Apply for research degrees

Begin your research career with and get a degree that will empower you to take your career into new exciting directions.

How to apply

How to apply

Apply for Research courses through our .

Create an Online Applicant Portal account to submit your application directly to us and track its progress. You can also upload your supporting documents, portfolio and show-reel and make subsequent applications.

If you need help with your application:


See the list of available Research Degrees

When to apply

When to apply

  • Most students commence their studies in October and January – starting with others contributes to a sense of belonging and community. There may be exceptional circumstances that mean students start outside these periods e.g. where research grants or bursaries are involved.
  • Apply as early as possible for your degree as the application process can take around four weeks for UK/EU applicants and 16 weeks, including time for the student visa application process, for international applicants.
  • If you're applying close to the start date remember that we can't guarantee that applications submitted close to the start date will be reviewed in time for you to start.
Research studentship

Research studentships

With a funded studentship, you'll contribute to research projects at the university while you complete your research degree and get a maintenance loan to allow you to study full-time. You may also want to explore the UK Government's loan scheme.

Your application

Your application

Academic documents

You must provide copies of all your academic documentation including transcripts and certificates. These should either be copies of the originals on letter headed paper or with a stamp by the awarding body or institution. If it's applicable to your application, you will also need to provide references on letter headed paper along with a copy of your CV.

If you're applying for an art and design degree, you must include a copy of your portfolio.

If you are a current student, you do not need to submit transcripts or references.

Contact information

Pay attention to the contact details you give in your application. If you're likely to change postal or email address before starting your degree then give your most permanent contact details.

We send all our admissions communications via email so it's important that this information is accurate. Make sure that you add our email address to your inbox safe list too.

Personal statement

What you write in your personal statement is essential to make your application stand out. Follow our guide to your personal statement to get it right.

Your research proposal

Your research proposal

The research proposal will form a key part of your application. It's important that you feel confident outlining your proposal as well as highlighting the area of research that interests you. Make sure you are demonstrating that you are able to make an original contribution to a field of study, bearing in mind that a research degree can take several years to complete.

Your research proposal should:

  • Not exceed 2000 words
  • Be written in Arial font, size 11
  • Include clear headings and sub headings
  • Have correct grammar and spelling throughout
  • Be referenced fully
  • Be proof read before submitting

We encourage you to discuss your proposal with an specialist academic before you submit your work. You can explore your options with them and find out if we're able to support your studies.

As part of your discussion, we'll assess your prospective research proposal and advise on whether it seems suitable as the basis for your chosen research degree.

We currently have supervisors available in:

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Biosciences
  • Business information systems and business informatics
  • Creative writing
  • Criminology
  • Design
  • Education
  • English literature
  • Enterprise and economic development
  • Environmental sciences
  • Ethics
  • Ethics of technology
  • Human rights
  • Language and communication
  • Law
  • Machine learning
  • Marketing
  • Mathematics and statistics
  • Media and film
  • Networking
  • Numerical algorithms (especially computational geometry)
  • Operations management
  • Performing arts (dance, theatre and music)
  • Practice as research
  • Psychology
  • Robust software/system development
  • Semiotics and English language
  • Smart sensors
  • Social sciences
  • Sport exercise science
  • Visual analytics
  • Visual arts
What to include

What to include

Make sure you have a working title and a short summary (abstract) of your overall proposal.

Summarise key points and ideas of your intended research and identify why this research needs to be undertaken. Set the context for your proposed research and demonstrate that it will add something new to your chosen area of research. The rationale may include an indication of the principal issues, problems, controversies, ethical issues, and emerging theories; describing the contribution your research will make.
You can also take the opportunity to state how your past or current research, work experience, and achievements will support the completion of your research project.

Make a broad statement of the desired long-term outcomes and short-term objectives of your research. The objectives can be numerous and emphasise how you plan to accomplish your aims or answer key questions. They are more focused and concise than outcomes, and can be read as the practical steps you are going to take to answer your research question, test your hypothesis, or demonstrate how you will meet the overall goal.
Try to include one to two aims or questions to help guide your literature / field review and clearly define the overall focus of your research.

Explain how your research will be filling a gap in existing theory or knowledge. You could also propose something which is controversial to existing ideas. Describe and outline existing theories or research that is related to the research project you are proposing by reviewing key publications and / or creative works that address the research questions outlined.

Highlight the research methods you are planning to meet your aims and objectives. You can explain the variety of data you intend to collect, how you intend to collect it, identify any quotas / demographics you intend to fill, and how you will analyse and evaluate your data, justifying why you chose a particular research method. You can also include any resources, equipment and additional costs you may encounter as well as outlining any possible ethical issues which may arise and how you propose to address such issues.

Keep this section clear and concise, summarising the overall aims, objectives and possible outcomes of your research. Make sure to highlight any important information that may be helpful to a reviewer.

Accurately reference all sources and cite them in your bibliography / reference list using a recognised referencing style appropriate to your discipline.

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