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How to Apply

MPhil/PhD and MSc by Research

PGR application presentation 02/12/2020

This was a presentation given to prospective MSc by Research/PhD applicants at the University's PG Virtual Open Day on Wednesday 2nd December 2020, and provides advice and guidance on applying in addition to that below

  • The first step in your application is to check that you meet the entry requirements.
  • The second step in your application is to identify a suitable member of academic staff to supervise research in your chosen area. We only take postgraduate students to whom we can offer expert research supervision.
  • When you have identified the member of staff whose interests most overlap with your own, it is a good idea to email that person directly. Be sure to contact only one or two potential supervisors – please do NOT email every member of staff.

    In your email, you might include information such as: a short description of the topic you are interested in, how you might conduct research in this area, and a brief CV, including details of research experience (e.g., undergraduate projects).

    The potential supervisor should reply and let you know whether they are interested in supervising the project and whether they have the resources to do so.

    Please be aware that, while applications made without the support of a potential supervisor will be considered and attempts will be made to find someone appropriate, these applications stand a much higher chance of being rejected. Applicants are strongly encouraged to ensure they have the support of a potential supervisor before making a formal application to avoid potential disappointment.

  • The next step in your application is to produce a short proposal of approximately 5 pages detailing the research that you would like to pursue. This may be developed in collaboration with your potential supervisor. The proposal is an extremely important part of the application process and should clearly state the research question, supported by evidence from the literature, along with the theoretical importance of the topic and the methodology to be used. General guidance on writing a research proposal can be found here.
  • The final step is to submit your application online: In addition to the online form, your application MUST include your research proposal, and two academic references.

PhD by Published Work

  • The first step is to ensure that you are either:
    • a member of academic staff or administrative or library staff of equivalent status of the University and normally have been employed by the University for at least three years immediately prior to the submission of published work; or
    • a graduate of at least seven year’s standing normally holding a Bachelor’s degree, of 2:1 or better standard, or equivalent.
  • The second step is to gather the following three items:
    • a complete, up-to-date copy of your CV.
    • a list of the 3-8 publications you would tentatively like to include in the PhD (please note: these should be publications which are already in print, and should not be pending publication at the time of enquiry).
    • the name of a potential supervisor within the department, who would be willing to supervise you through the year-long process. You can look through a thorough list of the academics within our department here: Once you have identified a few potential supervisors, you should contact them individually to find one who has both the capacity and expertise to properly support your studies.
  • Once you have these items, please email them to, where our PG Admissions Tutor will review your submission. If they are satisfied with the quality of your papers and CV and can confirm you have the backing of one of our academics, then they will propose that you receive formal departmental support to pursue a PhD by Published Work.
  • The next step is to formally apply to study a PhD by Published Work at the University. If you have been granted departmental support, we will contact you with details on how to formally apply. Please note: applications made without gaining departmental approval first are very likely to be rejected as the standard for candidates is expected to be much higher than that of normal PhD candidates. Applicants are strongly encouraged to follow the above steps if they are wishing to to pursue a PhD by Published Work to avoid disappointment.

Further Guidance on applying for a postgraduate degree.