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Research Degree Application Checklist

Research | The Proposal | Entry Requirements | Fees & Funding | Apply | Documents | What next | Student experience

Note: There are no application deadlines for our research degrees, however if you are also applying for a scholarship please review the scholarship deadlines to ensure you can fulfil the entry criteria for admission. Receiving an offer for a research degree does not automatically mean you have also applied or are being considered for a scholarship.

Good to know... there is no application assessment fee for research degree applications.

1. Identify your research area of interest

Before beginning your search for a potential supervisor, you should read more about the research expertise in the School of Engineering. This will give you an overview of the areas in which it is possible for you to undertake a PhD or MSc by Research. When you feel confident that you can contribute to the research carried out within the School, you can then begin your search for a supervisor.
Browse the research topics by research area or try the ResearchLink opens in a new window webpages and identify potential supervisors in the area(s) that are of interest to you. The academic staff in the School welcome enquiries from potential PhD candidates, so you are advised to contact them directly. Send your research proposal or explain that you would like to discuss possible research projects with them and detail how you plan to fund your studies.

2. The research proposal

It is essential that you provide a coherent research proposal that details your specific research interests so that we can match or direct your application to potential supervisors. The proposal does not need to be very long, but the quality should be high and no more than 2 pages. Ideally, your proposal should address the points below however as long as we get a clear idea of your research interests then we can consider your application.


  • Ensure that your research interests match those in the School of Engineering.
  • Include the name of the academic supervisor that matches your research interests, we will send your application directly to that person.
  • Research the available projects within the School of Engineering
  • Research the active areas of researchLink opens in a new window within the School of Engineering
  • Outline the main objectives of your research, providing details of two or three key aspects.
  • State your target audience for this project.
  • Explain what the main outcomes of the project are that you would want to see.
  • Outline what methods/approaches you intend to use to achieve the aims of your project.
  • Indicate your suggested data collection procedures, including sources and any possible difficulties.
  • Explain any analytical techniques you intend to use for your research.
  • Do use this cover page [ResearchProposal.docx]


    • Broad research areas which would be unmanageable as a PhD topic or that have no relevance to the University of Warwick research areas.
    • Vague descriptions of your research interests.

    3. Check the entry requirements:

    Admission for a PhD or MSc by Research:
    Q. What entry requirements does the University set?

    A. In order to come to Warwick, you need to hold an unconditional offer. All applicants must satisfy the general postgraduate admissions requirements and also those of the course which they wish to pursue.

    • Qualifications: Applicants should normally possess at least an upper second class honours standard or the equivalent and/or a Master's degree at Merit level or its equivalent.
      • Q. How do I know if my qualification grade is equivalent?

        A. Overseas Qualifications: UK Equivalent Scores Stated equivalents are neither absolute nor complete. Satisfying the grade requirement of your course is only one aspect of the application and does not guarantee admission.

    • Two academic references: References are essential in helping us to decide whether to make you an offer of a place or not. You'll need to think carefully about who is best placed to act in this capacity for you. You should nominate referees who can provide an informed view of your academic ability and suitability for your chosen programme of study. If you have studied a postgraduate degree in the past two years, we will require at least one reference from someone who taught you at postgraduate level from your last place of study.
    • English Language Qualification: If your first language is not English you will be expected to obtain one of the recognised English Language qualifications. The University has now approved some additional English language tests to meet English language conditions of offer, including TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition, LangCert (for entry onto postgraduate courses) and Duolingo (for entry onto the Pre-sessional English language course and postgraduate courses). The School of Engineering accept Band A scores: opens in a new window

    Q. Do I need an ATAS?

    A. The requirement for an ATAS certificate applies to all students whose nationality is outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, irrespective of country of residence at the point of application. You need an ATAS certificate if you are an international student applying to study at postgraduate level in the UK. The CAH3 code is CAH10-01-01 engineering (non-specific).

    When your offer is issued, the instructions about what you need to include in your ATAS application will be provided to you. Do not apply until you have received this information.

    4. Funding and Scholarships

    Have you considered funding, and in particular, investigated potential options for scholarships?

    Many funding sources require a separate application, so it is often best to apply for admission first to secure your place. If you find a scholarship suitable for you, please take care to read the instructions on how to apply carefully, incomplete or late applications are not accepted.

