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Frequently Asked Questions

 

When do I apply?  

We receive and accept applications throughout the year. However, we aim to register new full time students at the beginning of the academic year in late September/early October. This is to ensure that new students do not miss University and School induction programmes and Research Methods training programmes. Of course, this start date is not always possible and the School may register students at another time by prior arrangement.   

Are there awards or scholarships available? 

Scholarships are very limited and most of our students are self-funding or receive scholarships from other sources.

How many years of study are involved? 

Normally, full time students will register for 3 years and part-time students for 6 years. It is possible for students to take an additional year for writing up their thesis – a thesis only year – at reduced fee levels.  

Am I registered as a PhD student from the outset? 

In common with other universities, all postgraduate research students at Queens who intend to take a PhD programme register in the first instance as undifferentiated research students.  Students then undertake their differentiation, this process determines whether they will proceed to PhD study.  Students who begin their programme with the intention of obtaining an MPhil are registered as MPhil students in the first instance.

All applications are now online and there is a link at the bottom of this page to the Online Application Form and Guidance Notes. Once your application has been recorded by Admissions it is later sent to us in the School. Once we have received all your documentation including referees reports, your application is sent to 2-3 academics within the School, who are experts in your research topic or area, for assessment (see selection decision below). The outcome of this assessment is then returned as soon as possible to the Admissions Office, who will then contact you with a decision.  

What if I wish to apply for an award as well as admission? 

All applications for awards that have been assessed positively within the School will be considered at a meeting of the School Postgraduate Research Committee in May/June. Following this meeting, we will be forwarding awards recommendations to the Postgraduate Research Office. They will then contact students with a decision. Please note that applicants who are applying for awards or scholarships may be asked to attend an interview as part of the selection process.

What influences the selection process?

A number of factors influence the selection process. Foremost amongst these are the applicant’s academic qualifications, the quality of the applicant’s research proposal and the availability of a suitable supervisor.  

The academic entry qualifications: 

For Finance PhD Research - a good 2.1 honours degree plus a Masters degree in Finance (or will shortly obtain one).  A good 2.1 honours degree is normally at the upper end of the scale (or GPA equivalent). The Masters degree average should be at least 65%. When applying, please be sure to include details of your average undergraduate and postgraduate degree scores (or GPA equivalents). 

For Economics PhD Research - a good 2.1 honours degree plus a Masters degree in Economics, Finance or Econometrics (or will shortly obtain one).  A good 2.1 honours degree is normally at the upper end of the scale (or GPA equivalent). The Masters degree average should be at least 65%. When applying, please be sure to include details of your average undergraduate and postgraduate degree scores (or GPA equivalents). 

For Accounting and Management Research - a good 2.1 honours degree in a relevant area (or will shortly obtain one).  A good 2.1 honours degree is normally at the upper end of the scale (or GPA equivalent). When applying, please be sure to include details of your average undergraduate degree score (or GPA equivalent). Most of our PhD students obtain a first class honours degree in a relevant area and this is especially the case for applicants seeking DEL awards. We also consider applicants’ relevant professional qualifications, previous academic research experience and relevant work experience.

The Research Proposal

All applicants are asked to present a research proposal of around 1000 words with the online application form. Of course we know that a student’s original research plans are likely to alter after they register with us and have had an opportunity to discuss with their supervisor and undertake more directed reading. However, the content of the research proposal that is part of the online application provides an indication of the thought that has already been devoted to postgraduate research, and also helps us ensure that we have available and can select the most appropriate supervisors for the research. 

Your research proposal should include: 

1. A title for the research
2. The research objective, question or key hypothesis as appropriate
3. Where you think the topic fits in relation to the existing literature or what theory or theories are likely to inform this research?
4. What contribution you believe the research will make, what deliverables or outcomes are likely, or why is this research important?
5. What research methods are likely to be used?
6. What is the proposed schedule or timetable for the research over the three year period?
7. Indicative literature references – only a few key theoretical references from 3 above.  

Supervisor Availability

We will only accept applicants whose research area or topic can be supervised within our School. There may not be a supervisor available for the topic that you are interested in, or the best supervisor for your research is already supervising a number of PhD students and cannot take on another one.

Other Criteria

Other selection criteria include the applicant’s referees’ reports and proficiency in English language. 

Applicants are asked to provide the names of two academic referees who know the quality of the applicant’s work as an undergraduate and/or postgraduate student. It is important that applicants provide e-mail addresses for their referees since this is how we normally contact them.  

For students whose native language is not English, the University and the School requires evidence of proficiency in English. Currently, proficiency is determined by whether or not the applicant holds an English language qualification as follows: IELTS with a minimum score of 7.0; TOEFL with a minimum score of 600 (paper) or 250 (computer)

Online application form and guidance notes