Applying Postgraduate - University of Portsmouth
Application, Fees & Funding


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

Making your Postgrad application

We welcome all applications from anyone who wants to benefit from higher education. All applications are treated on their individual merits.

How to apply

Our application process is straightforward and online. If you need help, send us an email at

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Master's courses (MA/MSc/MRes)

Your application checklist

*How to make your personal statement stand out

The personal statement is your opportunity to tell us more about yourself and your suitability for the course. It’s here that you should demonstrate your enthusiasm for your chosen course and the skills and experience you possess.

What to include in your personal statement

As a minimum we would suggest:

Get help with your personal statement

Our Admissions Centre can offer support with your personal statement. You can either email or call 023 9284 5566 for assistance.

Courses with alternative application arrangements

A small number of our courses have different arrangements in place for applicants to follow.

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

You will need to apply direct to UCAS Teacher Training. Please apply as soon as possible, after 1 September in the year preceding that in which you hope to begin.

Partnership Programme Master’s and Occupational Health and Safety Courses

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

MSc Social work

Applications for MSc Social Work course should be made direct to UCAS.

MRes Courses

How to apply

To make an application to an MRes programme follow the same process as the taught Master’s courses above with the following additional step:

Research Proposal

As part of your application, we ask you to submit a brief summary outlining your intended area of research. You can discuss and develop this with support from your proposed MRes Supervisor. You can find information about research topics and supervisors on our MRes course pages.

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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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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