How to Apply
What do I need to think about before applying?
Before applying for a PhD, you should ensure that you:
- Have or expect to have a relevant first degree at 1st class or 2.1 standard or a first degree 2:2 standard and a relevant Master's degree, or equivalent for overseas degrees.
- Have a commitment to and demonstrated some ability in research. Often your previous experience and performance, such as in an undergraduate or a Master's research project, will show whether research is right for you and you are right for research.
- Overseas applicants also need to satisfy the English Language requirement [IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in all four elements of the test or equivalent qualification acceptable to the university].
If you meet the above criteria, the next step is to check whether we can supervise research in your chosen area. We only take PhD students to whom we can offer expert research supervision from one of our academic staff. Therefore, your research question needs to engage with the research interests of one of our staff. You should use the Find A Supervisor tool to identify a suitable supervisor, using the 'filter by School' option.
How do I apply?
Applications to study for a PhD are handled centrally by the University’s Postgraduate Admissions Office. To apply, you should use the online application system.
What documents do I need in support of my application?
To make an application you will need to complete or provide the following:
- A fully completed online application.
- A research proposal of not more than 2000 words (excluding bibliography), drafted according to our guidelines on proposal writing. You must contact a potential supervisor who will provide feedback on your draft. You should not submit an application and proposal unless you have received feedback on your draft from a potential supervisor within the School.
- Two references [including at least one academic reference]. Please choose your referees carefully, since we shall be contacting them for an opinion as to your suitably for research.
- If your first language is not English, a language certificate (IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in all four elements of the test or equivalent qualification acceptable to the university, or other proven expertise in English writing and reading e.g. undertaking a higher degree through the medium of English]
Also, take care to describe clearly the level of your primary degree. If you obtained your primary degree from a university outside the UK it can speed up the application process if you can relate your qualification to the UK system.
The 6 Steps of Applying for a PhD
You might know what you want to study, but what is the next step - how do you find your supervisor, how should you write a research proposal?The 6 Steps to Apply Guide