Applying for research degrees

Student working at a computer

Apply online Applying for research degrees is a simple five step process

You can apply and track your application online at each stage of the process and this is explained in detail in the following guidelines. Please complete your application fully so we can help ensure you succeed in your studies.

Apply online now

Alternatively you can download an application form to print out and complete. Before applying, take a minute to read these notes and check the admissions process and requirements for your particular programme.

International applicants

International applicants can use the services of our representatives overseas. Please also see our international pages for information about immigration. We also have specific entry requirements for international applicants including English language qualifications

International visitors who are currently undertaking a research degree overseas and wish to come to the University for miscellaneous research study should contact the relevant graduate school, and complete this form. More information is available for academic visitors

Applying is a simple five step process:

Step 1: choose your course

For information on the courses we offer visit our coursefinder. Please make sure that you are able to meet the requirements below before submitting your application:

Start dates vary but your school or faculty admissions office will be able to advise you on when you can begin your studies.

Step 2: find scholarships and sources of funding

We have many options for you to secure the funding that you need to commence your studies including scholarships and bursaries.

Step 3: apply  

You should contact the school that you are applying to first and ask if they have any special requirements. The supporting documents your school needs to process your application may vary but you must have copies of your academic transcripts or certificates.

Your documents

You could also need copies of:

  • your CV
  • a research proposal
  • English translations of your academic transcripts
  • English language qualification certificates
  • visa and immigration documents

All documents should be in English or be accompanied by a certified translation into English. They can be sent via the online application form or can be emailed to your school or faculty admissions office after you have applied. Your email should include your ID number (emailed to you on submission of your application), full name and your intended course of study.

Original or certified true copies will need to be supplied separately at registration. Please do not send original documents at the application stage (international students will require these documents in the student visa application process).

We are committed to providing high quality advice and support for disabled students. Our disability team offers advice and support to applicants during the admissions process


You need to submit a minimum of two academic references in support of your application. Please also check the requirements for your faculty. The names and contact details of your referees should be entered in the referees section. Download a reference request form for your referees to complete. They should email the completed forms to your intended school or faculty.

Research proposal

Some faculties require a brief description of the research area in which you are interested, or a specific research proposal. The faculty may have deadlines for your proposal so be sure to ask before you apply. The research proposal may be submitted via the application form (maximum of 1,000 words) or emailed as an attachment

You do not need to provide a research proposal when applying for a pre-defined project studentship or a Doctoral Training Centre programme, but you should state clearly which project or programme you are applying for.

After you've applied

You will be able to login and track your application’s progress. The school may contact you if they have any further entry requirements. For example, you may be invited for an interview or audition.

Step 4: we tell you our decision

Occasionally the school may decide to offer you a place on a more suitable programme. In this case the change of course offer will appear in the processed applications section on the application menu page. If the school is unable to offer you a place, they will contact you directly.

If your application is successful you will be sent an offer letter which you will need to respond to.

Step 5: accept your offer

Accept online using your student registration number as the login ID and date of birth as the PIN or, if you originally applied online, your web login Id and web login PIN.

If you do accept your offer you will be agreeing to the terms and conditions as outlined in your acceptance letter and you should only do so if you have secured funding for your studies.

If replying by email, please remember to include your full name, ID number and planned programme of study.

You can find out about our research degree candidatures code of practice before you begin your studies. If you have accepted an offer of a place, your school will advise you what happens next in terms of arrival and registration. If you have a disability you can find out more about the support available before you arrive.

Changing the start date

You should request a new date by contacting the school that you applied to. If they are happy to accommodate this change then a new formal offer letter will be issued with your revised start and end date.  You will have to accept this new offer as outlined above.