Applying for a postgraduate course takes time and effort. Learn more about how and when to apply, and what to include in your application below.
Unlike undergraduate degrees, in most instances, when you apply for a postgraduate course, you can submit an application directly to the individual university. Each institution will have their own bespoke application system you’ll need to complete. There are some exceptions to this, such as teacher training, amongst others.
Some institutions set specific deadlines for courses, whilst others accept applications throughout the year. However, its wise to apply as soon as you can. Some courses can be very competitive, and you may be required to submit a portfolio, academic transcript, interview, or presentation, as part of the application process.
Find out as much as you can about the course before applying. Keep in mind that every university is different, and the content, teaching and assessment methods will vary immensely.
Contact individual universities to find out more about their courses and speak to admissions teams to find out about the university and the course. You may also want to think about:
- How many hours of teaching will I be offered? How much contact time could I expect?
- What are the entry requirements?
- What type of assessment can I expect?
- How competitive are spaces on this course? What size is the cohort?
- Do I need to pay an initial application cost?
- What funding is available? Are there university specific bursaries and scholarships on offer?
- Is the course accredited by a professional body?
- What links to industry/employers does the course/university have?
- What social and wellbeing support are available for postgraduate students?
- Where have previous postgraduate students progressed?
- Is there a specific postgraduate study area?
This will vary from course to course, and different universities may have different requirements. Generally speaking, you’ll need to submit a personal statement. This should give details on why you wish to study the specific course, any relevant skills and experience and your future career plans. Support on putting together a personal statement is available through the ‘Application Forms and Personal Statements’ unit in our Career Development Course.
You may also need to include:
- Your CV
- A portfolio
- A research proposal
International students may also need to provide:
- A copy of your passport
- Proof of your language abilities
References help to build a picture of each candidate. For most applications, you’ll need to supply two academic references.
When considering who to ask, opt for lectures, supervisors, or tutors who you’ve come to know through studying your degree. They’ll be able to provide personalised information on your academic performance and suitability for the course you’re applying for.
If your unable to supply two academic references, for example, if you’ve taken a break between your studies, you’ll need to provide a professional reference from an employer.
We recommend speaking with your referees in advance. Giving them plenty of notice of time allows them to prepare a reference in support of your application.