Research Degree Application Checklist
To help make sure you've completed all the necessary steps before you submit your application, and to give you the best possible chances of success, please follow the steps indicated below.
If you are applying to a Doctoral Training Centre or advertised funded PhD project, please follow the application guidance and check the eligibility criteria linked to directly from those web pages.
If you are seeking to apply for a PhD by Published Work, please follow the information on that page.
If you have a scholarship (or are applying for a scholarship), or if you have the finances to self-fund your PhD or MSc by Research studies, please follow the steps below:
1. Identify a research topic and potential academic staff to supervise your project
Before beginning your search for a potential supervisor, you should read more about the research expertise in the School of Life Sciences. 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 areas and identify potential supervisors in the area(s) that are of interest to you. The academic staff in the School welcome enquiries from potential research students, 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. Have you written a coherent research proposal detailing your potential research or selected an advertised project?A research proposal is a document explaining what you would like to research for your doctorate.
- We recommend that research proposals should be developed in consultation with a potential supervisor.
Guidance on how to write a research proposal.
View some potential projects.
3. Have you, or do you expect to satisfy the academic entry requirements?
- Admission for a PhD requires candidates to normally have obtained at least an upper second class UK honours degree, or an equivalent qualification in a scientific or another appropriate discipline.
- Admission for an MSc by research requires candidates to normally have obtained at least a lower second class UK honours degree, or equivalent qualification.
If you hold an international qualification, please consult the International Office web pages: Overseas Qualifications: UK equivalency.
4. Fulfil the English language requirements for your chosen programme
- 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
Candidates who have undertaken two or more academic years of study in higher education on courses taught and assessed in English, within 2 years of the course start date, may be considered for exemption from these requirements at the discretion of the University.
5. Have you identified and contacted two individuals capable and willing to provide an academic reference for you?
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. When you submit your application an email will automatically be sent to your referees requesting a reference for you.
6. Have you considered funding, and in particular, investigated potential options for scholarships and bursaries?
7. Complete an application form
Please complete the online application form.
Applying online is the quickest and most efficient method for applying for admission to postgraduate courses. If you require a printed copy of the postgraduate application form please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will receive updates on the progress of your application by email from the Postgraduate Admissions Team. If you apply online, you may track the status of your application online.