This document is a Qualifications Characteristics Statement for doctoral degrees. It describes the distinctive features of doctoral degrees in the UK. Characteristics Statements are closely linked to The Frameworks for Higher Education Qualifications of UK Degree-Awarding Bodies (the Qualifications Frameworks). They complement and contextualise the information provided within the Qualifications Frameworks, providing more detail about the distinctive features of qualifications at particular levels of the frameworks and/or of qualifications at any level, which are awarded in a particular way. This latest version becomes a reference point for the purposes of QAA reviews conducted from 1 August 2016. The previous edition of the Statement continues to apply to reviews conducted before 1 August 2016.