The Programme

In this section


The Package

Our students have their fees paid for the duration of the programme and also receive an annual stipend of at least £20,777 (EngD), £16, 277 (PhD). In addition to this they have access to a conference budget of up to £3000 for the duration of the course.


What is an EngD?

An Engineering Doctorate (EngD) is an alternative to the traditional PhD for students who want a career in industry. Our four-year programme combines PhD-level research projects with masters-level technical and MBA courses. Our students spend 75% of their time working directly with a company and 25% on courses.

Each research project is proposed by one of our 35 industrial partners and is normally located at the company's site.  Students are co-supervised by an industrial and academic supervisor and submit a thesis which is examined in a similar way to a PhD.

We are part of the AEngD (Association of Engineering Doctorates), a community of EngD providers, researchers, sponsors, EngD alumni and other stakeholders in the EngD 'brand', ensuring the qualification is widely recognised in industry and academia.


What Does the Programme Involve?

The programme duration is four years.  All students study 180 credits of postgraduate technical and business courses (SCQF Level 11 NQF/QCF Level 7). Normal entry is in September, with core technical courses delivered in two 60-credit residential blocks, the first from September to December at the University of St Andrews and the second from January to May at the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde. Each block comprises a set of mandatory courses, but alternatives may be made available in cases where alternative courses are critical to a student's background and research project.

Selected courses are available in distance-learning format, allowing company employees to pursue an EngD without spending a large amount of time away from the company.

Students progress to their research project in June, with EngD projects located at the company's site and PhD projects being based in one of our five university partners.

The remaining taught courses are business oriented and are delivered by the Edinburgh Business School at Heriot-Watt University in 4 day intensive blocks in years two and three.

Forming a strong cohort is an important part of the programme and our students meet regularly for professional and computational skills workshops throughout the duration of the programme.


Typical Course Route

Year 1

Semester 1 (September - December)

Mandatory courses

Photonics Lab (PH5181)

15 credits

University of St Andrews

Optical Imaging Concepts (PH5192)

15 credits

University of St Andrews

Concepts in Signal and Image Analysis

15 credits

University of Strathclyde (delivered at St Andrews)


Semester 2 (January - May)

Mandatory courses

Systems Engineering Lab and Group Project

20 credits

University of Strathclyde

Photonic Sensors from Devices to Systems

15 credits

Heriot-Watt University

Plus 40 credits of elective courses from a wide choice at each partner university. Please see our modules page for more information on first year mandatory and elective courses.


Years 2 & 3 

Edinburgh Business School at Heriot-Watt University


Financial Decision Making (HWU) 20 credits

Delivering Successful Projects (HWU) 20 credits

Strategic Marketing (HWU) 20 credits