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Research Degree Application Checklist

Research | The Proposal | Entry Requirements | Fees & Funding | Apply | Upload | 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.

1. Research your chosen area:

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 Research 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. Write a coherent research proposal detailing your specific research interests:


  • Ensure that your research interests match those in the School of Engineering.
  • Research the available projects within the School of Engineering
  • Research the active areas of research within 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.
  • 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.


    • 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: 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.

    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.

    • 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.
    • If your first language is not English the University requires evidence that your English Language capability is of a level that will enable you to succeed on your chosen course of postgraduate study. The English Language entry requirements are based on the following minimum standards.

    IELTS (International English Language Testing System) with a minimum overall score of 6.5 (with no component score below 6.0).

    Acceptable English Language Tests

    More information on this, including our English Language courses, is available online

    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. 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 of 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 dates are:

    • 30th September 2019*
      • *Limited admissions due to the timeframe for applications to be processed. Late applications where candidates can submit all of the required official documents by the 15th August 2019 may be accepted.
    • 6th January 2020
    • 20th April 2020
    • 5th October 2020

    Application Form Course Details:

    Department: School of Engineering
    Course Type: Research
    Course: (make your selection)


    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. Upload your documents

    Once your application is submitted you will be provided with your unique University of Warwick seven-digit ID number and a link to upload your documents online. Please always use your University of Warwick ID number in any future correspondence.

    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 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. If your application is successful you are required to provide all of the original documents as quickly as possible to secure your unconditional offer. Once you have received an offer from the University you must officially accept your offer by following the instructions as directed on your offer letter.
    • 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?

    After you have submitted your application a decision is normally made within 6 to 8 weeks of receipt. Decisions for admission are made by prospective supervisors and the Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Engineering. The formal notification and official decision will be communicated to you by the Postgraduate Admissions team. The decision sent to you will normally be one of the following:

    • An unconditional offer, which means you have satisfied all the academic conditions required before entry and we are offering you a place;
    • A conditional offer, which means you do not yet satisfy the academic conditions required before entry, but you are likely to do so. The conditions are given in the formal offer from Postgraduate Admissions and may include documents such as English language scores, degree certificates, transcripts or satisfactory references.
    • A formal notice that we are unable to offer you a place.

    In the case of a conditional offer being made, original (or attested copies of) documentation confirming all of the information you provided at application must be made available to the University when requested.

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