Applying for a postgraduate degree

Applying for an postgraduate degree can feel like going through the whole UCAS process again. Deadlines for the programmes vary but, as a rule of thumb, applications 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 well in advance on the host university website.

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

Application Requirements

Unlike applications for undergraduate courses, there is no central body that processes them and all applications go through an online application system of the host university. All of these differ slightly, but typically ask for the following:

An up to date CV

Visit the CV advice page for tips on how to construct a good CV

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 equivalent undergraduate (UCAS) personal statement but must be much more specific to the course you are applying for. Important things to consider in a postgraduate application personal statement are as follows:

Other possible requirements