What is Integrated PhD Programs?

The integrated PhD programs are dedicatedly designed to reduce the time of the entire PhD which covers a master’s course in the 5 year PhD coursework. 

PhDs are so popular in recent times the reason is people love to educate themself and learn new things. But because of many limitations, not all students can get into it. 

For instance, the regular PhD seats are limited, Government employees can’t get into the full-time PhD course, the funded PhD options are not available for all. Therefore universities manufactured PhD structures based on the requirement of students. 

Some can do it full time, rest can do it part-time. 

Employees can do it with their job and other can do it without job, with a fellowship. 

Integrated PhD programs are also a type of PhD dedicatedly designed for a group of students who want to complete it as soon as possible in a legit way.

In the present piece of article, I will explain to you the structure of the iPhD or integrated PhD, what are the requirements of it and how to get it. Before that you can read this article also,

Related article: How long does it take to get a PhD?

What is an integrated PhD? 

The integrated PhDs are programs that include the study module of master’s, coursework and PhD research in one single 5-year degree. The candidate needs to submit a thesis at the end of the fifth year of the degree. 

The traditional way to get into PhD is after master’s or master’s, MPhil and PhD. 

PhD takes 4 to 5 years and a huge amount of money to complete. Therefore by following the traditional way one has to invest more money and time (2+1+5 years) to get the PhD degree. While in the integrated PhD, they can save both!

Though the integrated PhDs have different marks and criteria to fulfil. There is a separate evaluation process, examinations and research modules must have completed every year. 

The typical integrated PhD comprises modules of;

  1. General subjects related to the course and subject specific interdisciplinary topics. 
  2. Coursework- research methodology, technical training and research skills. 
  3. Core research modules of 3 years. 

 Much like other master’s, prospective students of integrated PhD has to study the topics related to their subject for at least one year and also have to pass the examinations with “good grades”.

After that technical part of the degree along with coursework will start. Coursework teaches various research methodologies in which in the end, everyone needs to clear the coursework examination. 

After that, the supervisor evaluates the progress of candidates and closely monitor his or her potential to do recherche for the next 3 years. The PhD tenure starts after completing the coursework. 

In any situation, if the prospective candidate fails to clear any modules, they can’t go ahead in the degree. Also, if they fail to show progress, they have to leave the integrated program midway. 


As the integrated PhD is the combiantion of two degree, only undergraduate degree with good grades are need to get into. The graduations must be obtained from the reputed university. 

Also the candidate has to show their research skill to survive and do research throughout the neture. 

How to award the degree? 

The degree is specially designed in three parts as we discussed. The candidate must have to clear the examination, the coursework and submit a thesis to appear in the PhD viva. Every integrated PhD students must have to defend their thesis at the terminal. 

Intermediate exit award: 

The criteria for the integrated PhD are tougher to complete. It doesn’t mean that if you fail, you have to leave. The university award the intermediate diploma or master’s degree award to the student who leaves midway. 

There are two cases to give the intermediate award, first, the student doesn’t want to go ahead in the PhD (due to some reason), and second, the supervisor thinks that the student is not capable of doing the recherche for the next three year. 

In both the cases, the intermediate degree is awarded. 

Benefits of integrated PhD: 

The integrated PhD programs are more beneficial to the students whose goal is to complete the degree as soon as possible. Traditionally it takes 6 to 7 years from master’s to PhD while in integrated PhD, it takes only 5 years- 2 for masters and coursework and 3 years for PhD. 

Thus it saves time for students. 

It also saves money too. In the traditional way, the student has to pay fees for master’s (2 years) and MPhil and also have to pay expenses of the MPhil research. 

As both the degrees as integrated into one, students need to pay fees for only the whole integrated course. It is actually economically beneficial. 

Drawbacks of integrated PhD: 

Everything has drawbacks and so the integrated PhD is! 

Though it saves times, the criteria are tougher to fulfil. Also, the whole tenure are full of examinations and evaluation process. The goal is to save time, students needs to complete their study, coursework and research- all things at once. So it becomes more troublesome for the undergraduate students to multi task all. 

Also the final decision will be on the PhD supervisor, if they think you can’t do it, you have to leave. 

However, the values of an integrated PhD are equal to the regular one. But not all the courses provide the present degree. It is available for some selected courses. 


The integrated courses are as valuable as the regular ones. After completing the degree, prospective students can compete with regular PhD students for getting the job. They also get higher salaries as well. 

The integrated PhDs are majorly available in science and technology subjects. Some universities prefer common entrance examination for enrolling in the present degree. 

Some FAQs: 

What is an integrated PhD? 

The integrated PhD is the combination of masters and PhD as one degree designed to save time. Students need to learn the main subjects, coursework and to do research. 

Who can enroll into the integrated PhD? 

Any undergraduate can apply for the integrated PhD but keep in mind that they can only apply to their stream only. 

What is the tenure for it? 

It takes 5 years to complete the integrated PhD. 

Is a traditional PhD is better than the integrated one? 

No, both are equal, however, the flexibilities in the traditional PhD programs are more. 

What are the requirements of the integrated PhD? 

Usually bachelor’s degree is required to enrol into the integrated PhD. 

What are the requirements to award the integrated PhD? 

A candidate needs to clear the examinations of main courses, the coursework as well as to write the thesis, publish a research article and defend a thesis at the end. 

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