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Research Degree Application Checklist

To help make sure you've completed all the neccesary steps before you submit your application, and to give you the best possible chances of success, please follow the steps indicated below.

1. Decide on a research topic/area

You need to take a look at our online prospectus, to see whether a research degree is really the right choice for you. The decision of whether to undertake postgraduate study is always a big one, so you'll need to make sure you're genuinely interested in your subject.

2. Make contact with the academic department that you feel is most closely aligned with this research topic

For research degrees, one of the single most important points to consider is whether the academic department you are applying to shares your academic interests. All departments at Warwick are more than happy to discuss their areas of expertise with potential students, so we urge you to make contact before proceeding with your application any further. A list of all academic departments is available online.

3. Identify a member of our academic staff to supervise your project, or in some cases, a project you feel meets your research interests

Before beginning your search for a potential supervisor, you should read more about the research expertise of the University of Warwick on our website. This will give you an overview of the areas in which it is possible for you to undertake a PhD. When you feel confident that you can contribute to the research carried out at the University, you can then begin your search for a supervisor. You can do this in a number of ways:

All the departments at the University have their own websites which feature details of the staff interests and publications. The academic staff at the University welcome enquiries from potential PhD candidates, so you are welcome to contact them, by telephone or email, directly. Please note (a list is available here).

If you cannot find a suitable potential supervisor after trying the above, we would recommend that you send a short summary of your research interest to the administrator in your chosen department. They will then forward your email on to the most appropriate academic within the department. Contact details are available on the individual academic department websites .

4. Have you written a coherent reseach proposal detailing your potential research?

A research proposal is a document explaining what you would like to research for your doctorate.

Different academic departments request different things as far as a proposal and/or application is concerned, so it is important that you contact the department to find out any particular requirements before submitting your application. A failure to submit a detailed research proposal with an application, if required, can significantly reduce your chances at success.

5. Have you, or do you expect to, satisfy the academic entry requirements for your chosen programme/department?

All courses have their own entry requirements, which can differ substantially depending on the programme of study. You’ll need to check this on a case-by-case basis, although for research degrees an 'upper second class' degree (or equivalent) is usually required.

6. Fulfill the English language requirements for your chosen programme or academic department

The University requires evidence that your English Language capability is of a level that will enable you to succeed on your chosen course of postgraduate study. We therefore have English Language entry requirements based on some minimum standards. More information on this, including our English Language courses, is available online.

7. Have you identified and contacted two individuals capable and willing to provide an academic reference for you?

References are essential in helping us to decide whether to make you an offer of a place or not. You'll need to think carefully about who is best placed to act in this capacity for you.

8. Have you considered funding, and in particular, investigated potential options for scholarships and bursaries?

Many funding sources require a separate application, but doctoral candidates should apply for Warwick’s PhD scholarships via the application form for postgraduate admission to the University.

The scholarships currently available via this route are the Chancellor’s International Scholarships, Wolfson, CADRE and WMS. These scholarships are only open for applications during certain periods, so it is advisable to make a combined application for admission and for a scholarship during the open period.