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Frequently Asked Questions -MPhil/PhD

1. How do I apply for a research degree?faq.png

2. How long does an MPhil/PhD take?

3. Is it possible to study for an MPhil/PhD course on a part-time basis?

4. What do I need to apply for an MPhil/PhD?

5. What are the entry requirements for an MPhil/PhD?

6. What if I don’t know yet what my results for my MA will be, can I still apply?

7. Do I need to have a fully developed research proposal?

8. How much money do I need for an MPhil/PhD?

9. Can I live on campus?

10. Can I apply for funding?

11. How soon can I start the application process?

12. What is the latest I can still apply for an MPhil/PhD?

13. How soon after applying will I know whether I have been accepted?

14. Can I apply for an MPhil/PhD at more than one place at the same time?

15. Would it be appropriate to contact the members of staff in History about my wish to study for an MPhil/PhD?

16. Who decides whether I get accepted onto an MPhil/PhD programme?

17. Are there limited numbers on the programme?

18. I have not been a student for many years, can I still apply?

19. I have not been in an academic environment for many years. How do I find academic referees?

20. I am an overseas student. Is the process the same for me?

21. What happens if my supervisor is on research leave whilst I am studying?

22. What is the next step with regards to career progression after successful completion of a PhD?

1. Details about applications can be found on the University PG Admissions pages. There is an online application, initially dealt with by the Postgraduate Admissions Team. The application form will then be forwarded to the department for a decision.

2. A PhD normally takes three years (full-time), but you will be registered with the University for four years and expected to devote any time required in your fourth year to writing up your research. It can start at any point throughout the academic year (based on when your supervisor confirms the start date), but we strongly advise you start at the beginning of the academic year.

Successful applicants are admitted in the first instance to the MPhil degree, and are expected to pass through an Upgrade procedure from MPhil to full PhD status within one year of registration.

3. Yes, a number of our students each year enrol on a part-time basis. For a part-time PhD you would normally have five years to complete. Should an extension of study be required, then this can be discussed with your supervisor and the Director of Graduate Studies.

Successful applicants are admitted in the first instance to the MPhil degree, and are expected to pass through an Upgrade procedure from MPhil to full PhD status (held towards the beginning of the second year for part-time).

4. You will need to fill in the online form, and provide references from two academics. You will also be required to provide the transcript/certificate of your MA and a research proposal (see Point 7 for details).

5. Requirements are:

A. MA degree in a history / history related discipline (we would normally expect a Distinction or Merit level for PhD).

B. Two satisfactory academic references

C. For English Language requirements please see: Admissions Requirements.

D. A detailed research proposal (see no. 7)

Please be advised, many of our students do come from history or history-related disciplines, but an undergraduate/postgraduate degree in history is not an inflexible requirement for our programme. We will consider each application on a case-by-case basis.

6. You can apply during your final year of postgraduate study. Most applicants will not know yet at that stage what their degree result will be and you may be provisionally enrolled on our course if your examination board meets after your PhD start date. You will in this case be expected to confirm your final degree result asap and normally within 6 weeks of the course commencing. Please note that, should you not make the entry requirements, you may be asked to withdraw from the course.

On the application form a predictive grade can be noted, and would be useful if also included in your references.

Due to the documentation required in order to obtain a student visa, overseas applicants must have completed their MA course AND had their Masters degree officially conferred at least 6-8 weeks prior to admission. Without having received the original (or attested copy) of the degree certificate or transcript, the University cannot issue a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) letter, which is required for a Tier 4 visa application.

7. For the application we would expect a detailed research proposal of approximately 2,000 words (excluding footnotes and bibliography), including field of study and methodology details and an illustrative bibliography. Please upload this as a supporting document as a Word or PDF document. Please be advised that certain funding bodies may set a different word limit so care should be taken to check the individual funding bodies application criteria on your funding application (which is often a separate process from the general PhD application system). You are also expected to identify a potential supervisor and discuss your research proposal with them before application. You should also indicate potential supervision arrangements in your application. Guidance on writing a research proposal is available from our PG Admissions Team here. Details of our academic staff and their research expertise can be found on our web page: Academic Staff.

8. The fees change on a year by year basis. Please check here for the details of the fees for the coming year. You will also need funds to pay for accommodation and subsistence.

9. Yes. It is possible, but there is only a limited amount of space for graduate students. The sooner you apply to the accommodation office, the better. You will need your university ID number to apply which can be obtained from PG admissions or our Postgraduate Coordinator.

You may also like to investigate the option of serving as a residential tutor

10. Yes - many of our students receive funding from the major research councils (ESRC and AHRC), as well as from the University. We are normally able to offer a number of departmental studentships every year. For details, please see our information pages on Funding for PhD Study.

11. New applications open around October of the year before commencing the course e.g. October 2019 for October 2020 entry, and you can begin to apply soon after that. Applications will be accepted throughout the year, but if you are interested in applying for funding, you will need to apply in the autumn or in early January at the very latest - see the link above for funding competition deadlines. Should you wish to begin outside the academic year start date (October), please contact us to discuss this.

12. We occasionally admit research students at other times of the year under certain circumstances. Please be advised that for alternative start dates, we would normally expect you to apply at least two months before you wish to commence your course. (Your supervisor and the Director of Graduate Studies will confirm your start date at offer stage).

13. The department can normally make a decision within 10 working days of receipt of your application from the Admissions Team, although in some cases it may take longer based on individual circumstances. If you are successful, you will receive an official offer letter from admissions shortly thereafter.

14. Yes, you can. There is technically no limit to the number of PhD programmes you can apply for. We hope, of course, that your application is serious, and that you will choose to come to Warwick!

15. Certainly! We welcome enquires from all students about PhD study. Feel free to contact any member of staff (see the webpage: Academic Staff) especially with regards to who you would potentially like to work with. The Postgraduate and Research Coordinator may also be able to help with your enquiries.


16. The Director of Graduate Studies in History, in conjunction with the potential supervisor, decides on whether your application can be accepted.


17. For MPhil/PhD we anticipate being able to offer places to all qualified applicants. However, we may have to take into account the number of current PhD students being supervised by the member of satff you have identitfed as a potential supervisor.

18. Yes! We have many students who come to Warwick from different walks of life, and if you think PhD study is for you, we would encourage you to apply! Please note that our standard entry requirement is a 2:1 (or equivalent) in History or a related discipline.

19. Ideally, you should find two academics who have seen your work. If that is not possible, it would be best to get in touch with the Admissions Team, see Supporting Documentation for further information.

20. As far as we are concerned, we deal with all applicants in exactly the same way. If English is not your first language, please take into consideration this information on English Language Requirements

21. If your supervisor is in research leave they may be able to continue supervising you as usual. If they are not then your supervisor will arrange--following discussion with you--for an interim supervisor to be appointed.

22. Many students embark on a doctorate because they wish to pursue a career in academia. In that case the next step after completing a doctorate might be a permanent academic position, but in many cases the next step is likely to be a series of temporary appointments, or a research fellowship. Your supervisor will be able to advise on likely opportunities, and will doubtless write you references for these positions.

Not everyone, however, wishes to follow this trajectory. Warwick history doctorates hold positions in museums, archives, schools and a variety of other venues.

The History Department strongly supports both those students who want to continue in academia, and those who wish to work outside the academy.