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Do I need to provide a reference as part of my Master's application?

Yes, you will need to provide one academic or professional reference in support of your application.

  • 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 usLink opens in a new window and we will advise you further.

Please include an email address for your referee on the application form. We will contact them directly 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.

If your referee has not received the link to provide your reference please visit your applicant portal where you can resend the link to them directly. Please ensure that you check that the referee contact information provided with your application is correct and update if required. You should also ask your referee to check if the email containing the link arrived in their spam or junk folder.

If you have received an email telling you that your reference is not acceptable you will need to provide details of a new referee. Please visit your applicant portal where you can edit your referee details or add a new referee. Click the button to send the request and your referee should receive it within 24 hours.

Please do not send any references to us by post.

When we refer to providing a "satisfactory reference" we mean the following:

  • 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.