurbished offices and provided with a PC on arrival.


Career opportunities for engineers are almost limitless and engineers can be found working in the public sector, in health, construction, defence, communications, education, finance and manufacturing. Engineers have a reputation as being articulate, numerate, problem solvers, who claim great job satisfaction, a good salary and a huge range of career possibilities. Salaries are typically significantly higher for engineering graduates than the average for all other graduates.

Our students directly benefit from the hundreds of links with industry we have established through collaborative research and consultation. Student projects are usually industrially driven and often directly involve a company. This provides an opportunity for you to undertake commercially important projects at the forefront of technology, gain invaluable experience and enhance your employability.

There is a dedicated Careers Adviser who provides specific services such as careers workshops tailored to careers in Engineering and support in matters such as applications and job interview skills.

Below are some examples of initial jobs undertaken by Engineering postgraduates who studied with us in recent years.

Please note that, due to data protection, the job titles and organisations are listed independently and do not necessarily correspond.

Job Title Organisation

Company Director
Water Engineer
Civil Engineer
Design Engineer
Research and Development Engineer
Marine Renewable Development Specialist
Data Scientist
Senior Project Engineer
Regional Technical Manager
Senior Development Engineer
Research and Development Engineer
Stress Team Leader
Post Doc
Associate Lecturer and Placement Co-ordinator
Associate Research Fellow
Senior Lecturer
Business Research Fellow
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Research Evaluation & Communication Manager
Technical Manager for Renewable Energy
Lecturer in Cyber Security
Development Infrastructure Engineer

WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff
University of Oxford
Water Engineer
University of Exeter
Babcock Marine
Rolls Royce
ADvise Ltd
University of Sheffield
Manufacting Technology Centre
University of Gloucestershire
Hydro International
Cornwall Development Company
Bodle Technologies Ltd

Read more