Entry Requirements and How to Apply
Our PhD and MPhil programmes have four start dates per year - January, April, July and October. Applicants who wish to apply for a full-time PhD or MPhil are strongly advised to begin in October to take advantage of the research training programme offered by the University.
To apply for a PhD or MPhil programme, you should have successfully completed, or be about to complete a Masters’ course in a similar subject area, with an average mark of over 60% in the course. Special consideration may be given to candidates with a good first degree and/or substantial professional experience.
Candidates who wish to undertake a research degree on a part-time basis whilst resident overseas should also have the following status or fulfil one of the following criteria:
- Be an academic member of staff employed by an overseas institution of higher education.
- Be employed overseas in an area of work directly relevant to, and capable of generating material for their research.
- Be registered on an approved University research degree programme run in an overseas country.
How to Apply
You can either apply online or apply by post by submitting a paper application form.
You can apply online by visiting the postgraduate prospectus online. You will need the following information:
- Personal contact details
- Research proposal
- Details of your academic qualifications
- Names and contact details of two referees
At the end of the application process you will be able to upload your supporting documents. In addition, if you have supplied email addresses for your referees, they will be contacted via email and offered the opportunity to upload references via a secure link. However, we encourage you to check that your referees have received an email and that they respond, as it is your responsibility to ensure that we receive references.
After you have completed the online application form, you will need to send any supporting documents that you could not upload online through to the Postgraduate Admissions Office by post (please see below for the address).
Next step: Apply online now
Applying by Post
Please click on the link below to download a copy of our postgraduate application form.
Completed application forms along with the required supporting documents should be sent to:
Postgraduate Admissions Office, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH
Next step: Download the postgraduate application form
The required supporting documents are:
- Full research proposal
- Two formal references
- Copy of your degree certificate
- Copy of your degree transcript listing the modules taken and the marks received
- Copies of any other academic certificates
- Proof of English language competency if your first language is not English
If you have applied by post then your supporting documents should be sent in with your completed application form. If you have applied online then your supporting documents should be uploaded online as part of your application or sent to the Postgraduate Admissions Office separately by post once you have submitted your application online.
We cannot make a decision on your application without the required supporting documents.
Each applicant should enclose a full research proposal. This should be typed, at least four pages long and should include:
- A working title
- A summary of the rationale for the research
- Your main aims
- Locating the problem in literature including the main sources to be used – the debates and issues that the thesis proposes to address and how these relate to the research topic
- Analytical framework to be employed
- Proposed chapters – briefly outline the sequence and possible titles
- Possible methodology – indicate the main social sciences research methods that will be utilised in the work
- A list of the most relevant literature
- Proposed research timetable
It does not matter if you are not completely sure about certain aspects of your proposal at this stage, but we will be looking for evidence that you already know the broad field of research, have read a fair amount of relevant literature and can make a convincing case for the topic you are proposing.
Applicants are encouraged to take a look at our Departmental research pages and also to take a look at the individual research interests of staff members. These can be found on each staff members' web page.
Proficiency in English
Students educated outside the UK in countries where English is not the first language must provide, before they can be admitted to their chosen degree programme at the University, evidence that they have sufficient command of both spoken and written English. Please visit the University's English language skills webpage to find out if you meet the requirements.
Acceptable evidence includes:
- GCSE/O-level English Language at grade C or above
- An overall score of 6.5 in the British Council IELTS test
- A score of 575 (250 computer score) in TOEFL, with a score of 4.0 in the Test of Written English (TWE)
- A score of 90 or above in the TOEFL internet based test
You will be required to submit originals or certified copies of any certificates and score reports.
The English Language Teaching Unit at the University of Leicester runs a series of pre-sessional English language programmes for international students. They are designed to improve your English in preparation for undertaking a degree in the UK.
Further information about the English language skills requirements
Further information about TOEFL
Further information about IELTS
Further information about courses at the English Language Teaching Unit
Next step: Request an information pack and prospectus