You will need to provide one reference in support of your application, however the online application system will require you to enter the name of two referees. You can enter the names for two referees and we will accept the first satisfactory reference we receive. Alternatively you can enter "N/A" (not applicable) for the second referee's details and leave the email field blank.
There are two ways we can accept a reference:
- Online: If you provide an email address for your referee, we will contact them and ask them to provide a reference using a secure web link. We will only contact your referee once and we will not chase referees for you. As a matter of courtesy, we strongly advise you to contact your referee in advance of submitting your application to make sure they are happy to provide a reference in this way.
- On paper: If you do not supply an email address for your referee, you should contact your referee yourself to request that he/she sends the reference to us by post. Our postal address is here. References submitted in this way must be signed originals on official letter-headed paper. It would be appreciated if you could ask your referee to include a covering letter to state who the reference is for, including your name and University ID number.
When we refer to providing a "satisfactory reference" we mean the following:
- If you have studied full-time or part-time in higher education within the last two years, we require an academic reference from an individual who has directly taught you (or who has supervised your academic research) in your final year of study.
- If you have not been in higher education within the last 2 years, you may instead nominate a person with knowledge of your current or most recent employment activity to act as your referee. Such a referee must have acted as your supervisor or line manager (or similar role) and must explain in the reference how he/she knows you. If you have been self-employed, so do not have someone in a managerial position who can provide a reference, then please contact us and we will advise you further.
- We expect the referee to comment favourably on your MSc application. For academic references we expect the referee to recommend you for postgraduate study based on his/her knowledge of your previous academic performance.
- The referee's email address must be an institutional or corporate email address; we will not accept references from free/public email systems such as gmail or hotmail.
- We will not accept references from peers, relatives or friends.
- We reserve the right to contact your referee to seek further information, or to confirm the validity of a reference that has been sent to us.