University of Malta

Research Degrees (M.Phil./Ph.D.)
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PHD_graduates.jpg_1In Malta, as elsewhere, the highest doctoral degree is the Doctor of Philosophy degree – abbreviated to ‘Ph.D’. Obtaining a Ph.D. degree usually requires the writing of a thesis of about 100,000 words, based on three to five years of full-time research or its equivalent in time if the degree is taken on a part-time basis. The thesis must contain original work in that it creates new knowledge or theories in an area of knowledge, often by building on existing knowledge or theories. 



Graduations_3Our students initially register for the M.Phil. Degree (abbreviated: Master of Philosophy) and then upgrade the registration to Ph.D. status after the first year of studies, subject to proof of satisfactory progress to the higher levels required of a Ph.D. candidate. Students who do not proceed to Ph.D. level are able to submit a dissertation for the award of the M.Phil. degree. Increasingly, a taught element is beginning to feature as an element in the Ph.D. programme. Nevertheless, Ph.D. students are expected to work independently for the greater part of the time, while of course being guided and supported by an academic supervisor and by the academic staff in the Department to which they are allocated. There may be seminars to attend and other work to complete, depending on the subject area and the prior experience of the student. While still pursuing their studies, students often seek to have academic papers published and present their work at conferences in the field - both activities that provide them with valuable involvement and feedback on their ideas as the latter evolve in the course of their studies.

Some Ph.D. graduates go on to work in academia. These new academics usually start off by undertaking post doctoral research and/or take up a fellowship or lectureship. Other career options will depend on the area of study of the Ph.D., not excluding legal practice or general research or advisory posts in the public or the private sectors of activity. 

Last Updated: 16 October 2017

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