How to apply for a research degree
Everything you need to know to apply for a research degree.View content
Applying for a research degree
We accept applications all year round, with start dates in January and September. The application deadlines are:
- 31 August for a January start
- 30 April for a September start
Please note: your attendance in person at Induction is compulsory. If you were unable to attend this then your start date would have to be deferred to the next entry point.
Before anything else, you will need to make sure that we can supervise your proposed research project. Please note that we are currently not accepting MPhil/PhD applications in the Faculty of Business and Digital Technologies. The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences is currently under review and will re-open for applications in January 2024.
There are various ways to find a potential supervisor:
- Directly, through our Staff Directory
- By subject area: browse our Supervision page
- By faculty: explore our faculties
- By keyword: use the Find an Expert widget below
Once you have identified two potential supervisors, please email them your thesis proposal details to ascertain if they are interested in your project. Once you have interested supervisors you can apply by completing the application form (below).
Please note that there is no guarantee that we will have the workload capacity to supervise a project or that the supervisors you have nominated will be allocated if you are offered a place. Upon receipt of your application, we will contact the relevant Faculty for consideration of your application.
Please email the Doctoral School if you are transferring from another institution.
Your proposed research
Your application will include a proposal for your research. The proposal is an opportunity for you to communicate your passion for the subject area and to make a persuasive argument about what your project can accomplish. Make sure that your passion for the subject shines through in your application.
Preparation for Research Pathway
Some applicants who would like to study for a research degree (MPhil/PhD) may need some help in preparing their research proposal. For these students, we offer a Preparation for Research Pathway. For a one-off fee of £520 (not eligible for any bursary), students may register as a Preparation for Research student.
Return your completed form, electronically, to the Doctoral School.
Applicants must ensure they meet the following entry requirements:
Applicants for entry to postgraduate research programmes should have at least one of the following qualifications:
- A Masters degree from a UK university or a degree from a non-UK institution deemed to be of equal standing to a UK degree, or
- A first class or upper second-class Bachelors degree award by a UK university or a degree from a non-UK institution deemed to be of equal standing to a UK degree
- A professional qualification recognised as equivalent to a good degree
- Equivalent evidence of prior professional practice or learning that meets the University's criteria and guidelines for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)*
*Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL, formerly known as AP[E]L)
Applicants who wish to apply for advanced standing (exemption from part of a programme) based on previous study and/or experiential learning may apply for RPL. Please note that any credits or marks gained from previous study shall not be counted in your final result as your award is calculated solely on the credits and marks accumulated while registered at the University of Winchester.
An application for RPL to exempt the postgraduate research student from part of the research skills programme, or from a module on the pre-thesis stage of a professional doctorate programme, should normally be submitted at the application stage. Please note RPL cannot be used in relation to the thesis for a Professional Doctorate, MPhil or PhD qualifications. Please read the RPL Policy or email us for further details.
- Two satisfactory written reports from academic referees
- A student is admitted to a Professional Doctorate or Professional Master's programme on the basis of being actively engaged in a profession relevant to the award being sought
- For the award of PhD by Works in the Public Domain or the Professional Doctorate by Contribution to Practice, an appropriate number of prior publications or other outputs (this shall be determined on a case by case basis as specified in the programme outlines). These degrees are currently available only to members of staff and to people who have an existing relationship with the University.
English language proficiency
Applicants whose first language is not English shall be required, in addition to satisfying the general entry requirements, to have achieved an average score of 6.5 Academic IELTS, with a minimum of 7.0 for written English.
Digital literacy contributes greatly to the confidence with which students engage in learning and teaching towards their degree. This includes general university processes and communications, the virtual learning environment (including assignment submission), online library access and presentation of work. Potential students are strongly advised to anticipate and address their needs before starting and, once enrolled, to take advantage of the support available.
Explore the professional doctorate courses on offer at the University of Winchester.