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PhD by Published Research

The University of Warwick regulations provide for the award of a PhD in respect of research work already published and completed elsewhere.

Please visit PhD by Published WorkLink opens in a new window for the general requirements for award of such degrees, University application procedures and how such applications are considered.

Please note that both the above link and the content below relate to the admissions procedure to be allowed to submit for the degree. Whether or not the degree is subsequently awarded is determined by the examinations process: it is possible that an applicant can be accepted onto the programme and, following their formal submission of work for examination, they not be awarded the degree.

The University procedures require that any application be first considered by the relevant School/Department. Only if it gains their support will it be considered further by the University.

Here is important additional information for those external to the University who are considering making an application to the School of Life Sciences for admission to seek a PhD by this route. It describes the framework via which we will decide whether or not to give our support to an application.

Please read the information below carefully before deciding whether to make an application.

Female student writing at a desk

To be potentially supported by the School, an applicant will:

  • have made a significant research contribution rather than just a contribution broadly equivalent in extent to that of a typical internal PhD student at the point of their oral examination
  • be presenting work that we could, as a School, have competently supervised had the work been done within the context of a standard PhD undertaken in the School, i.e. it concerns a subject that we are able to assess critically
  • have made research contributions with which one or more members of the permanent academic staff in the School are familiar prior to receipt of the application, i.e. the applicant has an established research reputation.

These requirements are additional to the general descriptors provided by the University.

The School will also need to identify a member of staff willing to act as academic adviser to the applicant after admission, before support for the application can be given.


To allow the School to consider an application in light of these requirements, an applicant should include in the documentation they provide when they submit their application:

  • the name(s) of one or more members of permanent academic staff in the School of Life Sciences whose research interests are related to the work that the applicant is proposing to submit for the degree
  • Potential applicants are advised to contact the individuals that they intend to identify, in advance of making the application, to seek their input on the quality of the overall case for admission that they would be making.

    Applicants should also note the University requirement to include further contextual information with their application regarding the publications they intend to be considered. This information should include commentary on the profile of journals in which the papers have been published, the candidate's individual contribution to each of their publications (especially for multi-author papers), the coherence of the papers as a single body of work and the significance to the field of the research contribution that they made.