How to Apply

Applications for our programmes are made online, via the Student Application Portal. Full details of the application process can be found on the University website. We advise all applicants to read through the information provided in detail before submitting an application. Applicants should consult the individual Coursefinder pages for up-to-date details of the entry requirements for each programme.

Application Deadline

There is no formal deadline for receipt of applications, but we strongly encourage you to submit your completed application and supporting documents by July 31st in the year in which you intend to start the programme. This is especially important for international applicants. Applications are considered on a rolling basis.

Please note that scholarships, including the IDEA scholarships and bursaries, have earlier deadlines than this. 

Application Requirements

All applicants need to upload copies of all of the following:

  • Degree certificates and transcripts of all relevant qualifications 
  • Two academic references
  • Application essay (1000-1500 words)
  • If relevant, evidence of English language test scores

All applicants should consult the University's Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy before applying. 

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Application Essay

All applicants must submit an essay. 

The essay will be used to assess your ability to construct arguments and defend a coherent ethical position. It should be 1000-1500 words in length, and address a topic relevant to the course. We recommend that you do some background reading before writing your essay. A good, free, introductory resource is the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

We have provided some example questions that you can use below. You may also pick a topic of your own, or provide work you have previously submitted elsewhere, as long as you have contacted the Programme Director to make sure it is acceptable.

Applied and Professional Ethics Questions

Applicants should choose one question from the below:

  • Can personal integrity and professional integrity ever conflict? If so, which should win out?
  • What is trust, and why is it so important in professional life?
  • Is a system of bonus pay compatible with a fair system of rewards?
  • What is Corporate (Social) Responsibility and to whom is such responsibility owed?
  • Does justice require equal pay for equal work?
  • Can deception in the workplace or in professional life ever be justified?
  • Can deception in research ever be justified?
  • When, if ever, would a professional be justified in breaching a client's confidentiality?

Biomedical and Health Care Ethics Questions

Applicants should choose one question from the below:

  • How should doctors decide who shall live when not all can live?
  • Is foetal abnormality a morally defensible ground for performing an abortion?
  • Should women be allowed to bear babies for a fee?
  • Can deception in research be justified?
  • When, if ever, are doctors justified in breaching a patient’s confidentiality?

If you require any further guidance, or wish to choose your own topic, please contact the Programmes Director, Dr Joe Saunders.


All applicants are required to arrange for two references to be sent to the Centre. Your referees should be qualified to comment on your academic ability and should not be from people related to you by blood or marriage. Please note that academic references are preferred, although we will consider professional references in some cases.

The names and contact details of your referees should be entered in the Referees section of the application form. 

All referees should either use the University's referees report, or headed paper.

References should be sent to the Centre directly by the referee, and not come via the applicant. Any references that are submitted directly by the applicant will not be considered. Please inform your referees to send your reference by either:

E-mail to This must be sent from their work e-mail as stated on your application and not a personal account (i.e. Gmail, Hotmail)

Post to address below:-

Postgraduate Admissions
Inter-disciplinary Ethics Applied Centre
University of Leeds
17 Blenheim Terrace

You are responsible for contacting your referees and ensuring that all necessary references are received.

Supporting Statement

As part of the application process you will be asked to provide a supporting statement. This is a way to express your interest in the programme and your reasons for pursuing postgraduate study in ethics. Please use this opportunity to tell us:

  • Why you have chosen to apply to this programme?
  • How this programme relates to your professional life, and how you see it contributing to your professional development (if relevant)
  • About any previous experience of ethics that you may have
  • If you are invited to interview (see below) we will explore these questions with you further then.

Bursaries and Scholarship applications

Details of the process of applications to the IDEA bursaries and scholarships can be found here.

The application process for all of our scholarships and bursaries are the same. Please note that the closing date for all scholarship and bursary applications is 30th June. Applications received after this date will not be considered.

For further details of other University of Leeds scholarships please visit

Submission of Documents

Electronic copies of documents should be uploaded to the Student Application Portal before submitting your application.

If your application is successful you will be required to show us paper evidence of your relevant qualifications before you will be able to register with the University. We will only accept either originals or copies certified by the issuing institution.

Students attending the University in person can bring these documents with them to induction. Distance learning students should send us their documents as soon as they have received an offer from the University to the address below.

Postgraduate Admissions
Inter-disciplinary Ethics Applied Centre
University of Leeds
17 Blenheim Terrace

Sending documents as early as possible ensures there is no delay in you being able to register for your course.

We strongly suggest you use registered post if you are sending original documents; these will be returned to you the same way.


As a standard part of the admissions process, all applicants will be interviewed. The interview will take around 30 minutes, and will involve discussing the following matters:

  • Your motivation for choosing this course, and the University of Leeds, including how ethics relates to your professional development (if relevant)
  • Your background knowledge of ethics and applied ethics (if any)
  • Your writing sample

Interviews will take place either in person at the Centre (for face-to-face students) or by telephone or VOIP/Skype (for distance learning students).

Successful applicants will be contacted by the Admissions Team as soon as possible after interview. Please ensure that you enter up-to-date contact details on your application form.  

Further Information

If you have any questions on the application process, please contact If you have already submitted an application please quote your student ID number in all correspondence.