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Is it feasible for an engineering student from Germany to get into a Ph.D. program in the UK/Ireland? Specifically, what should one keep in mind/try to accomplish in the last two years before finishing the "Diplom"? How would one apply?

Maybe this question can be extended to other combinations of countries, but I didn’t want it to be too broad.

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From what I gather (from wikipedia) an EngD is not much different, but maybe more closely related to the industry. Maybe you could add how it is perceived in the UK (and Germany) at the industry,i.e. is it widely known? – Psirus Feb 23 '12 at 19:39
I have a "Dipl.-Ing. (FH)" and a "M.Eng." (same FH, both "Elektrotechnik") and did a Ph.D. in Electronic Engineering at the University of Limerick. They would have accept me without the Masters as well, but then you need to first start a "Masters by Research" and then you can apply for a transfer to the Ph.D. course after one year. – Martin Scharrer Sep 16 '13 at 8:31
up vote 4 down vote accepted

In short, yes. If you're talking about the "traditional" 5 year Diplom, it's essentially equivalent to an MSc, which is what most universities require to start a PhD (although some only require a Bachelor's degree). I don't think you need to keep anything in particular in mind when finishing, apart from making sure that you get good grades for your transcript :)

The application procedure wouldn't be any different from other students, although you may have to explain in some detail what your degree is.

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Thank you for your answer. I have to admit that I don’t know what the usual application procedure for a regular British Ph.D. student is. Maybe that should go into another question though. – Psirus Feb 23 '12 at 19:41
You'll find instructions on the page that advertises a PhD position. Usually you need to contact whoever is in charge and send CV/transcript/etc. – Lars Kotthoff Feb 23 '12 at 19:48

Yes, it is certainly possible.

One thing to keep in mind is that practically all PhD programs in the UK require some evidence of an acceptable standard of English (see here for an example), usually IELTS or TOEFL tests, and depending on your English skills, this might warrant some preparation during the last year of your Diplom.

Many PhD programs also require at least two letters of recommendation, so the sooner you have an idea who might provide these for you, the better.

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Good to know about the English tests. Do the letters of recommendation have to be from a university, or are industrial recommendations possible as well? – Psirus Feb 24 '12 at 15:17
@Psirus: As someone who reviews admissions applications, a good letter from someone who knows you well is better than a weak letter that doesn't provide any insight. It would be better if you had at least one letter of recommendation from an academic advisor, but it won't help you if it's not a good letter. – aeismail Feb 27 '12 at 12:24

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