Postgraduate research entry requirements

Before submitting an application to undertake a research degree at Keele, you are advised to contact the relevant Research Office. This will allow you to discuss your research proposal, available supervision and the entry requirements of the research degree.

Before applying for a PhD, MPhil, DM or Professional Doctorate:

You are advised to contact the relevant administrator listed on the course website. Our dedicated postgraduate support staff can provide information on course-specific entry requirements. For PhD, MPhil and DM applicants, they can also provide information on potential supervisors you need to consider before applying. 


  •        PhD, MPhil and DMs usually require an Honours degree with a first or 2.1 classifications, or the equivalent if you have been educated outside the UK (See here for international equivalent guidelines - found here >). Any other academic and/or professional qualifications you may have are also considered, and in some cases form an integral part of the entrance requirement.
  •        Professional Doctorates usually require a Masters Degree, or the equivalent if you have been educated outside the UK (See here for international equivalent guidelines - found here >); and hold that qualification normally in the general field you are applying within, or it's equivalent in professional experience and a professionally accredited programme. Applicants without a Masters degree will be considered on a case-by-case basis, where they can provide evidence of relevant professional experience or other experiential prior learning.

Non-standard qualifications

If your qualifications are non-standard or different from the entry requirements stated, please contact the relevant course administrator, to discuss whether your application would be considered.


Entry on to many degrees is highly competitive; consequently, we also consider industrial experience as well as the skills, attributes, motivation and potential for success of an individual when deciding whether to make an offer.

Please note

  • Entry on to many programmes is highly competitive; consequently we also consider the skills, attributes, motivation and potential for success of an individual when deciding whether to make an offer
  • After we have received your application you may, if you live in the UK, be invited for an interview or to visit us to discuss your application
  • For Management subject areas all candidates must provide a statement as to how the proposed research fits within the research interests of the staff at Keele. This must be provided before applications are considered

In addition to academic qualifications, you may be required to produce evidence of your English language ability. This is because in order to benefit from your studies, you need to demonstrate that you have a good level of written and spoken English before taking up a place here.

English language requirements: IELTS

For PGR students joining us from August 2024 onwards, for all subject areas, we require IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any subtest.

IELTS TOEFL IBT (including home) Person Academic (including online) Cambridge English Trinity ISE NCUK English Test Language Cert ESOL (SELT only) Language Gallery UPP
6.5 with 6.0 in all components 87 with 19 (writing), 19 (listening), 19 (reading) and 20 (speaking 62 with 59 in each component 176 with 169 in all components SE II with Distinction in all components OR ISE III with Pass in all component B (with C in all components) B2 Pass (35 in all components) OR C1 Pass (with 25 in all components) 80


For PGR students joining us before August 2024, please see below:

Subject area


Science (with the exception of Psychology) and Pharmacy 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any subtest
Humanities, Music Technology 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any subtest

Business, Health Sciences, Humanities (including Music), Public Policy andSocial Sciences (including Psychology),Medicine and Physiotherapy

6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any subtest
Education and Law 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in any subtest

If you do not have current documentation of the required level of English language you must either retake your language test (IELTS) or attend and successfully complete a pre-sessional (summer) English course before the start of your postgraduate studies.

Keele University runs 11 and 6 week pre-sessional Academic English courses online and face to face.

If you require a Visa to study at Keele and undertake a Pre-Sessional English course, you may be eligible for a Visa to cover both the pre-sessional (11 or 6 week only) and Degree course, on the basis of you achieving the required language competencies by the end of the pre-sessional course, but will be withdrawn if you fail to satisfactory progress to the equivalent level of English required. For more information please visit

All Visas to study in the UK are subject to the rules and requirements of the UK Home Office Visas & Immigration (UKVI) and the supporting (sponsoring) institution.

When you start your studies at Keele, we can assess your English language standard and recommend language modules for you to take as part of your degree course. You do not pay any additional fees for these. You can also speak to staff in the Language Centre

Facts and figures