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How to apply for an MPhil/PhD

Entry requirements

  • The normal minimum requirement for applicants is to have completed (or to be near completion of) a taught or research master's degree in a relevant subject at a UK university (or an equivalent international qualification) with a confirmed (or predicted) overall grade of Merit (60+) or above, and a grade of 70+ in the dissertation.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English (or who have not previously obtained a University degree in English) are required to demonstrate their proficiency in the English language. Our normal minimum requirement is an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 7.0 overall (with at least 7.0 in writing and 6.5 in the other elements).
  • Offers of admission are based on an assessment of the quality of the proposed project and the candidate’s likely success in completing a research degree within four years (full-time) or seven-years (part-time). The Department will also consider, on the basis of the applicant’s proposal, whether there is sufficient supervisory expertise (and other resources) in place to support the student’s research project, in accordance with the College’s Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes.

Before you apply


  • Once you have proposed a topic and approached a potential supervisor, you will need to submit an online application, which will allow you to upload your research proposal, CV and any other supporting documentation (such as funding applications).
  • Apply online to start in 2017/18: follow the link at the bottom of the relevant programme page.
  • Apply online to start in 2018/19: follow the link at the bottom of the relevant programme page.

When to apply

  • We are happy to accept applications from potential research students throughout the academic year, but please submit your form well in advance of the date on which you wish to start your research.
  • If you are intending to apply for full- or part-time funding, the school operates a deadline for applications. Please see our Research funding information.

After you apply

  • Your completed application will be forwarded to the postgraduate research administrator for processing. You may be asked to attend an interview with a member of the Research Degrees Committee and your prospective supervisor.
  • If your application is successful you will register in the first instance for the MPhil, and may be transferred (with retrospective registration) to PhD status. The transfer must be recommended by the supervisor and approved by the School's Research Committee.
  • For the full departmental admissions statement, please click here