Students on campus

How to apply for a research degree

Once you’ve found a PhD project or decided on your own proposal and spoken with a potential supervisor, you can apply using our online application system.

Prepare your application

The online application form takes about 30 minutes to complete. 

Typically when you apply, you’ll need:

  • your personal details
  • how you plan to fund your studies
  • project title
  • supervisor name (you should speak to the supervisor before applying)
  • 2 academic references from your most recent place of study
  • an academic transcript of your undergraduate degree showing modules and marks achieved
  • an academic transcript from your Master's degree showing modules and marks achieved if you have already graduated
  • undergraduate degree certificate and Master's degree certificate (if you have already graduated)
  • English language qualification (if required)
  • CV (also referred to as a resume)
  • personal statement
  • research proposal (if you are planning your own project or if it states you need to provide it)

Apply as early as possible if you need to secure a UK visa or if you are applying for funding or sponsorship. Deadlines for research funding are usually at least 6 months in advance of the start date. 

Some projects will have a different application procedure. This is usually the case when the project is funded by a doctoral training partnership.

Steps to apply

  1. Check that you meet the entry requirements and confirm the key dates either on the project page or with your potential supervisor.
  2. Write a personal statement including your motivation for the project, your relevant skills and experience, and how it supports your future goals. Keep this focused and concise.  
  3. Have supporting documents ready to attach to your online application.
  4. Register for an account then complete and submit the online application form. You’ll be able to save and review your application before submitting it.  
  5. Check you have received our email confirming we've received your application. We usually send this straight away.
  6. Use your account login details to track the progress of your application.


 For questions about applying, please contact our faculty  graduate  schools:

 Arts and humanities: 

 Email:        Phone: +44 (0)23 8059 7433

 Environmental and life sciences: 

 Email:        Phone: +44 (0)23 8212 6521

 Engineering and physical sciences: 

 Email:       Phone: +44 (0)23 8059 3782


 Email:      Phone: +44 (0)23 8212 6501

 Social sciences: 

 Email:         Phone: +44 (0)23 8212 6529

Student Services Centre, Building 37, Highfield Campus 

 We’re open Monday to Friday 09:00 to 17:00 GMT