How to apply

If you’re interested in doing a PhD with us, there’s an application process. This is to ensure we can meet your specific needs and support your research topic.

For a professional doctorate, please apply directly through our professional doctorate course pages.

  1. Make an enquiry

    Once you've filled in our enquiry form, we’ll put you in touch with a member of staff to have an informal conversation about your proposed research and qualifications. This is to establish that we have expertise and facilities in your area, and to help you design your research proposal.

  2. Your research proposal

    If the discussion is promising, you’ll be invited to apply. You’ll need to upload your research proposal as part of your application. You’ll also be asked for two references, preferably from a previous place of education or your place of work, and to provide transcripts of previous study. If you’re an international student requiring a visa, the application form will gather the necessary information for us to run preliminary checks on your eligibility.

  3. Formal interview

    If everything is in order with your application, we’ll invite you for a formal interview (this can be by video link). If the academic school recommends the offer of a place on a research degree, this will be ratified by the Graduate School and then you’ll be contacted with details of the offer and how to accept. Please make sure your funding is in place, whether self-funded or funded externally.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements are as follows, unless otherwise specified (such as in accordance with requirements of an accrediting or professional body):

MPhil 

Normally a minimum of 2:1 in undergraduate degree or equivalent professional experience, to be evaluated based on the application form and interview.


PhD 

Normally a minimum of 2:1 in undergraduate degree and masters-level qualification or equivalent professional experience, to be evaluated based on the application form, research proposal and interview.


Professional Doctorates 

Normally a minimum of 2:1 in undergraduate degree and masters-level qualification or equivalent professional experience, to be evaluated based on the application form and interview.


International students 

The University normally requires a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 overall. Some disciplines may require a higher IELTS score in line with professional and regulatory requirements. Normally, no discipline will accept an overall score below 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in no more than one component. Some International students are also required to meet UKVI requirements for the appropriate study visa. A valid ATAS certificate (where required) must be secured as a prerequisite to enrolment.


The criteria for evaluating a PhD research proposal will include (but not be restricted to): originality of proposed contribution to knowledge; academic fit with the University, access to research resources either on campus or off-site (particularly relevant to applicants for Distance Learning modes of study), the scale and scope of research to be completed according to the timescales of a PhD.

In addition, applicants for creative arts or practice-based research degrees may also be asked to provide a portfolio to be assessed as part of the selection process.

The Research, Innovation and Impact Services team can provide information about all aspects of research our University.

in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021