Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

How to apply

Application information for undergraduate, postgraduate and international students.

We offer education to all students with the necessary skills and abilities, regardless of age, background or financial circumstances.

Fees and funding

Find out about course fees and funding your studies on our fees and funding pages.

Types of degree

We offer flexible courses that vary from full time and part time opportunities to study foundation degrees and distance learning programmes.

Undergraduate degree programmes

All of our undergraduate degrees come with honours.

Most of our undergraduate degree programmes fall under one of the classifications listed below.

When you graduate in your chosen course, you will have either a:

BA (Hons) – Bachelor of Arts, (Honours)

BSc (Hons) – Bachelor of Science, (Honours)

BEng – Bachelor of Engineering

BM – Bachelor of Medicine

There are also other degree classifications in which you will graduate with a masters classification, although you will start at undergraduate level. These include:

MBiolsci – Masters in Biological Sciences

MChem – Masters in Chemistry

MEng – Masters in Engineering

MEcon – Master of Economics

MEnvSci - Master of Environmental Science

MGeol – Master of Geology

MGeophys – Masters in Geophysics

MMath – Masters in Mathematics

BMid (Hons) – Masters in Midwifery

MOcean – Masters in Oceanography

MPhys – Masters in Physics

Single honours degree

A single honours degree focuses on one main subject, for example, BA History, BA French, BSc Geography. Students will study modules and options which are relevant to the main subject area.

Combined honours degree

Postgraduate study options

We have over 4,000 postgraduate students here at Southampton. We have over 200 taught courses and more than 90 research degree programmes.

Postgraduate courses can be either taught or research based.

Postgraduate taught courses

Taught courses vary in emphasis - some provide essential training leading to research, while others offer career-specific preparation. Many courses are available as both full-time and part-time modes and some may also be followed through distance or flexible learning.

Generally you can progress to a Masters degree via a Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma by accruing credits from each module or unit you choose. The award of a Postgraduate Masters degree can provide a platform from which you can continue towards doctoral level studies.

Postgraduate research degrees

  • gain expert knowledge in a specialist field
  • design, implement and report on a research project
  • foster your capacity for originality and constructive criticism
  • participate in interdisciplinary personal and professional skills training co-ordinated through Faculty Graduate Schools
  • network with other postgraduate research students through Graduate School activities


The minimum period of study for an MPhil (Master of Philosophy) is one year, but in most cases postgraduate research students enrol for two years. Your initial studies under the close guidance of an academic supervisor will prepare you for potential transfer to PhD registration. You will normally transfer around the mid-point of your project, depending on your performance.


PhD study takes place within a demanding and rigorous research environment. The depth of your personal knowledge will increase and you will be expected to make an independent contribution to knowledge in your field. PhD applicants normally register initially for MPhil and transfer to PhD subject to satisfactory progress. For a PhD you can normally expect to finish your research after around three years' full-time study.

Subject to approval

New programmes introduced by the University may be Subject to Programme Approval while they are being finalised; applications may not be open during this time.

Programme Approval is the process by which the University checks its programmes of study against academic quality and standards expectations. Any taught programme leading to a University of Southampton award is required to go through this process.

This process ensure that the University’s high standards for quality of teaching are consistently upheld. The full Programme Approval and Review process can be found in the University’s Quality Handbook on our website.

Mature students

If you are over 21 (23 for Law), we can be more flexible about our entry requirements. For full-time courses, you will be expected to demonstrate your commitment by means of some recent serious study, for example, one or two A level passes, successful completion of an Open University foundation course or an appropriate Access course. Your application will be considered on individual merit and you may be asked to attend an interview.

Another popular option is to follow a certificate or diploma programme. These are available on a part time basis and most can be taken in the evenings, enabling you to continue to earn an income while you are studying. You do not need any formal qualifications to enrol.

Information about financing your course can be found on the Department for Business Innovation and Skills website, and from the Student Services Centre on Highfield Campus.

International students

Guidance on applying can be found on the undergraduate and postgraduate application pages.

It is important that you understand  all the stages involved. Contact the University's International Office, the British Council or our overseas representatives if you have any questions.

Conditional and Unconditional offers

When we contact you to offer you a place at Southampton, we will make either a conditional or unconditional offer.

Conditional offers

These are made to students who cannot provide all the necessary documents (such as final exams results and English language certificates) when they submit their application.

If you meet all the other requirements, we will issue a conditional offer. This means that you will be guaranteed a place upon successful completion of exams at a specified grade, receipt of an adequate English language certificate or any other condition that the School may consider appropriate.

Unconditional offers

These made to students who submit their application with all the necessary documents and meet all the entry requirements. You can apply for your VISA when you receive an unconditional offer.


International students on most full-time postgraduate courses need to pay £2,000 of their tuition fee in advance as a deposit.

If your course requires a deposit, we will send details and full terms and conditions in your offer letter.


Many scholarship schemes need an offer letter from the University to support the scholarship application. If you plan to apply for a scholarship, you should start your application process to the University at least one year in advance.

Transparency Information Notice

The Transparency Information Notice is a requirement of the Office for Students and provides detailed information regarding the number of applications to the University of Southampton.


Privacy Settings