    Fees: Research Postgraduate students are 'Standard Course Fees' Band 2, click here to see fees table

    NOTE: Receiving an offer for a research degree does not automatically mean you have also applied or are being considered for a scholarship.

    5. Apply:

    Research degree applications open for entry, available start dates are:

    • 9th January 2023
    • 3rd April 2023
    • 2nd October 2023
    • 8th January 2024
    • 1st April 2024

    Start your application

    Apply for a research course online now through our application portal. You don’t need to complete your application all at once, you can start now and save for later.

    Apply for a research course

    Department: School of Engineering

    Academic Year: 2022/23 - for 9th January 2023 or 3rd April 2023.

    Academic Year: 2023/24 - for 2nd October 2023, 8th January 2024 or 1st April 2024

    Mode of Study: Full-time

    Type of course: Postgraduate Research - or - Visiting Research Student

    Select from:

    • MPhil/PhD in Engineering (P-H1Q2)
    • Engineering (MSc by Research) (P-H1PN)
    • Wide Bandgap Power Electronics (EngD) (P-H6P9)* Note candidates should refer to the website for the stage 1 application process.

    There are no application fees for Postgraduate Research programmes.

    The application process does not routinely include consideration for a scholarship unless otherwise stated in the scholarship advert. In most cases, you will need to hold an offer of admission before making a scholarship application.

    6. Supporting Documents

    Once you start your application the online system will inform you as to which supporting documents we require.

    NOTE: At this stage in the application process we can accept scanned and copy documents; certificates, transcripts, references, English qualifications and research proposal. If your application is successful your offer for admission will list the original or attested documents needed by the Admissions Service. 

    • You will need an unconditional offer before you are able to enrol. We ask you to provide all of your supporting documents as PDF files and upload them to your online application form so that the University can make an assessment. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
    • Once you have received an offer from the University you must officially accept your offer by following the instructions as directed in your offer.
    • For candidates applying for a PhD by Published Work please ensure you have read and understood the requirements detailed at

    Where do I need to send the supporting documents?

    Postgraduate Admissions Team 6
    University House
    University of Warwick
    CV4 8UW

    Original (or attested copies of) documentation confirming all of the information you have provided must be made available to the University on request. Failure to do so may result in the withdrawal of any conditional offer of a place at the University of Warwick.

    We regret that the Admissions Office will not return original documents sent in support of your application unless you provide a self-addressed envelope for their return at the time of submission. If you do not wish to send in original documents then please submit appropriately certified or attested copies.

    7. What happens to my application?

    It will take 6 - 8 weeks to receive a decision on complete applications that include scanned copies of transcripts (final or current), research proposal and references if you have already identified a potential supervisor.

    In busy periods, there may be a slight delay in processing applications. It is nothing to worry about. The University considers each application carefully and a decision is made on the information provided in your application so please make sure you include all relevant information. Please be patient whilst waiting to receive your decision.

    The Decision is usually one of three:

    • An unconditional offer, which means you have met all the academic conditions required before entry and we are offering you a place.
    • A conditional offer, which means you do not yet meet the academic conditions required before entry, but you are likely to do so.
      The conditions will be clearly stated in the formal offer from Postgraduate Admissions. It may include requests such as English language test scores, degree results or satisfactory references.
    • We are unable to offer you a place at this time.

    What should I do now while I wait for a decision?

    Once you’ve applied you will be given access to your own applicant portal. There are a number of features in the applicant portal that you might find useful during this time:

    • Track the progress of your application
    • Get alerts for any pending actions you may be required to take, for instance, upload documents
    • See core emails and communications that have been sent to you
    • Amend or add details of your agent or nominated contact if required
    • Contact the academic department and admissions to ask questions about your application
    • View a copy of the application form you submitted
    • Withdraw your application (if you'd like to - we sure hope not)
    • Respond to your offer if your application is successful

    There is so much more you can do on the applicant portal. Once you have access, why not check it out?

    Useful links

    Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

    The University of Warwick provides an inclusive working and learning environment, recognising and respecting every individual’s differences. We welcome applications from individuals who identify with any of the protected characteristics defined by the Equality Act 2010.

    Student experience