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Postgraduate research


A mechanical engineering researcher

Join over 500 PhD students in one of the largest and most diverse engineering, environmental science and audiology faculties in the UK. We develop solutions in areas including sustainable energy, green transport, resource efficiency and resilient infrastructure.


Engineering at the University of Southampton has subjects ranked within the global top 100 and the UK’s top ten in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022. 

You'll be supported by a team of academic supervisors who'll be on hand to guide your research and provide advice. Working alongside our world-class team of researchers means you'll be working on cutting-edge research and pioneering solutions.

We'll provide you with the grounding you need to become a successful researcher. You'll benefit from both technical and personal training. You'll also be able to develop your skills further through placements in industry, mentoring, attending conferences and presenting your work.

Most of our research projects have strong links with industry so you'll be able to conduct experiments at a variety of facilities to ensure your research has real world impact. 

PhD programmes

We offer 3 PhD routes. Choosing the one that is right for you often depends on your background and previous study.  


If you've completed your undergraduate and masters degrees and want to continue in the same field, then the standard research PhD is probably the right option.

Integrated PhD (iPhD)

This PhD has an integrated training year delivered through one of our Centres for Doctoral Training (CDT). If you're coming straight from an undergraduate degree or changing your field of study, then this is a good choice. Our CDTs offer funded projects in the following areas:

Engineering Doctorate (EngD)

This programme has a specific industrial focus. It combines technical and management training with research in collaboration with an industry partner or sponsor. This means you'll have an industrial supervisor in addition to your university supervisors. The projects offered each year depend on the interests of the sponsoring companies. Like our iPhDs, they usually align with our CDT research areas. However, we sometimes recruit through our research groups if there is an interested industry sponsor.

Main areas of research

Our research areas include:

  • acoustics
  • autonomous systems
  • bio-engineering
  • computational engineering
  • energy and climate change
  • fluid dynamics
  • infrastructure
  • materials, solid mechanics and surface engineering
  • transportation
  • water and environmental engineering

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