Postgraduate study - how to apply

We want to help you with all stages of the admissions process. Find out how and when to apply for a postgraduate course at Keele.

The particular entry requirements for each course are given in the individual postgraduate course listings. As a general rule, you will need the equivalent of a UK honours degree at second-class standard or higher and if English is not your first language you will need to provide an appropriate qualification. Staff will be happy to advise on the acceptability of your qualifications before you apply.

Looking for general advice about studying a Postgraduate course? 'Steps to Postgraduate Study' provides information for students who are making decisions about postgraduate study.

Anyone applying from a country where English is not the first language is required to show evidence of English language competence, obtaining at least an IELTS score of 6.5 (with no subtest lower than 5.5) or hold a previous degree which has been taught and examined in English, unless the specific entry for the course indicates otherwise.

A comparative IELTS score to other English Language qualifications is available on the International section of the site.

Each course page has a link to the application form for that particular course (see the 'apply' links at the top of each postgraduate course page).

There is no application fee.

The online application will allow you to complete your personal details and enter your qualifications (those completed or those you are still studying for). You can also upload your personal statement and scanned/pdf copies of transcripts and copies of certificates. When you make an application you will be given a login to our Applicant Portal to allow you to track the progress of your application, and submit any further information required prior to the submission of your application. Find out more about the Applicant Portal.

Please note that we encourage you to apply as soon as possible, and before you complete any qualifications required for entry, including English language tests where appropriate. You will need to include a personal statement, explaining why you are applying for the particular course and including details of any relevant work or professional experience. You will need to supply Keele University with originals or certified copies of relevant qualifications before you will be allowed to enrol at Keele.

If you are an international applicant there is further information about agents and visas on the pages for international applicants.

We may ask you to provide at least one academic reference to support your application. If you have a reference on letter headed paper that is signed and dated, please upload this to your application. The Admissions team may contact your referee to verify the reference provided. If a reference is not provided with your application, you may find this is included in the conditions of your offer.

The information that we require from your referee should include the following:

  • Length of time they have known the applicant;
  • Capacity in which they know the applicant;
  • Comments on the applicant’s academic ability (if appropriate) such as analytical skills;
  • Commitment to intensive academic activity, ability to plan work, independent working, essay writing skills;
  • Comments on the applicant’s professional capabilities (if appropriate);
  • Comments on the applicant’s standard of English Language (where the applicant is not a native English speaker);
  • Comments on the applicant’s character;
  • Any other comments relevant to the applicant’s suitability for postgraduate study on the course identified.

References should be on letter headed paper and be signed and dated and uploaded to the Applicant Portal.

Applications for some professional courses are made through other, centralised admissions systems. If you wish to apply for these courses you should contact the following:

Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE)

Contact: Graduate Teacher Training Registry (GTTR)

MA in Social Work

Contact: Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)

For UK applicants, there are no fixed closing dates for the majority of our courses, however some courses may become full and close early. Please see the course page for your chosen course for further details.

For international applicants, the equal consideration date for September 2023 entry is 1 April. Applications will be considered after this date if there are spaces still available.

If you are an international student requiring a student visa, you will need to check the visa processing times for your country to ensure that you have sufficient time to apply for your visa before the course start date.

You will receive an acknowledgement of your application within 24 hours and we aim to process applications, and dispatch our decision on your application, within 20 working days. You should note that the processing of your application might be delayed if the information provided on your form is incomplete or if we are awaiting copies of qualifications.

Sometimes our offer of a place is conditional upon performance in examinations that you still have to take – this could include English language tests. Offers may also be conditional on you providing us with references, certificates or transcripts. Once a decision on your application has been reached, this will be sent to you by email.

Please make sure that you upload your documents to the Applicant Portal as soon as possible, otherwise there may be a delay in making your offer unconditional.

Once you have received your offer, you can respond through the Applicant Portal. Full details of how to do this will be in your offer letter.

Please note that if we make you an offer of a place at Keele, this does not mean that the University will provide any financial assistance. Any scholarship or bursary awards will be made to you separately.

If you accept an offer from Keele, you must agree to observe the Charter, Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations of the University. If you have declared a disability on your application form, and if we make you an offer of a place, then we will inform our Disability Services Co-ordinator who will contact you to discuss your support needs.

If your offer is conditional upon providing any other examination results and/or your English language test results, you should upload your documents to the Applicant Portal as soon as you receive them.

If you do not meet the conditions of our offer, please contact us as we may still be able to accept you onto your original course or offer you a suitable alternative course.

Further information about paying your deposit can be found on our Deposit for Tuition Fee web pages. 

Once your offer is unconditional and we have received your Tuition Fee Deposit or evidence of your Financial Guarantee Letter from an external sponsor, and documents, we will issue a Visa Checklist no more than four months prior to the start of your course. Once you receive the Checklist you will need to complete and return it to the Immigration Compliance team in order to request a CAS statement which will enable you to apply for your visa (if required). We will issue CAS statements up to 18 August, so you must make sure you return your Checklist in plenty of time before this date.  

For more information about applying for your visa please visit our Visa and Immigration webpages. 

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. We will send this out by email from July for students starting their course in September. In addition, your School will contact you about starting your course and any preparations you need to make.