PhD by publication - help finding a uni


Hi all,

I'm hoping to do a PhD by publication, starting at the end of this year ideally.

The conventional route isn't really an option for me, I've already worked for a long time and can't afford the pay cut, also I need to be part-time due to family commitments, so I'm wary of a 6/7 year commitment!

I've spoken to a couple of other people in my field who have done PhDs by published work, and they think I'm a suitable candidate.

I’m not sure about my next steps though, I’ve done some searching and a lot of universities seem to only allow long-term staff members to apply. Does anyone know any universities that accept external candidates? Any tips on how to approach them?

I’d appreciate advice from anyone who has done one, e.g. how did you find a supervisor, how formed was your idea for linking your papers before you contacted them?

Many thanks in advance :)


I'm assuming you're an academic with some published papers.

A google search:

First hits, they all say you can be an external candidate.

I'd just email the postgraduate administrator of the department you're interested in and ask them if they will accept you and what the requirements are.


I looked into this route too. Warwick Uni as suggested by TreeofLife above, used to only accept ex-students. But maybe this has changed?

It's been quite a few years since I looked into it, but i's worth looking around at the the different requirements, there's often differences in the number of papers, when they needed to be published and the time scale. I remember some requiring all first author papers and all papers had to be new, whereas others would accept papers up to 5 years old and you didn't need to be first author.

Contact your previous universities to see if this is something they do, as I said, in the past some have only done it for staff and previous students. And perhaps re-speak to your colleagues to find out where they did theirs.

A quick note about authorship on papers. I spoke to someone who wasn't the first author on one of his papers and he said it was really difficult for the viva because they wanted to go into great detail that as a co-author he didn't necessarily know. He recommended being first author on as many as possible

Good luck :-)


No requirement to be an ex-student to do PhD by published work at Warwick.