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How to apply for postgraduate research

We have an established research reputation in a wide range of academic disciplines and on completion of your research degree, you should be in a very strong position for pursuing your chosen career. If you're ready to start your application, we hope you find the information below useful.

Before applying you should have reviewed our research themes in depth to make your choice ready for your application. If you are submitting your own proposal for a research project we suggest that you contact the degree tutor for the area to discuss your topic before applying.

New research students can commence their studies in September, January and March. Confirmed forthcoming start dates and application submission deadlines are as follows:

  • March 2022 intake
    Applications must be received by 6 December 2021 (Home/EU) and 8 November 2021 (International)
  • September 2022 intake 
    Applications must be received by 6 June 2022 (Home/EU) and 9 May 2022 (International)

Applications are accepted throughout the year and you should indicate your preferred start date on the application form. For studentship applications and deadlines please our Bursaries and Studentships webpage.

International students
You need to take in to consideration the time needed in your home country to obtain a visa. Additional time will be needed if you need ATAS Clearance for your subject. If you’re an international student who’ll be studying on a Student Route (Tier 4) Visa then you’re required to study full-time.

Submitting your application
It is important to enclose all requested information so the University can make a decision on your application. This should include:

  • Application form. You can create a login and get started here:
  • A research proposal
  • Copies of your first degree/master’s degree qualification certificates and transcripts with certified translations where applicable. If you are waiting for your award please advise when it will be conferred.
  • International students: A copy of your current passport and current visa, if applicable.
  • Where English is not your first language, evidence is required of your English language qualification at IELTS 6.5/7.0, with a minimum of 6.0 in each sub-score or an equivalent, acceptable qualification (IELTS 7.0 is required in medicine, dentistry and nursing). The IELTS certificate must be dated to within 2 years of your intended programme start date.
  • Two academic references (You must send you reference forms to your academic referees. These may be submitted separately. The completed references should be forwarded to the address on the reference form.)

Please submit all of the information above by post to the address on the application form or electronically by email to

Please note, we reserve the right to request sight of original certificates or further information.

Our current tuition fees can be viewed on the pages below:

You should ensure that you have sufficient funding for tuition fees, any bench fee and living expenses for the duration of your research degree programme. You should make enquiries about funding opportunities at an early stage, approximately 12-18 months before you intend to commence studying and secure the funding you need before accepting and taking up your research degree place.

If you are unable to self-fund your studies you may be able to obtain funding elsewhere. However, funding opportunities for research degrees are very competitive. To be successful you normally need to demonstrate outstanding academic achievement.

There’s lots of financial support on offer:


When studentships for postgraduate research degree programmes become available they are advertised on the University’s studentship webpage. There will be a link to all the forms you need to use. Studentship places are awarded following the short listing of applications and interviews.

    A recognised UK first degree, second class honours or above; or a UK Master’s degree or equivalent qualification. PhD studentships normally require at least an upper second class honours first degree.

  • MD (RES)
    A registrable medical degree awarded by a UK university held for at least three years and:
    • have held a research or teaching appointment; or
    • have been engaged in practice of medicine or surgery; and
    • have been registered with the General Medical Council of the UK.
    A recognised UK first degree, second class honours or above or equivalent qualification.

    The applicant must hold a Bachelor degree with honours from a UK University (or equivalent) and be a current member of staff of the University
    and/or a University of Central Lancashire graduate.

Student Visa

If you are a European student entering the UK after 31 December 2020 without settled or pre-settled status, or an Irish citizen living in the UK or Ireland, you will need to apply for a study visa.

Non-standard Entry Requirements

If you hold qualifications other than those specified they will be considered on their merits. You will be required to demonstrate equivalence to the entry requirements either through presentation of a portfolio of work otherwise you may need to take another course prior to applying for research degree.

English Language qualifications for all awards

Where English is not your first language an English language qualification is required at IELTS 6.5/7.0 or equivalent, acceptable qualification.

The University of Central Lancashire is a diverse environment, which brings people into contact with each other in a wide variety of ways. The University community includes students who are children (those under the age of 18) and vulnerable adults. We have a duty to safeguard these groups of individuals, as well as a duty to provide a safe environment in which our staff can work and all of our students can study and where relevant, live. We therefore ask all applicants who have accepted a place with us if they have relevant unspent criminal convictions obtained in the UK or other jurisdiction. This is so that we can consider the implications of any convictions, assess any risks to you or others within the University environment and determine whether we can reasonably manage any risks to enable you to take up your place here. Having a relevant unspent conviction therefore is not an automatic barrier to taking up your place on your chosen programme. Therefore, if you accept an offer the University will ask you to disclose details about relevant unspent convictions and supporting information.