PhD in Regulatory Affairs

TOPRA has a joint agreement for PhD students with the University of Hertfordshire (UH) looking to pursue a doctorate in Regulatory Affairs.

Duration of study for completing the PhD


This should be completed in no longer than four years – three years for the research plus one year allowed for writing the thesis. However, the candidates would be able to submit their thesis and complete at the end of a three-year period.

Part-time already holding a MSc degree

This will take seven years - five years of research with an additional two years for writing the thesis. However, the candidates may be able to submit their thesis early if their supervisor agrees and the candidate's day-to-day work is related to their project.

Entry requirements

Applicants must have:

  • a minimum of a 2:1 undergraduate degree, or a MSc in an appropriate subject
  • a minimum of two years' experience working in regulatory affairs
  • (for applicants whose first language is not English) an IELTS score of 7 overall with no less than 6.5 in any individual component
  • a valid study visa issued by UKVI if they are full time, from outside the European Union and are to spend any time studying at UH premises.

The suitability of candidates to pursue a PhD degree by research will be sought from their referees.


  • The student will have at least two supervisors: at least one academic supervisor from UH and at least one industrial supervisor recommended by TOPRA and approved by UH.
  • All supervisors must meet the requirements set out in UH’s regulations in terms of subject knowledge and supervisory experience.
  • All candidates must adhere to the UH regulations for PhD research degree and fulfil all the reporting, monitoring and supervisory requirements for the duration of their PhD programme.
  • During the course of the PhD, the student’s progress will be discussed between TOPRA and UH, subject to the consent of the student. The University will issue a report every six months on the progress of all relevant PhD students to TOPRA.


Current fees can be found on the University of Hertfordshire's website

A bench fee of £1000 per annum for part-time and £2000 per annum for full-time candidates will also be payable.  (This is standard practice for universities in the UK.) 

These fees should be paid directly to the University of Hertfordshire.

An additional compulsory and non-refundable annual fee of £500 plus VAT will be payable to TOPRA which permits students to:

  • attend relevant TOPRA events (this does not cover travel and accommodation)
  • have membership of TOPRA for the duration of their study (including access to the Regulatory Rapporteur Journal)
  • gain assistance from TOPRA in finding a suitable industrial mentor in the area of their PhD project
  • obtain general advice and support, for those candidates experiencing difficulty during their study

TOPRA will also support the PhD student by (including but not limited to): handling and reviewing of applications, record keeping, assistance with topics and administration for attendance at any relevant TOPRA events.

Applications and registration

Students should in the first instance submit an application form and their CV to the TOPRA office.

  • Applications will be processed by UH through the standard application process for PhD applicants.
  • For the avoidance of doubt, UH’s decision on whether to admit an applicant onto a PhD program is final.
  • Once accepted onto the PhD program the student will have use of all UH facilities available to the student body, including library, computing and student support, and will be eligible to attend the UH graduation ceremony if they successfully complete the PhD.

To apply, or for more information, email us