How to apply for a postgraduate research degree

We want to make the process of applying for a research degree as easy as possible, so we’ve put together this step-by-step guide to help you. Take some time to read the following steps before you apply.

Step 1 - Check

Check you meet our entry requirements. The general entry requirements for all our research degrees are a first or upper second-class honours degree (unless otherwise stated), some courses may also require a Master’s from a UK University, or a qualification of an equivalent standard in a discipline appropriate to that of the proposed programme to be followed.

If you are an international student please visit our international web pages for information on entry and visa requirements.

Ensure you check the research degree deadline dates, which are:

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PGR start date

Application dates for international and home students with a scholarship

Application dates for home students without a scholarship

January 2025

18 October 2024

15 November 2024

April 2025

24 January 2025

21 February 2025

September 2025

13 June 2025

04 July 2025


Step 2 - Choose your research area

You need to identify the research degree you would like to apply for. There are different ways to find the right research topic for you:

  1. Find a supervisor and design your own research project – explore the Huddersfield Research Portal to find research and researcher expertise in the area you’re interested in. Once you've found a potential project, you may also need to submit a research proposal on a topic you would like to study. We recommend that you discuss your ideas with a potential supervisor before you submit a proposal. 
  2. Explore our expertise across a range of disciplines and specialities. Find the right research area for you by using our course search tool
  3. Browse our listed funded opportunities.

If you have an idea for your own research project, we suggest you familiarise yourself with related literature, so you are ready to discuss your ideas with potential supervisors. 

In addition, you can explore our Research Centres, Institutes and Network pages to understand our research portfolio, partnerships, and impact.

If you’re still not sure, why not also come along to one of our Postgraduate Open Days to chat to staff and current students?

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Step 3 - Funding

For a full list of postgraduate research fees please visit our Fees and Finance webpage.

You may be eligible for a Master’s loan, Doctoral loan or other financial support.

We also have a number of research scholarships and studentships available for research degree candidates, including:

  • Vice-Chancellors Scholarship Scheme
  • Research Scholarships
  • International Scholarships
  • PhD studentships
  • EPSRC funded studentships.

If you wish to be considered for a scholarship, please submit an expression of interest form instead of an application. 

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Step 4 - Apply

To make a formal application, complete the online research degree application form.

Please note, if you are applying for a PhD please select ‘Doctor of Philosophy’ on the application form.

For most subjects, you will likely need to include a research proposal of approximately 1000-2000 words. If a research proposal is required for the degree you are applying for please read through our research proposal guidelines to make sure you cover all the information needed. This is where talking to your potential supervisor will come in handy, to ensure you’re providing the right information.

Please note that if your course requires a research proposal and you don’t include it in your application, we might not be able to consider your application.

Applications are assessed based upon:

  • Whether you match the entry requirements,
  • The quality of your proposal (where applicable),
  • Relevant experience,
  • How closely your research proposal aligns with Huddersfield's key research areas,
  • Performance at interview,
  • Reference(s).

Places will also be based upon:

  • The funding available,
  • The availability of supervisors with relevant experience and knowledge of your research area.

If you are currently completing a PhD at another institute, you may be allowed to transfer to us and complete your research at the University of Huddersfield. You can find out more information on this on our recognition of prior learning webpage. 

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What happens next?

We’ll send you an acknowledgement via email so that you know we’ve received your application.

You may be asked for additional documents to complete the process, for example:

  • Evidence of academic qualifications
  • Evidence of English Language proficiency for applicants whose first language is not English
  • Copy of your passport or equivalent identification as part of our eligibility to study check

You should send us this additional documentation as soon as possible to avoid delays in processing your application.

We’ll give your application careful consideration and confirm the outcome via email.

Secure your place: If your application is accepted you will receive a conditional or unconditional offer by email. You need to review your offer letter and return a signed decision slip to us as soon as possible to secure your place.

Your offer letter is a binding contract between you and the University and will outline all the relevant details for your study including the start date, expected end date and what fees you will need to pay.   


International students

If you are an international student applying for a research degree, read more about our international entry requirements. To find out if you require a visa please read through our visa requirements page for further information.

Please note that the University has formal entry requirements for applicants whose first language of instruction is not English. These are normally English Language qualifications, which we recognise as meeting our entry criteria. Requirements may vary between programmes and subjects so you are advised to check these carefully when going through the specific course information.


Ready to apply?

If you've chosen a research degree, and followed all the steps outlined above, fill out our application form to take your next steps. 

Admissions policies and data protection

Admissions policies and data protection information for postgraduate research applicants.

Fees and Finance

Everything you need to know about tuition fees and payment information.