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How to Apply

This page gives an overview of the application process for 2019/20 entry - if you have any questions about it please ask Emma MacPherson.

  1. Think carefully about what areas of research, supervisors or projects most interest you.
  2. How will you fund your studies?
  3. Make an electronic application.
  4. Supporting documents, including two suitable references, will be required.
  5. We will arrange interviews for the most promising candidates.
  6. Offers will be made after the first round of interviews.
  7. Additional information for overseas applicants.
  8. What does my offer email mean?
  9. Timings
1. Think carefully about what areas of research, supervisors or projects most interest you.
  • Start here to find out about the groups and projects.
  • A detailed research proposal is NOT needed - you are asked for one if you apply for a scholarship but MUST discuss it first with us. For regular applications, please just upload a placeholder file so that the application form still submits.
  • If you have several areas of interest it may be more likely that you will find a funded place.
  • Please feel free to contact academics directly or discuss with the PG Admissions Tutor if you are unsure.
  • You will be able to discuss research topics again if you are interviewed.
2. How will you fund your studies?
  • UK PhD students will normally be funded by a Research Council studentship, industry support or a combination of the two.
  • International (non-EU) students may apply for a Chancellor's International Scholarship, which pays full fees and stipend. You are strongly advised to discuss possible research topics with research groups and staff well in advance of the submission deadline. Application is via our normal admissions system, where it is referred to a "Postgraduate Research Scholarship".
  • Chinese students can consider the Warwick China Scholarship Council scheme, which requires a normal application plus a separate form to be completed (deadline 16th Jan 2020).
  • EU students are eligible for some Research Council and other studentships - please consult the PG Admissions Tutor to check your eligibility and the availability of funding schemes. The EU Chancellors Scholarship is also available and requires candidates to submit an application.
  • Students with other independent scholarships and/or considering self-funding: If you are applying for (or have successfully obtained) external funding you should inform the PG Admissions Tutor, even if this is after you submitted your application.
3. Make an electronic application.
  • All applications MUST be made using the University's online postgraduate application form.

  • Typically, for funding you can just put one or more of: "STFC studentship", "EPSRC studentship", "Chancellor's Scholarship", "Warwick China Scholarship Council", "EU Chancellors Scholarship", "Self", "Family", "XXXX Government scholarship". Do not select N/A as his will delay your application process.
  • Under "Purpose of Study, Research Proposal" it is VERY important that you indicate which research groups, topics and/or supervisors most interest you. A detailed proposal is not needed.
  • You will be able to further discuss funding for your studies if you are interviewed.
  • If you are applying for a SCHOLARSHIP (e.g. CIS) you MUST discuss your application with us first, the deadline is 16th January 2020 but you should get your application in before then in order to make sure your references are in on time. More information and advice on applying for the Chancellor's International scholarship.
  • Where possible please provide both a university and non-university email address on your application, as university addresses are often closed-down throughout the summer leading up to the start of the academic year.
  • An email with a CV does NOT constitute an application.
  • Please do NOT make more than one application. You can update us by email if, for example, a new project comes up in which you are interested.
4. Supporting documents, including two suitable references, will be required.
  • It is your responsibility to make sure references are sent correctly and on time: make sure your referees know that they cannot simply email a reference to the department!
  • We strongly recommend that references are sent electronically by the secure link emailed to your nominated referees: make sure you fill in their email addresses correctly! Please contact the university's PG admissions team if you need to resend the reference request email to your referees.
  • If it is more convenient, referees can send a hard-copy of their reference through the post to the Postgraduate Coordinator, but this must be an original, on letter-headed paper and signed by the referee. It cannot be an email, scan or photocopy.
  • The references must be from academics rather than employers. An exception can be made if your graduation date was more than 2 years ago and you do not have regular contact with your university.
  • Official confirmation of the award of your degree(s) and grade/classification will be required.
  • If your first language is not English and you have not been taught entirely in English for at least one year within the last two years, you may need to provide up-to-date, official evidence of your English language competence.
    • Scanned or electronic copies may in the first instance be uploaded with your application but will NOT be acceptable to meet conditions if you are made an offer. You can also upload further documents after you receive your Warwick ID via email using our upload facility. Again, these will not be acceptable to meet conditions if you are made an offer.
      • Paper originals can be sent to either of the Postgraduate Admissions contacts (details found here) should it be more convenient for you.

      5. We will arrange interviews for the most promising candidates.
      • Overseas candidates may be interviewed by Skype by the Admissions Tutor and potential supervisor.
      • UK candidates will usually be invited for an interview and visits to the research groups in which they are interested.
      • Dates for group interview days (e.g. for all Round 1 Particle Physics candidates) will be announced well in advance.
      6. Offers will be made after the first round of interviews.
      • Offers are normally conditional on degree result for candidates yet to graduate.
      • The offer of a place may be made initially, but may not include details of funding. If you are to be offered funding, you will hear about this seperately (e.g. Research Council studentship for a UK student).
      • The start date can be flexible but most students will begin at the start of the academic year (end of September).
      7. Additional information for overseas applicants
      • Please follow this link for details on visas, ATAS, CAS, funding, etc.
      8. What does my offer email mean?

      A conditional offer will only be turned into an unconditional offer once all conditions have been met. This means that all supporting documents must have been received and must satisfy the requirements outlined above (section 3).

      • The award of your degree and final degree result must be confirmed via either the original or an officially attested copy of your degree certificate which must be signed by your University's registry clearly showing the job title of the person signing it. A member of your academic department will not be accepted. If you have graduated and getting an attested copy from your University would be difficult and you are in the UK, you can get your documents attested at the Post Office, by a solicitor or an officially recognised notary. This confirmation should then be sent to the Postgraduate Coordinator. If you send the original, we strongly recommend you send it via registered post and it can then be returned to you when you arrive at the Department.
      • English language certificates may be uploaded via our upload facility. IELTS, iBT TOEFL and Cambridge CPE & CAE can be verfied on line by the Postgraduate Admissions team.
      • Both of your references must satisfy the conditions outlined above (section 3). If you are applying for an MSc, only one reference will be required.
      • Hard copies of your offer letter can be requested via a link on the offer email if needed, e.g. for visa or scholarship applications.
      9. Timings.

      The deadline for the Warwick China Scholarship Council and the Chancellor's International Scholarship applications is Thursday 16th January 2020. For standard applications there is usually no hard deadline. Interviews will start towards the end of January and continue through February and early March. Offers will be made soon after the interviews, so from February onwards studentships will become filled and hence no longer available. Usually some extra studentships become available from around Easter so there are likely to still be some positions open through into the summer term and beyond. For STFC funded areas (e.g. EPP, Astro and CFSA), it is advisable to apply by early February at the latest.

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