Combined Masters and PhD Programs in the UK

Are there any combined master and PhD programs in the UK? My answer to this question is YES. Many universities in UK offer combined masters and PhD programs. You can apply to these programs after getting a bachelor degree. Most of them last for 4 years (one year for preparatory courses and the other three for research). Here are several top universities in UK providing this type of program as well as some tips for application. Once you have a clear idea of which program you’re interested in, start studying with Magoosh’s IELTS prep.

University of Oxford

University of Oxford-magoosh

Man vyi

University of Oxford provides combined Master of Science (MSc) and Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) programs such as Experimental Psychology (combined MSc and DPhil) and Neuroscience (combined MSc and DPhil). If you apply to these programs, you will be considered both for the MSc and the DPhil. After successfully completing the one-year MSc program, you can conduct your three-year research project leading to the DPhil degree. Check out the research degree lists to see whether your major has combined programs or not.

University College London

University College London-magoosh

Lord Harris at en.wikipedia

UCL has a variety of Doctor of Philosophy – PhD/Master of Philosophy – MPhil programs such as Chemistry MPhil/PhD and English MPhil/PhD. All students initially register for the MPhil programs. After one year of study, you can either graduate with the MPhil degree or upgrade to the PhD study. Usually, the decision depends on you and your professor. Check out the degree list to find out more information!


University of Leeds

Leeds University-magoosh

Neil Turner

There are some combined programs at the University of Leeds as well. For example, the Business School provides MSc Research + PhD programs. You can choose an MSc Research in Management and Business or an MSc Research in Accounting and Finance as preparatory course for the following PhD study. Search for your course and find out more!


University of York

University of York-magoosh

Arian Kriesch

The University of York also offers combined masters and PhD programs for those who want to apply to research coursework right after undergraduate study such as the 1+3 program in Economics. However, different departments have different types of degrees. Find your department first and then click the detailed description.

Tips for the Application

Select a specific field of study

Before applying to a combined master and PHD program, you need to choose your specific field of study based on your interest, education background and research experience. Pursuing a PHD degree is not an easy thing, so you need to have a passion for what you will learn and research. Besides, applying to these programs is harder than applying to a taught master degree. There are higher requirements on your knowledge and skills. Check out the detailed admission requirements to learn whether you are qualified or not.

Prepare in advance

Knowing the admission requirement, you should prepare everything in advance. Generally, you need a personal statement, a CV, a study plan, two letters of recommendation and a transcript. For those who are international students, you are also required to show a standardized English language score, such as a IELTS score or a TOFEL score.


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  • Kuangyan

    Kuangyan creates IELTS blogs at Magoosh. She is passionate about language education and has a MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from New York University. Kuangyan has experience of teaching English both in China and in US. In her free time, she drinks mocha, does yoga, takes photos and travels to different places to explore the exciting world.