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.

On this page, you can find out more about how to apply for a Postgraduate programme, and key dates for September 2024 entry. Information about applying for a Postgraduate programme with a January start date can be found on our January start Postgraduate pages

We are committed to making the admissions process as smooth as possible for our applicants. Please read through everything carefully as it contains important information about how to progress your application with us. If you need to speak to our Admissions Team, please get in touch: 

Making your application

Once you receive an offer from Keele University

Here is an overview of the steps from receiving your offer to enrolling at Keele. Please see below for all of the details and dates of each step. 

Application step Home / international students Deadline
1. Meet the conditions of your offer Both Ongoing - see your offer letter
2. Pay your deposit International 20 August 2024 at the latest
3. Apply for accommodation Both 30 June 2024
4. Submit any outstanding documents Both Ongoing - see your offer letter
5. Return your pre-CAS checklist International  8 September 2024 at the latest
6. Apply for your visa International See our Visa pages
7. Prepare for your travels International Ongoing
8. Enrolment for international students International 19 September 2024
Induction Both 23 September 2024

1. Meet the conditions of your offer 

If your offer is conditional, you need to meet the conditions specified in your offer letter. You can upload any documents requested by our Admissions team to your Applicant Portal. Once you’ve met the conditions of your offer, you will be sent an unconditional offer letter.  For September start dates: If you think you may need support to meet our English language requirements, take a look at our pre-sessional English courses to see if they may be suitable for you. 

2. Pay your tuition fee deposit (international students)

When you have decided that you intend to study at Keele, you will need to pay your £4000 tuition fee deposit. We recommend paying your deposit as soon as possible. For international postgraduate students starting in September 2024, the latest date for your deposit payment to reach us is 20 August 2024. We anticipate that places will fill before then and we will close our September intake, so we advise you to pay your deposit as soon possible.  

Pay my deposit   
The remaining balance for your annual tuition fees is payable in 2 instalments, and students will be invoiced for this after enrolment. For more information about deadlines for deposit payments and refund policy, please see our deposit webpages.   
If you are a sponsored student, you don’t need to pay a tuition fee deposit – and instead will need to send a financial guarantee letter to You qualify as a sponsored student if you are being supported by an external source such as your employer or government. Please see our web page for sponsored students for details about the information you need to send to us.

3. Apply for accommodation

If you would like to live on campus, you will need to apply for accommodation before the deadline of 30 June 2024. You can do this from 48-hours after you have accepted your offer. You can also find out more about living off-campus.

4. Submit any outstanding documents 

If you haven’t done so already, upload to your Applicant Portal copies of your passport and any previous UK visas you may have.

5. CAS process (international students)

If you require a visa to study in the UK, once you have completed the above steps, you will then begin the CAS process. Once you’ve accepted your unconditional offer and we’ve received your tuition fee deposit and copies of your documents, our Admissions team will send you your pre-CAS checklist. For students starting in September 2024, we will issue pre-CAS checklists up to 30 August 2024. Please make sure you allow plenty of time to pay your deposit, meet the conditions of your offer, and return your documents.   
When you receive your pre-CAS checklist, you will need to check the details are all correct and return it to our Immigration Compliance team by 8 September 2024 at the very latest. Provided that there are no issues, you will then be sent a CAS number which is needed to complete an online visa application to book an appointment at a Visa Application Centre. For Postgraduate students starting in September 2024, we will issue CAS letters up to 9 September 2024, so you must make sure you return your pre-CAS checklist in plenty of time before this date, and by 8 September 2024 at the latest.  
If you do not require a visa to study in the UK, our Admissions team will send you a non-visa checklist which you will need to check and return to our Immigration Compliance team.  

Find out more about the CAS process.

6. Apply for a visa (international students)

Once you have your CAS number, you need to apply for a visa. Find out more about applying for a student visa from outside the UK.

7. Prepare for your travels (international students)

Once you have a decision on your visa application, you must send a scanned copy of the decision letter by email to You can then start to prepare for your travels to Keele! You will also receive more information from our Student Welcome team closer to the start of your studies with us, which will help you to prepare for life at Keele and studying in the UK.  

8. Enrolment

International student enrolment for September 2024 will take place on 19 September 2024, with induction for all students beginning on 23 September 2024.

Additional guidance and information

We will ask you to provide at least one reference to support your application (please see below for more details). If you are already in receipt of a reference on letter headed paper that is signed and dated, please upload this to your application via the Applicant Portal. 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.

Academic references

Please provide an academic reference which meets the following criteria:

  • Only provide an academic reference if you have completed study within two years of the start month of your course.
  • Signed and/or stamped letter headed paper OR contact email needs to be from the relevant institution email address registered for the School or University.
  • It should not come from a personal email address, such as Gmail or Yahoo. Further checks will be carried out if Gmail or Yahoo are used.
  • Visible contact details from referee.
  • Dated within the last six months.
  • From the most recent institute you have attended.
  • PDF or JPEG format, unless provided directly from an official email address of institute.
  • A list of what to include in references for your referee's information can be found at the bottom of this section. 

Employment references

Please provide an employment reference which meets the following criteria:

  • Please provide an employment reference if you have been out of study longer than two years before the start month of your course.
  • Signed and/or stamped letter headed paper OR contact email needs to be from the relevant institution email address registered for the School or University.
  • It should not come from a personal email address, such as Gmail or Yahoo. Further checks will be carried out if Gmail or Yahoo are used.
  • Visible contact details from referee.
  • Dated within the last six months.
  • From your most recent employer.
  • If self-employed, please provide evidence of business ownership.
  • PDF or JPEG format, unless provided directly from an official email address of employer.

What to include in references for referee's information:

  • 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. 


Below is a guide to what you should and shouldn’t include in your personal statement.

Do include:

  • Motivation for studying course
  • How your interests have been developed in your chosen course from your undergraduate degree  
  • How any relevant work experience feeds into your course choice
  • How this Master’s degree will further your career (either employment or academic)
  • Mention any modules in your chosen postgraduate degree which particularly interest you
  • Write the personal statement in your own words
  • Check spelling and grammar
  • Check the course page for your chosen postgraduate course to see if there are any specific instructions regarding expected content to be included in your statement


  • Mention other universities and courses
  • Copy wording from Keele University website, it is important the statement is in your ‘own words'
  • Ask your agent/family/friend or other third party to complete this section for you 

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. You can apply in the academic year before the completion of your degree. All applications should include the following (for each requirement further information can be sourced on this section):

  • Personal statement/Statement of purpose
  • Any relevant professional qualifications/work experience
  • Degree certificate and consolidated transcript if you have completed your degree
  • Interim transcript if you are still studying
  • Academic or employment reference
  • Evidence of completed English Language qualification. Please note, we do not accept Medium of Instructions Letters. 

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

The particular entry requirements for each course are given in the individual postgraduate course page. 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. Please see relevant course page for specific English Language requirements. 

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:

MA in Social Work
Contact: Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)

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. Also, some of our courses require an interview, this will be displayed on the relevant course page if applicable.

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, updated personal statement, 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.