How to apply for a research programme

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We can supervise you in a number of different areas for postgraduate research study, and you can undertake a Doctor or Master of Philosophy (PhD/MPhil), an MD (Res), a PhD by Published Work or a Professional Doctorate (DProf).

You can join us as a part-time or full-time student.

Our areas of research expertise are expanding, if you can’t find your area of interest please contact the relevant faculty as we may still be able to accommodate you.

The deadline for applications is approximately four weeks before the course start date for students based in the UK, and approximately eight weeks for international students due to the extra time needed for visa applications. If you are an international student planning to apply for your visa in the UK, we can accept your application by the UK deadline.

If we receive your application after the deadline for your chosen month, we will consider you for the next entry point.

The postgraduate research application deadlines for research programmes starting in 2024-25 are:

September 2024

UK based students: 4 August 2024
International students: 2 July 2024

January 2025

UK based students: 1 December 2024
International students: 27 October 2024

April 2025

UK based students: 2 March 2025
International students: 2 February 2025

For PhDs, MPhils and MD (Res) we have entry points in September, January and April. Our Professional Doctorates have entry points in September.

Entry requirements can be found on the individual programme pages.

In general you’ll need:

  • a Bachelors degree or equivalent with first or upper second class honours, in a related subject area for an MPhil or PhD with progression from MPhil
  • or a Masters degree for direct entry to a PhD.

This can differ between specific programmes, so please check your programme page to be sure.

You can apply for our postgraduate research degree courses online. There's an application link on each course page.

You do not need to speak with a prospective supervisor before applying, but we do encourage it. You can find our details of our supervisors on our Find an Expert pages.

You will need to upload the following as part of your application.

  • An outline of your research ideas. Guidance on what we want to see can be found on the application form and below..
  • A copy of your degree certificate(s).
  • Two references on letter headed paper, signed and dated. If you're applying for an MPhil or PhD, please supply two academic references to support your application. If you’re applying for a Professional Doctorate (DBA, EdD and DProf), please supply one academic and one professional reference.
  • A photocopy of your passport, including the photograph and personal details page(s). International applicants living in the UK must also provide photocopies of visa(s) and immigration stamps.

Research outline

As part of your postgraduate application to ARU you need to provide an outline of your proposed research. This should be 2 A4 sides, and cover the following points:

For MPhil/PhD/MD (Res):

  • Your proposed area of research
  • The aims and focus of your research
  • The theoretical context for your research
  • Research methods and methodology you intend to use
  • Your current level of researcher skills and any areas in which you feel you will need support
  • Any indicative references or publications you have

For DProf you should cover the above points, plus:

  • The professional context for your research
  • The significance to you, your employer and the broader professional practice of your research

We’ll confirm receipt of your application via email, and send you log-in details for our applicant portal where you can check the progress of your application.

If we need any further information, we’ll request it via email and you’ll be able to upload the relevant documents through the applicant portal.

We’ll send your application to your prospective faculty, who will review your research outline and academic background. If they feel they can support your research, they’ll invite you to an interview.

We interview all postgraduate research applicants before we can offer a place. Interviews can take place in person on campus, or online if you're unable to travel to campus.

We’ll give you feedback on your application within four to six weeks. If we make you an offer, you can reply via the application portal.

If at any point you need further help or advice, please contact our Research Admissions Team.

For information about fees, funding and scholarships please visit our finance pages.


If you need further information, please contact our postgraduate research admissions team at [email protected].