There are five main stages in the application process for PhD candidates:
- Check your eligibility and double check the deadlines; information about entry requirements and deadlines can be found below.
- Select your topic and find a supervisor. PhD supervision relies on matching your research interests with those of your supervisor; before proceeding to the next stage, you should consult advice on finding a supervisor. Please note that if you are unable to secure in-principle support from a supervisor, it is unlikely that we will be able to offer you a place on the PhD programme.
- Finalise your research proposal. Once you have identified your supervisor, you should ensure that your full length research proposal meets our requirements.
- Prepare your supporting documents, including references. You are strongly advised to contact your referees and provide them with your research proposal ahead of time so that they can make specific comments on your suitability for research in your chosen topic.
- Submit your application online and upload your supporting documents, excluding references; your referees will be invited to submit these separately.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do contact the Philosophy office, who will be happy either to answer questions or to put you in touch with an appropriate member of academic staff.
The PhD programme has strict entry requirements in addition to a strong, viable research proposal that academics in the department are willing to supervise:
- A Masters level degree in Philosophy or a Masters degree with a significant Philosophy component; you should include both your undergraduate and postgraduate transcripts with your application materials. Warwick's International Office provides guidelines for how overseas qualifications equate to UK ones; this guidance is for information only and all applications and transcripts are considered on a case-by-case basis. However, this page will give you an idea of where your degree falls on the British scale.
- Two academic references. If you include your referees' email addresses on your application, they will receive an automatic email asking them to upload the reference, so you do not need to supply the reference letters yourself in the first instance - just supply the relevant contact details.
Please note that professional references will not be accepted unless you have been out of education for over two years.
- A writing sample. A sample of academic writing on a philosophical topic relevant to your research proposal. This should be around 2,500 words in length.
- English Language Proficiency. If English is not your first language, you must have an IELTS score of 7.0 with no more than two components at 6.5 or 6.0, or other accepted language test, dated within two years of your proposed start date. If your previous education was in English, or if you are unsure whether your nationality requires a language certificate, contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org to see if this requirement can be waived. Please also note that taking a pre-sessional English course at Warwick or elsewhere is not sufficient to replace an IELTS score at the required level.
In addition, you may wish to include your academic CV with your application materials.
Once you have identified a supervisor, finalised your research proposal, made contact with your referees, and collected your other supporting documents, you will be ready to submit your application. This is done online through Warwick's Postgraduate Application System.
Once you have submitted your application online, you will receive a link to a secure upload page where you can submit supporting documents, such as your transcripts and research proposal.
To apply to the MPhil programme you will need to complete the online application form. Before doing that you may wish to make contact with the convenor of the programme to discuss your application.
We encourage you to visit the department, try to attend one of the MA seminar classes being taught, and take every opportunity to meet with faculty and current postgraduate students at the various research events/seminars we hold weekly to get a sense of what it is like to be a postgraduate student in the Philosophy Department.
Once you have done this, you should complete the online application form, making sure you submit the requested writing samples and urging your referees to submit their references as soon as possible.
- First-class honours degree or equivalent in Philosophy or with a significant philosophical component. Warwick's International Office provides guidelines for how overseas qualifications equate to UK ones; this guidance is for information only and all applications and transcripts are considered on a case-by-case basis. However, this page will give you an idea of where your degree falls on the British scale.
- Two strong academic references. When you apply, you will need to supply your referees' contact details, and we will request a reference from them directly. If you graduated more than two years ago, you may supply professional referees instead, if you are no longer in touch with your undergraduate tutors.
- Two writing samples. You should supply two writing samples of around 2,500 words each on philosophical topics; ideally these will be recent essays or extracts on relevant topics on which you received a good mark.
- A good statement of purpose. Typical personal statements are 1-2 pages long; you should include:
- Your motivation. Why the MPhil course and why Warwick?
- What you wish to study. Which three topics do you propose following in your first year of the course? The options are listed on the MPhil information page for reference.
- Your expectations. How does this degree fit into your future plans - what do you hope to gain from it?
- Fluency in English. If English is not your first language, you must have an IELTS score of 7.0 with no more than two components at 6.5 or 6.0, or other accepted language test. If you are unsure whether your nationality requires a language certificate, or if your previous education was in English, contact us (email@example.com) to see if this requirement can be waived. Please also note that taking a pre-sessional English course at Warwick or elsewhere is not sufficient to replace an IELTS score at the required level.
Although there is no strict deadline for applications, if you are applying for funding you are strongly advised to submit your application no later than two weeks and preferably 6 weeks before your earliest the funding application deadline.
If you are not applying for funding, ideally, you should aim to submit your application by April to ensure you receive your application results with enough time to organise the logistical aspects of your studies before the start of term but are strongly advised to submit your application no later than 31 July.
More information about funding at Warwick and the relevant deadlines, can be found on the Fees & funding page.
PhD students can be admitted at any point in the year; however, you are strongly advised to begin your studies at the start of an academic year in order to maximise your integration both in the department's activities and in wider university life.
MPhil students can only be admitted at the start of the academic year in October.