How to apply online

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.

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
  • names and addresses of referees

Before you apply

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.  For funded scholarship opportunities, the advertisements for each project will include any shortlisting criteria.

In some areas, a research proposal will be a key requirement of the application process and this will be noted in the shortlisting criteria. It is advised that applicants discuss the research proposal with a suitable member of academic staff prior to returning the application.  The research proposals should be in the region of 2,000 words and should address relevant literature, research aims and/or objectives, proposed methodology and expected outcomes

Please refer to Research Proposal Guidance  for more information on what your proposal should contain.

Apply online

Applications are made by using the online application system.

Apply online

Online application instructions

  1. If you have not applied online before you should select 'First Time User Account Creation' where you will create an ID and PIN.
  2. 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)'.
  3. You can then proceed to enter the requested information.
  4. When selecting the programme type you should select the Faculty under which your chosen project lies.
  5. Finally, when you are ready to submit your application, you should select 'Application is Complete' on the Checklist page.

Upload the following documents

Upload the following documents as the application cannot be submitted without these.

  1. Research Proposal
    Please upload your full Research Proposal .  If the proposal is not a required element of shortlisting for your chosen subject area, please upload a copy of the project description.
  2. CV
    Use an existing CV or re-use one of many CV templates available  -include details of any publications you have as well as any work experience related to the project area.
  3. Copy of degree(s) - or transcripts to date
    Upload a copy of your degree certificate for each degree you have undertaken. If you are currently studying towards a degree and your qualification is pending, you must upload your transcripts to date, or a print out from your university records system showing your modules and grades to date.
  4. Transcript of Degree
    Upload copies of your degree transcripts (official record of modules/courses undertaken as part of your qualification) for each degree you have undertaken. Transcripts are required for ranking purposes.
  5. Proof of English Language Proficiency
    Upload a copy of your evidence proving that you meet the English language requirements of the University. For UK students this will usually be a copy of your GCSE English certificate.

    If you require a Tier 4 Visa, please note that you should provide evidence in the form of a UK Home Office approved Secure English Language Test .

  6. Personal Statement
    Upload your personal statement, indicating why you wish to study at Ulster University on this particular programme . For students requiring a Tier 4 Visa, this statement will be used to prove your 'Intent to Study' to the UK Home Office.  Guidance on what your personal statement should contain is available on our website.

Problems with uploading documents

If you are having issues uploading document please note:

  • Check your pop-up blocker is off and that cookies are enabled, these may be blocking the website.
  • If possible, ask a Technician to enable cookies and assist you in uploading your documents.
  • If you are an Ulster University student it is important that you do not use the Student Portal to apply. Instead, log out of the Portal, restart your browser and use
  • Check for firewall/block
  • If you are using a wireless network please make sure your signal is strong
  • A re-boot of the computer often sorts out the problem.

What happens 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

On the basis of this assessment, applicants may be invited for 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 the Doctoral College 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 enrollments throughout the year.

Ulster University Doctoral College - Social