Applying Postgraduate - University of Portsmouth
Application, Fees & Funding


Master's courses (MA/MSc)
Research degrees (MPhil/PhD)
Professional doctorates
MRes courses


We offer a diverse range of more than 130 Master’s courses and postgraduate research degrees delivered by our academic departments and schools, each with its own research and professional specialisms.

Studying for a postgraduate degree is a life changing decision that will have a profound effect on your future. Choosing the right place to study is just as important. At Portsmouth, we can offer you courses that have direct links with businesses and industry and courses led by world-class researchers, all taught by academics who are passionate about their subject and determined to inspire their students. Our research is thriving and postgraduate research students, supported by a dedicated Graduate School, are an integral part of our community. Most of our degrees are available both full and part time to provide flexible options in line with the demands of busy lifestyles.

Applications are welcomed from everyone able to benefit from higher education. No potential student will be excluded on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, marital status, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or creed. The University encourages applications from candidates with disabilities, mature students, and students from overseas, in accordance with our admissions Code of Practice.

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Master's courses (MA/MSc)

Before you apply: MA, MSc, PGCE

We offer over 130 taught Master’s courses and most Portsmouth-based courses are available both full and part time. Some programmes are delivered fully online, ideal for working professionals, and others are delivered by our international partner institutions. Begin by selecting the subject you wish to study and then look at the postgraduate courses in that area. You can also order a prospectus and contact us if you’d like to speak to a tutor for your chosen course.

Entry requirements

Look carefully at the entry requirements on the page of the course that you are interested in studying, to find out whether you are eligible to apply. Specific requirements will also be listed, for example, where your undergraduate studies need to have been in a particular discipline.

General requirements

For Master's courses, the normal entry requirement is an honours degree from a UK university. Applicants without this qualification may offer equivalent qualifications, experience in a relevant area or a combination of both. In such cases, each application will be treated on its merits and we may seek additional evidence from academic referees.

Language requirements

All students must have sufficient command of the English language to complete and defend their dissertation in English. If English is not your first language, we will require recent evidence of English language ability to IELTS level 6.5 or TOEFL 590 standard (or equivalent) across all of our postgraduate courses. Pre-study courses in English for academic purposes are available for candidates seeking to meet this requirement.

Postgraduate Open Days

We run two Postgraduate Information Days every year. These events are your chance to find out about the University and our postgraduate opportunities. You can meet with subject specialists and faculty teams who’ll provide guidance on our range of postgraduate opportunities. You’ll also be able to talk to current postgraduate students, as well as staff from Careers and Recruitment, Student Finance, the International Office and the Graduate School.

Bookings are now open. Visit the open day page for more details on both generic and subject specific events.

How to Apply

Master’s courses online application

Please use the University of Portsmouth online application form for taught Master’s courses. Your application will be received by the University's Admissions Team before being transferred to individual departments for consideration and processing.

The first step on our online application form is creating your own account. Once you have an account you can save your application details at any point and send it when it has been completed.

We recommend applying online for our taught Master’s courses; however, if you would prefer to submit a hard copy application, please download the following documents and return the application using the contact details at the end of the form:

Application Form PDF 129KB
Guidance notes PDF 119KB
Reference Request DOCX 20KB

For international students, the formal offer of a place will be made by Academic Registry (Admissions), which will allow you to obtain a visa for entry to the United Kingdom.

Professional Graduate and Postgraduate Certificate in Education – Secondary (PGCE)

Please apply as soon as possible, after the 1 September in the year preceding that in which you hope to begin, through UCAS Teacher Training. For more information:

UCAS Teacher Training
New Barn Lane 
GL52 3LZ
Tel: 0871 4680469

Partnership Programme and Occupational Health and Safety Courses

These programmes are managed by our Learning at Work Department. Please visit the dedicated department page for further information on how to apply for these courses.

MSc Social work

If you wish to apply for the MSc Social Work course, please apply via UCAS.

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Research degrees (MPhil/PhD)

Before you apply: PhD, MPhil, MD and Integrated Doctorate degrees

As a research student, you will be based within a school or department in the University and be a member of our Graduate School. Where a research project is multidisciplinary, supervision will be by members of staff from different areas.

Explore our research degree areas and find out how to apply for the subject you're interested in. Each research area contains an enquiry form which will put you in touch with the right person to answer your questions. Once you have been in contact with the department and supervisor you will normally need to produce a research proposal.

