How to apply - Postgraduate Research

With a wide variety of research opportunities to choose from, Keele University is a popular choice for postgraduate study in the UK. This section will guide you through the Postgraduate Research application processes.

Self-funded and externally sponsored students:

Step 1

Read the research areas description and supervisor profiles to check we are actively researching within the area you wish to work within.

Step 2

We recommend that once you have identified the area you wish to undertake a research degree in, that you make contact to express your interest in applying. There is an enquiry link within each research area, simply click there and send an expression of interest. This is a pre-application stage designed to help you focus your efforts and identify whether further work on a Keele application is likely to be productive.

It is useful to give the following information in your first email or another contact:

  • Name
  • Intended degree (PhD, DM, MPhil or Professional Doctorate)
  • The broad field of intended research (discipline)
  • A brief insight into your research ideas
  • Curriculum Vitae – guidance can be found here
  • Indicate any preferred supervisor if known
  • Indicate whether you are seeking funding
  • University-level qualifications (including class of first degree) and relevant professional experience

Step 3                      

Prepare your supporting documents, referring to our entry requirements.

Please note, as part of your application, you will also need to submit:

  • A research proposal (Not required for Professional Doctorates) – guidance can be found here - Project proposalProject proposal
  • At least one academic reference
  • A copy of your passport
  • Copies of transcripts and certificates verifying your qualifications.

If you are an international student, you will also be asked to submit:

  • A copy of your visa (if you have one)
  • Evidence of English language level (if English is not your first language and you have such evidence).
  • Copies of transcripts and certificates verifying your qualifications.

Step 4

Apply online via the research area page here.

Please note, certain postgraduate research degree programmes require additional supporting documents.

If you followed our advice, you will have been advised of this when you contacted the PGR administrator initially. Alternatively, this will be picked up when the admissions team review your application.

Funded studentships/research projects

If you are applying for a funded studentship/research project, please apply via the advert.

Please note, as part of your application, you will need to submit:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • At least one academic reference
  • A copy of your passport
  • A personal statement
  • Copies of transcripts and certificates verifying your qualifications.

If you are an international student, you will also be asked to submit:

  • A copy of your visa (if you have one)
  • Evidence of English language level (if English is not your first language and you have such evidence).

Once we receive your application form and supporting documents, the School will review their supervisory capacity and whether you are suitable for a doctoral programme.

We will contact you about your application within 18 working days, but this may not be a final outcome. PGR administrators will often contact you directly about details of your application or your project prior to a final decision being made.

If you do not hear from us then you should contact the PGR administrator to find out what is happening to your application. Once a decision has been reached, we will advise you whether or not it has been possible to offer you a place. Sometimes our offer of a place is conditional upon performance in examinations that you still have to take – this could include English Language tests. Any offer is subject to your agreement to observe the Charter, Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations of the University. If you accept our offer you will be understood to have given such an agreement.

All formal offers are issued by the University – you should not accept any other assurances that you have been offered a place.

If the University is able to provide financial assistance this will be clearly indicated on the formal offer of a place issued by the University. Otherwise the offer of a place carries no implication that the University will provide financial assistance and you will be required to find sufficient funding for the tuition fees and for your living expenses.

Applicants must note that, by accepting a place at Keele University, they give an undertaking to abide by the rules and regulations in force, both academic and disciplinary. It is the responsibility of students to make themselves familiar with these rules and regulations, and to understand that any breaches may lead to disciplinary action.

Once you have accepted the unconditional offer of a place at Keele, or met the conditions of any offer, then you will be sent pre-arrival information by the University to help you prepare for the start of your programme. In addition, your School will contact you about starting your programme and any preparations you need to make.

Facts and Figures