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How to apply for postgraduate research

All applications are made online - competition for funded entry is high and applicants are advised to discuss their application prior to submission with relevant staff.

Applicants should hold, or expect to obtain, a first or upper second class honours degree in a subject relevant to the proposed area of study; applicants deemed by Senate to hold an equivalent qualification will also be considered.

Before you apply

In order to be considered, your application must be completed in full, including all information on existing qualifications and transcripts, funding details or requirements, evidence of English language proficiency and names and addresses of referees.

It is advised that applicants discuss the research proposal with a suitable member of academic staff prior to returning the application.

Important documents

International students

If you have obtained an undergraduate degree from a non-UK institution, we can advise you how it compares to the UK system.

If you are successful in obtaining admission as an international student, you will need to ensure that you have a visa that allows you to study in the UK.

Previously or currently registered on a PhD elsewhere?

If you are currently registered or have previously been registered on a PhD at another institution additional documentation will be required.

Apply online

Applications can be made by using the online application link and instructions below:

If you have not applied online before you should select 'First Time User Account Creation' where you will create an ID and PIN.

When logged in you should select 'New' to create a new application, then from the drop down menu at the bottom of the page, select 'Research (All Nationalities)'.

You can then proceed to enter the requested information.

When selecting the programme type you should select the Faculty under which your chosen project lies.  For example, if applying for a PhD project in Robotics, you should select 'PhD in Computing and Engineering'.

Finally, when you are ready to submit your application, you should select 'Application is Complete' on the Checklist page.

If you are applying for a funded project, your application should be received by Research Student Administration on or before the closing date indicated in the funding advertisement.

Please refer to our FAQs if you have queries on the application process, or contact us.

Apply online

After you apply

Applications are forwarded to the relevant faculty for consideration and are judged on the following criteria:

  • the applicant's academic history including experience and qualifications
  • the suitability of the proposed project
  • the ability of the faculty to provide adequate resources and supervision in the specific area
  • the reports of the referees
  • the applicant's performance at interview (sample interview form)

If the faculty wishes to admit the applicant, the Board of the Faculty will be asked to approve the decision and Research Student Administration will issue a letter of offer.

If the faculty does not deem the application to be acceptable, you will be notified of this outcome - please refer to the appeals process for more information.


Registration for full-time funded study is expected to take place at the beginning of the academic year, during the second week of September.

Students in receipt of funding to undertake full-time study must be available to register at this time.

Part-time and self-funded students may find that an alternative date is more suitable and the University has made provision to accommodate new enrolments throughout the year.