PhD by Prior Publication


The PhD by Prior Publication award is designed to recognise current Royal Holloway staff members who have produced a significant body of research which is equivalent in standard to a PhD.

Please read appendix 4 of the Research Degree Regulations for further details. 

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact


Admissions criteria for the PhD by Prior Publication

In order to be considered for admission on the PhD by Prior Publication programme, you must:

  • be an established member of the Royal Holloway academic staff`or teaching fellow at Royal Holloway, who has been in post for at least 2 years.
  • provide prima facie evidence that:
      1. there is a coherent body of work
      2. there is evidence of a significant contribution made to the field
      3. the extent of the work is equivalent to that expected of a standard Doctor of Philosophy


Admissions process

In order to apply for admission on the PhD by Publication programme, you will need to complete the PhD by Prior Publication online application form and pay an initial assessment fee of £250.:

  • As part of the application, you will be required to upload a 1,000 - 1,500 word supporting statement and any relevant evidence (normally a list of the publications you intend to submit)
  • Please note that the personal details requested are required details for every student record that is created.
  • On receipt of the application form, a student record will be created for you and the Doctoral School will contact you with details of how to pay the £250 initial assessment fee.
  • Once the initial assessment fee has been paid, your supporting statement and the list of publications you wish to submit will be forwarded to the relevant Director PGR Education.  The assessment for admission to the programme will be carried out by the member of staff who will be your supervisor and is subject to the approval of the Director of PGR Education.
  • The Doctoral School will inform you whether your application has been successful.


Process after admission has been granted

If admission is granted, you will be registered on the PhD by Prior Publication.  

The fee to be registered on the PhD by Prior Publication is 50% of the standard HomeEU fee i.e. £2,164 for 2019/20.  This is in addition to the £250 initial assessment fee.

You will be appointed a supervisor who should:

  • provide guidance on the coherence and quality of your published work to be submitted for the examination
  • advise on the preparation of the supporting critical appraisal
  • provide guidance on the preparation for the oral examination
  • normally arrange up to 6 supervisory meetings a year

It is expected that you will submit your PhD within 12 months of registration.


Requirements of the PhD by Prior Publication

The candidate must submit the following:

  1. a portfolio of peer-verified outputs which are in the public domain and / or published research which must constitute a substantial and coherent body of work which is comparable to the extent of work required of a standard PhD programme.
  2. a critical appraisal of 15,00 - 30,000 words which must: Demonstrate how the outputs form a coherent body of work, demonstrate methodological and conceptual rigour, articulate the contribution to the field, clarify the individual contribution made the candidate in cases where the work has been co-authored.

Further details can be found in section of appendix 4 of the Research Degree Regulations.


Guidance for examinars 

Examiners of the PhD by Prior Publication are expected to:

  • evaluate the intellectual merit of the candidate's cited published work
  • establish if a satisfactory case is made for coherence between the publications
  • assess the contribution to knowledge represented by the publications and made apparent in any critical appraisal
  • evaluate the rigour with which the candidate has contextualised and analysed his/her publications in any critical appraisal
  • evaluate the appropriateness of the methods employed in the research and the suitability of their application
  • assess the candidate's contribution to the various phases of the research embodied in multi-authored works
  • establish the candidate's 'ownership' of the published work and appreciation of the state of (historical and current) knowledge within the candidate's research area
  • assess the candidate's research skills in terms of his / her potential as a continuing, independent researcher.            

Contact us 


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By phone: 01784 276886

In person:

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