Eligibility and how to apply

Find out about the minimum criteria for admission onto UWE Bristol's research degree programmes, the Graduate School application process, and how to apply.

Minimum eligibility criteria

For a supervised PhD, MPhil or DPhil we expect that applicants will normally hold at least a 2:1 or a Masters qualification from a UK university or a degree of comparable standing from a university outside the UK. We also require a recognised English language qualification prior to making an unconditional offer. The Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences and the Faculty of Business and Law require a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 overall, or equivalent. Applications which do not meet the minimum criteria will not be considered.

Application information

Initial enquiries

We encourage you to discuss your proposed research with an academic staff member prior to submitting an application.  If you are unsure who to approach, you can explore the member lists of UWE Bristol's research groups and centres or search staff profiles using subject-area search terms (eg robotics) or an individual's name, if known.


If you are interested in applying for one of our funded studentship opportunities, please refer to the separate application process for the individual studentship advertised.

Proposed start date 

The Graduate School operates three intake dates per academic year:

  • 1 October
  • 1 January
  • 1 April

We accept applications for any future start date, subject to the application submission deadlines listed below and completion of the full admission admissions process.  Your start date will be confirmed at the discretion of the Faculty Research Degrees Committee (FRDC) once an offer of study is made.

Application submission deadlines

Anticipated start date Faculty of Business and Law deadline All other faculties deadline
1 April 1 November 12 February
1 October 1 June 1 July
1 January 1 September 7 November

Please note that these are the latest dates for application. We recommend that you apply at least 3 months in advance of your proposed start date. If you are an international applicant you should also allow extra time for your application so that you can obtain an offer in time to apply for your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), visa and ATAS certificate (if applicable) prior to your preferred start date.

How to apply

Please follow the appropriate link below to submit your application online. 

Supporting documentation: you will need to upload your research proposal, all your degree certificates and transcripts and your proof of English language proficiency as attachments to your application so please have these available when you complete the application form.

References: you will need to provide details of two referees as part of your application. At least one referee must be an academic referee from the institution that conferred your highest degree. Please ensure that your nominated referees are willing and able to provide references before you submit your application. 

Your application will only be considered if it is complete together with the above supporting documentation and confirms that you meet our minimum eligibility criteria. Missing or incorrect information will mean that your application will not be considered. If we need further details or additional documentation we will contact you.

Please ensure you choose the correct degree from the list below to apply:

Please ensure that you meet additional DPhil eligibility criteria before you apply for a DPhil research degree:

** The Graduate School have recently moved over to using the University’s online admissions system and Word application forms are no longer available.  All applications need to be submitted via the online application system**

What happens next?

If research leaders in the respective faculty are interested in your research proposal, we will invite you to a formal interview for a more in-depth discussion about your application.



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