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Postgraduate research

A group of postgraduate researchers share their work

Study for your PhD at Marjon

Complete our enquiry form and start the journey towards obtaining your PhD

Apply to do research

Ƶ University welcomes applications for postgraduate research students (PhD) across four key research areas: Education; Sport and Exercise Science; Health and Wellbeing; Business and Social Science.

The application process for a PhD is iterative: you are likely to be asked to refine your proposal and you can expect to be kept informed of progress.  We recommend that you make your enquiry as early as possible to allow for the process which can take approximately 6 months.

The first step in applying to undertake a PhD at Marjon is to complete the RD1a Research Degree Enquiry which includes a brief 200-word overview of your research idea. If there is scope to supervise and support your research, one of our PGR Coordinators will contact you. You will be offered an informal meeting with a research supervisor to discuss the completion of RD2a research degree application form which includes a project proposal of 750 words.

Applications are accepted throughout the year. If successful in your application, your PhD programme will begin in early October or early February.  Please refer to these typical timeframes as a guide:

Application stage February start   October start   
RD1a enquiry submitted  By 1st July By 1st March 
RD2a application submitted By 1st October By 1st May
Interview and opportunity for revisions October May
Application considered by scrutiny panel November June
Opportunity for panel revisions  Nov/Dec June/July
Final approval by University of Chichester Dec/Jan July/August

Please contact the Doctoral College as soon as possible if you would like to apply for an ESRC funded studentship as the deadlines will be earlier.

For entry requirements and further details of the application process, please see Section 1 of the Handbook for Postgraduate Research Students (download available below).

Apply now

Key research areas

The University has four key areas of research: Business and Social Science; Sport and Exercise Science; Health and Wellbeing; Education.

Business and Social Science

This is an exciting and expanding research area of postgraduate research at Ƶ.  Drawing on the practical and theoretical expertise of staff who are experts in their field and internationally renowned.  Business and Social Science covers a range of disciplines that may include, but is not limited to, business, sociology, criminology, economics, psychology, geography, international relations, social policy, law and many more.  This area of research recognises that interdisciplinarity is important for addressing some of today's most pressing issues.  These issues may include climate change, sustainability, social equality and environmental degradation and post-Covid recovery. If you have an idea for a research project please do get in touch.

Sport and Exercise Science

This area produces research that advances knowledge of how physical activity, exercise, and sport are related to human performance, social inclusion and sustainability. Research of human performance requires consideration of the intrinsic and extrinsic factors which influence performance. These include the investigation of physiological, psychological and mechanical factors across training, recovery, injury repair and rehabilitation to facilitate better understanding of the fundamental principles underlying performance.

Health and Wellbeing

Within the area of Health and Wellbeing, the university has particular and immediate strengths that will enable the advancement of knowledge and understanding through a supportive and vibrant environment. The research area is characterised by a density of individual researchers working in an exciting environment that includes a range of specialist facilities. The subject grouping is derived from a combination of speech and language therapy (with an NHS-commissioned programme and patient referral clinics), physical activity (clinics), mental health, musculoskeletal health, sports medicine and regenerative medicine.


Research undertaken within education encompasses the full range of sectors of informal and formal education and addresses education pedagogy, policy, practice. Our researchers have developed innovation in education theory and methodology leading to equally innovative impacts on education pedagogy, policy and practice in early years, community, school, further, higher and career-long education at local, regional, national and international levels.

We are particularly interested in research proposals around the areas of Education, Sustainability and Health and Wellbeing.  Some ideas for possible areas of PhD research: 

  • The Embedding of Sustainability in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education in UK Higher Education. Potential supervisors – Dr Andreas Walmsley, Dr Laura Wallis, Dr Lynne Wyness
  • Spatial equity and teacher supply in rural schools in England. Potential supervisors – Professor Tanya Ovenden-Hope, Professor Sonia Blandford
  • The changing nature of youth and community work. Potential supervisors – Dr Tracy Hayes, Dr Lynne Wyness
  • Pretending to be 'normal'? Understanding the needs of Autistic Community Based Practitioners. Potential supervisors – Dr Tracy Hayes, Dr Mark Leather
  • ‘Is a small school a failed big school? Making sense of small schools in the UK’. Potential supervisors - Professor Tanya Ovenden-Hope, Professor Sonia Blandford
  • Communicating climate change and sustainability. Potential supervisors: Professor Debby Cotton, Dr Lynne Wyness
  • How do pro-social attitudes align with developing an entrepreneurial identity? Dr Laura Wallis, Dr Andreas Walmsley
  • Community action and democracy around sustainability. Potential supervisors: Dr Tracy Hayes, Dr Lynne Wyness
  • Sustainable Performance Making in Austere Climates. Potential supervisors: Dr Natalie Raven, Professor Jennie Winter
  • Understanding behaviour change towards sustainability. Potential supervisors: Professor Jennie Winter, Dr Andreas Walmsley, Dr Laura Wallis
  • Life with us: nurturing sustainable communities through innovative dementia care – Dr Lynne Wyness, Dr Tracy Hayes
  • Heat stress risk, monitoring and mitigation: Exploring Comprehensive Strategies. Potential supervisors - Dr Joe Laydon, Dr Kass Gibson, Dr Rosanna Waters-Symons, Dr Jonathan Waddington
  • Reaching those who are hard to reach: improving engagement with health and wellbeing clinics through participatory research. Potential supervisors - Professor Pam Dawson, Professor Saul Bloxham
  • Thermoregulation in the Elderly: Strategies to mitigate heat stress risk. Potential supervisors - Dr Joe Laydon, Dr Kass Gibson, Dr Rosanna Waters-Symons, Dr Jonathan Waddington
  • ‘Now is time to listen to us’, listening to younger children’s Mental Health narratives. Supervisor – Prof Jon Ord, Dr Hazel Bending

Find out more about Marjon Research and Knowledge Exchange Groups.

More info

Postgraduate research fees and funding

We are currently accepting applications from self or externally funded applications. 

For information about fully funded ESRC studentships at Ƶ click here

For information about the doctoral loan scheme click  

For advice and guidance, check our student finance pages:

Postgraduate funding | Ƶ

Student funding advice | Ƶ

For postgraduate research programme fees click here.

Postgraduate research coordinators

A Research & Knowledge Exchange Support Officer sits within the Research & Knowledge Exchange Office and will provide support and updates throughout the PGR application process and beyond. The Support Officer is supported by a PGR Coordinator for each of our four key research areas:

We have a wide range of PGR supervisors here at Marjon from a range of disciplines. The PGR Coordinator will work with applicants and staff to form an appropriate supervision team to support your research. Our staff profile pages provide further information about all members of Marjon staff.

A busy schedule of research events

The University is committed to supporting our researchers and offers a wide range of training events for postgraduate research students and staff. The Research & Knowledge Exchange Office is responsible for coordinating a programme of events which our postgraduate students are actively encouraged to attend and participate in.

Academy Lecture Series: high-profile speakers from a range of disciplines, open to the public.

Brown Bag Series: an opportunity for staff and students to share and discuss their research. A great opportunity for PGR students and early career researchers to build confidence within an informal setting.

Research Developer Series: a wide range of training workshops including support with bids, statistical workshops, life after PhD and much more.

Phone us

01752 636700
(ext. 2069)

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 PGR Handbook Oct 2023
(adobe .pdf, 651 KB,)