You can start your degree in October or February.

How to apply: PhD, MPhil, MD and Integrated Doctorate degrees

You will need to complete a, personal statement, the online application form and, depending on the department you are applying to, a research proposal. Contact the relevant faculty admissions centre for more advice on whether this is needed.

Research proposal

If you do need to produce a research proposal it should be between 1,500-4,000 words depending on the advice provided by your faculty and should clearly identify the research problem to be studied and the aims (general and specific) of the intended research. Typical questions you should seek to address in your proposal include:

The research problem to be studied
Definition of research aims
Research methodology
Access to data

Any proposal you produce will be important as it helps you to clarify your ideas, helps us to assess the viability of your proposed research and our ability to supervise your work.

Personal statement

All students should provide a personal statement within their application. The personal statement is your opportunity to tell us more about yourself and your suitability for the research degrees programme. You should demonstrate your enthusiasm for your topic of research and the skills you have gained from your academic studies and other life/work experience. We suggest you include the following:

Personal statement form pdf 324kb

This form gives some useful advice for those who wish to complete a personal statement form


After you apply

When we’ve received your application, the appropriate Faculty Admissions Centre and the Faculty Research Degrees Coordinator will consider your application. They will make an ‘in principle’ assessment regarding the viability of the intended research and of the available expertise to supervise you in your chosen area. This process will usually takes up to four weeks.

You will be invited for interview if your application is successful. We will write to inform you of the reasons should your application be unsuccessful. A PhD is a high-level academic qualification. Give your application the best chance of success, by ensuring that it demonstrates a thorough knowledge of current thinking and published research in your chosen field.

In most cases, interviews are face-to-face (although we may interview overseas candidates by telephone), and this gives you a chance to discuss your application with your supervisor in a little more depth, meet current research students, clarify any specific research training or equipment you may need and to resolve any queries about the nature of postgraduate research study.

Providing that the interview is satisfactory and the necessary references have been received, your proposed research programme is submitted to the Research Degrees Committee of the University. Once approved our Academic Registry or relevant Faculty will write to you to offer you a place on a research degree programme at the University of Portsmouth.

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Professional doctorates

Professional Doctorates are designed for professionals, who have an active interest in work-based research and professional practice issues, wish to attain the highest level of professional and academic achievement and develop their career.

Programmes are offered in the following three broad subject areas:

Entry requirements Professional Doctorates

You will be eligible for entry to the Stage 1 Professional Doctorate programme if: you hold a good first or upper second class honours degree in a relevant discipline or qualifications or appropriate professional training and experience that we can accept as equivalent to a good honours degree.

If you hold a Masters degree in a relevant discipline, or qualifications or appropriate professional training and experience that we can accept as equivalent to a Masters degree, you will be able enter Stage 2 of the Professional Doctorate programme.

Language requirements

All students must have sufficient command of the English language to complete and defend their theses in English. For students for whom English is not their first language, the University of Portsmouth requires recent evidence of English language ability to IELTS level 7 or TOEFL 600 standard (or equivalent) across all of our research degrees programmes. Pre-study courses in English for academic purposes are available for candidates seeking to meet this requirement.

How to apply: Professional Doctorates

For more information about how to apply, please follow the links above to the specific programmes.

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MRes courses

An MRes provides two key ingredients for early-career researchers: a width of transferable research skills combined with a depth of expertise in your chosen subject.

You will join the day-to-day life of a research group and undertake an original project or study with an experienced supervisor. Along the way you will have sessions focused on the skills and abilities needed to be an effective researcher.

For more information, please visit MRes courses.

Entry requirements: MRes

We usually require you to have a 2:1 or first class honours degree in a relevant subject.

As part of your application, you will be asked to submit a proposal of approximately 1,000 words outlining your initial ideas for a research thesis.

Language requirements

University Portsmouth requires recent evidence of English language ability at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with a minimum score of 6.0 in all individual components, or equivalent. Pre-study courses in English for academic purposes are available for candidates seeking to meet this requirement.

How to Apply: MRes

We currently offer three MRes courses. For more details on how to apply please visit the course page:

MRes Humanities and Social Sciences
MRes Science
MRes Creative Industries
MRes Technology

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Find out more about how to apply and how to fund your studies

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University of Portsmouth
University House
Winston Churchill Avenue
Portsmouth PO1 2UP

T: +44 (0)23 9284 8484