Eligibility and applications

Find out about the minimum criteria for admission onto UWE Bristol's research degree programmes, the Doctoral Academy application process, and how to apply.

What you need to do

  1. Step 1

    For a supervised PhD, MPhil or DPhil we expect that applicants will normally hold at least a 2:1 or a Masters qualification from a UK university or a degree of comparable standing from a university outside the UK. We also require a recognised English language qualification prior to making an unconditional offer. The College of Health, Science and Society and the College of Business and Law require a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 overall, or equivalent. Applications which do not meet the minimum criteria will not be considered.

  2. Step 2

    We strongly encourage you to discuss your proposed research with an academic staff member prior to submitting an application. If you are unsure who to approach, you can explore the member lists of UWE Bristol's research centres and groups or search staff profiles using subject-area search terms (eg robotics) or an individual's name, if known.

  3. Step 3

    The Doctoral Academy operates three intake dates per academic year:

    • 1 October
    • 1 January
    • 1 April

    We accept applications for any future start date, subject to the application submission deadlines listed below and completion of the full admissions process.  Your start date will be confirmed at the discretion of the College Research Degrees Committee (CRDC) once an offer of study is made.

    Please be aware that, we cannot guarantee a particular start date even if the below deadlines have been met for the submission of your completed application. This is because there are other factors involved in the application process, some of which are outside of UWE Bristol's control.

    Application submission deadlines

    Anticipated start date College of Business and Law deadline Deadline for other colleges
    1 April 1 November 1 December
    1 October 1 June 1 June
    1 January 1 September 1 September

    Please note that these are the latest dates for complete applications, including references. We recommend that you apply at least four months in advance of your proposed start date.

  4. Step 4

    If you require a student route visa to undertake a research degree, you must apply at least four months in advance of your proposed start date so you can obtain an offer in time to apply for your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), visa and ATAS certificate (if applicable) prior to your preferred start date.

  5. Step 5

    Supporting documentation

    You will need to upload your research proposal, all your degree certificates and transcripts and your proof of English language proficiency as attachments to your application so please have these available when you complete the application form.

    Your research proposal attachment should describe your proposed research in as much detail as possible. The proposal needs to clearly outline the research questions, the relevant research literature, your proposed research methods and how your research will contribute to knowledge in your field.

    Your application will only be considered if it is complete including the above supporting documentation and confirms that you meet our minimum eligibility criteria. Missing or incorrect information will mean that your application will not be considered. If we need further details or additional documentation we will contact you.


    You will need to provide details of two referees as part of your application. At least one referee must be an academic referee from the institution that conferred your highest degree. Your referee will be asked for a reference at the time you submit your application, so please ensure that your nominated referees are willing and able to provide references within 14 days of your application being submitted. 

    All applications need to be submitted via the online application system. Please ensure you choose the correct degree from the list below to apply:

    Please ensure that you meet additional DPhil eligibility criteria before you apply for a DPhil research degree:

  6. Step 6

    If research leaders in the respective faculty are interested in your research proposal, we will invite you to participate in a formal interview for a more in-depth discussion about your application. If you are successful at interview, we will then make an offer.

  7. Step 7

    Please take a look at our information about fees and funding for postgraduate researchers.

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