How to apply for postgraduate research
We have an established research reputation in a wide range of academic disciplines and on completion of your research degree, you should be in a very strong position for pursuing your chosen career. If you're ready to start your application, we hope you find the information below useful.
Before applying you should have reviewed our research themes in depth to make your choice ready for your application. If you are submitting your own proposal for a research project we suggest that you contact the degree tutor for the area to discuss your topic before applying.
New research students can commence their studies in September, January and March:. The deadlines for applications are as follows:
Deadlines for both Home and EU/International have now passed.
Home – 1 November 2023
EU/International – 1 September 2023
Home – 1 December 2023
EU/International – 1 November 2023
Home – 1 June 2024
EU/International – 1 May 2024
Applications are accepted throughout the year and you should indicate your preferred start date on the application form. For studentship applications and deadlines please our Bursaries and Studentships webpage.
You need to take in to consideration the time needed in your home country to obtain a visa. Additional time will be needed if you need ATAS Clearance for your subject. If you’re an international student who’ll be studying on a Student Route (Tier 4) Visa then you’re required to study full-time.
Submitting your application
It is important to enclose all requested information so the University can make a decision on your application. This should include:
- Application form. You can create a login and get started using our Online Application System
- A research proposal (Not applicable for studentship applications unless specified in the studentship description)
- Copies of your first degree/master’s degree qualification certificates and transcripts with certified translations where applicable. If you are waiting for your award please advise when it will be conferred.
- International students: A copy of your current passport and current visa, if applicable.
- Where English is not your first language, evidence is required of your English language qualification at IELTS 6.5/7.0, with a minimum of 6.0 in each sub-score or an equivalent, acceptable qualification (IELTS 7.0 is required in medicine, dentistry and nursing). The IELTS certificate must be dated to within 2 years of your intended programme start date.
- Two academic references (You must send you reference forms to your academic referees. These may be submitted separately. The completed references should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note, we reserve the right to request sight of original certificates or further information.
- Once you’ve submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have received it.
- Your application will be sent to the relevant Research Degree Tutor to review. Decisions are expected to take up to six weeks but may be returned sooner.
- You’ll be notified of the outcome of your application by email. If you have been offered a place, we will send you a formal offer letter by email. This will include your course details and any conditions of the offer such as references or qualification evidence.
- To accept your offer, you must sign the letter and email it to the research admissions team.
- Once you have met all conditions your offer will be made unconditional. The next step is completing enrolment. Closer to your start date enrolment instructions will be sent to your personal email address.
If you have any queries about the Research Degree Application process, please contact the research admissions team.
Information for International students
- As part of the conditions of offer, a deposit payment will be required. Full details of the deposit amount will be included in your offer letter. If you are being sponsored, you must provide a letter of sponsorship instead of a deposit. Please contact the research admissions team for guidance on what this should include.
- If you require an ATAS Certificate for your programme of study this will also be listed as a condition of offer. You will need to make the ATAS certificate application through the GOV.UK website. The CAH Code required will be included in your offer letter.
- Once you have met all conditions you will be sent a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) letter by email and your offer will be made unconditional. The CAS letter is required for the Visa application process. Visit our visa advice page for further advice on the Visa application process. You can also contact the Student Immigration and Compliance Team.
Our current tuition fees can be viewed on the pages below:
You should ensure that you have sufficient funding for tuition fees, any bench fee and living expenses for the duration of your research degree programme. You should make enquiries about funding opportunities at an early stage, approximately 12-18 months before you intend to commence studying and secure the funding you need before accepting and taking up your research degree place.
If you are unable to self-fund your studies you may be able to obtain funding elsewhere. However, funding opportunities for research degrees are very competitive. To be successful you normally need to demonstrate outstanding academic achievement.
There’s lots of financial support on offer:
- Studentships and bursaries are advertised throughout the year on our website.
- Postgraduate Master’s Loan or Doctoral Loan gov.uk/funding-for-postgraduate-study
- Sponsorship from your employer
- Bursaries from charities and trusts
When studentships for postgraduate research degree programmes become available they are advertised on the University’s studentship webpage. There will be a link to all the forms you need to use. Studentship places are awarded following the short listing of applications and interviews.
- MPHIL OR PHD
A recognised UK first degree, second class honours or above; or a UK Master’s degree or equivalent qualification. PhD studentships normally require at least an upper second class honours first degree.
- MD (RES)
A registrable medical degree awarded by a UK university held for at least three years and:
- have held a research or teaching appointment; or
- have been engaged in practice of medicine or surgery; and
- have been registered with the General Medical Council of the UK.
- MA/ MSC/LLM (BY RESEARCH)
A recognised UK first degree, second class honours or above or equivalent qualification.
- PHD (BY PUBLISHED WORK)
The applicant must hold a Bachelor degree with honours from a UK University (or equivalent) and be a current member of staff of the University
and/or a University of Central Lancashire graduate.
If you are a European student entering the UK after 31 December 2020 without settled or pre-settled status, or an Irish citizen living in the UK or Ireland, you will need to apply for a study visa.
Non-standard Entry Requirements
If you hold qualifications other than those specified they will be considered on their merits. You will be required to demonstrate equivalence to the entry requirements either through presentation of a portfolio of work otherwise you may need to take another course prior to applying for research degree.
English Language qualifications for all awards
Where English is not your first language an English language qualification is required at IELTS 6.5/7.0 or equivalent, acceptable qualification.
The University of Central Lancashire is a diverse environment, which brings people into contact with each other in a wide variety of ways. The University community includes students who are children (those under the age of 18) and vulnerable adults. We have a duty to safeguard these groups of individuals, as well as a duty to provide a safe environment in which our staff can work and all of our students can study and where relevant, live. We therefore ask all applicants who have accepted a place with us if they have relevant unspent criminal convictions obtained in the UK or other jurisdiction. This is so that we can consider the implications of any convictions, assess any risks to you or others within the University environment and determine whether we can reasonably manage any risks to enable you to take up your place here. Having a relevant unspent conviction therefore is not an automatic barrier to taking up your place on your chosen programme. Therefore, if you accept an offer the University will ask you to disclose details about relevant unspent convictions and supporting information.