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Applying for a postgraduate research programme

Complete the application form online:
International students
In addition to the entry requirements for your chosen programme, please check the entry requirements for your country, including the English language requirements.
Studentship candidates
Read the entry requirements for your chosen postgraduate research studentship carefully before starting your application.

Completing your application

It is important to include all the necessary information so we can process your application as quickly as possible. Please complete all sections of the form.
You will need to upload:
  • Your fully completed and signed application form.
  • A research proposal (note that for some project-based studentship applications, the studentship reference may be submitted instead of this). 
  • Copies of all of your qualifications to date (for example, your high school diploma, first degree certificate and full transcripts). 
  • Your personal statement. This is a short essay or letter, written by you and explaining your reasons for applying to the University. Explain why you feel the University should offer you a place on the course, using previous study and work experience, as well as your personal interests, to support this. Make particular and detailed reference to the degree course you are applying for. 
  • Your curriculum vitae (CV) or résumé detailing relevant work experience, if you feel it will contribute to your application.
  • The names of two referees – these must be academics who have worked with you. You will need to ask your referees to submit their references directly to the Doctoral College Admissions Team at (only references from professional or academic email accounts can be accepted).
International students
In addition to the above, you will also need to upload:
  • A copy of the information page of your current passport (tell us immediately if you get a new passport at any time before you come to the UK to study).
  • A copy of any previous or current UK visa.
  • A copy of any English language qualifications you have (for example, IELTS or PTE Academic).
Studentship candidates
You may need to meet additional entry requirements. Please read the information for your chosen postgraduate research studentship carefully to ensure you submit the correct supporting documents.

Application deadlines

Research programmes start on these dates each academic year: 
  • 1 October (15 September for programmes with mandatory taught modules)
  • 1 January
  • 1 April
Application forms must be submitted 2.5 months before the proposed programme start date. 
International students
Application forms must be submitted 4.5 months before the proposed programme start date. 

Your offer letter

Conditional offer letters will be sent to you by email, so make sure you put your current email address on your application form and check this email regularly. Unconditional letters will also be sent to you by email after all the conditions of your offer have been met. 

Next steps

Once your conditions have been met, we will need your £3,500 tuition fee deposit (please note that this deposit amount is subject to change). Then we will send you the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). 
International students
You will need your unconditional letter, and the CAS if you need to apply for a Student visa to study in the UK.
  • Check if you need a Student visa
  • Apply for a Student visa
    We are a licenced Student visa sponsor under the Points-Based Immigration System. To comply with our duties as a Student visa sponsor, we are required to check other aspects of your application in addition to your academic achievements, such as any previous studies and your immigration history in the UK or other countries.  

Research degree awards

The University of Plymouth currently offers a wide range of postgraduate research degree programmes which can be studied both full time and part time. 
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Postgraduate research areas

Find out more about the areas in which we supervise postgraduate research at both doctoral and masters levels. 
Offering a flavour of potential topics for your own research project and who to contact to discuss your options.
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