Applying for a postgraduate degree

Applying for an postgraduate degree is similar to the UCAS process but applications are made directly to the university or research institution. Deadlines vary, but applications usually open about 10-12 months before a course starts.

PhD applications (at least for those competing for funding through a 'doctoral training programme') usually close in January. Masters-level courses may close applications anytime between January and June before a programme begins, so it is vital to check deadlines with the university well in advance.

Geologists measure the electrical field across a lava tube to determine the volume of lava flowing through the tube

Application Requirements

Applications are made through an online application system of the host university. All of these differ slightly, but typically ask for the following:

Full academic transcripts

Personal statement

You always need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to undertake the particular postgraduate course (usually limited to about a page in length). This is shorter than the undergraduate personal statement but must be much more specific to the course you are applying for - do not use your UCAS statement as a template! Universities usually provide guidance on what to include, but important things to consider are:

Academic References

Other possible requirements