The PhD is a doctoral degree, specifically called a "doctor of philosophy" degree. This is misleading because PhD holders are not necessarily philosophers (unless they earned their degree in philosophy!). That said, PhD recipients are able to engage in thought experiments, reason about problems, and solve problems in sophisticated ways.
A PhD degree is the highest degree students can earn in any field of study. Rigorous and intense, PhD programs are available only to students who have completed master's degree program, applied to a particular PhD study course and been accepted by administrators overseeing the PhD program.
Education in the United Kingdom is a devolved matter with each of the countries of the United Kingdom having separate systems under different governments: the UK Government is responsible for England, and the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Executive are responsible for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, respectively.
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