Research degrees : documents required
Please see below the forms that you will need to complete and return to us:
- Completed application form
- Research Proposal
- Personal Statement / Statement of Purpose
- Proof of degree and grades (officially certified and translated copies if not in English)
- Two references on official headed paper, one of which should be an academic reference
And for candidates for whom English is not their first language:
- Proof of English language level (IELTS or TOEFL Certificate)
Please use the University of Portsmouth online application form for all research degrees programmes. Your application will be received by the University's central Academic Registry before being transferred to individual departments for consideration and processing.
On entry to the electronic form, you will be requested to create an individual account. Once you have done this you can save your application details at any point and send it when it is completed to your satisfaction.
Please remember to upload your Research Proposal and the Personal Statement.
Alternatively, you can use the offline version of the postgraduate application form, which you can download by clicking on the link below. Two references are required for Postgraduate applicants. Please ensure that you download sufficient copies of this page.
- Application Form (.pdf)
- Application form - Section 4 Additional (.pdf) - please ensure that you include this insert with your application
- ATAS Student Guidance Notes (.pdf)
Please send your completed documents to the address on the application form.
Your proposal (1,500-4,000 words depending on the advice provided by your Faculty Admissions Centre) 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 might include:
The research problem to be studied
- What is the nature of the problem?
- Why is it problematic?
- What is its significance?
- To whom is it significant, and why?
- Why is it appropriate to study this topic at this time?
- What academic research has been undertaken in this area so far?
- Which authors and which models have been most influential in this area, and why?
- How will the intended research build upon this academic work?
Definition of research aims
- What are the general and specific aims of the intended research?
- How will these aims contribute to understanding?
- What methodologies have you considered?
- What authors have influenced your consideration of methodologies, and in what ways?
- What would be the most useful methodology to adopt for this investigation and what kinds of data will it yield?
- What kinds of hypotheses will you establish?
- How would you expect to test these hypotheses?
Access to data
- How will you gain access to any data relevant to your study?
- Will such access be conditional upon paying a fee? If so, how much?
- Have you considered the ethical issues arising from your proposed research? If so, how do you propose to address them?
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 activities outside the classroom. We suggest you include the following:
- Your reasons for choosing your topic of research
- The aspects of your topic of research that interest you most
- Any work experience, placement or voluntary work you have undertaken, particularly if it is relevant to your subject. Include the skills and abilities you have gained from these activities
- How your choice of research fits in with your future career plans
- Why you would like to study in the UK(for EU/International students)
- Details of any non-examination activities you have undertaken in preparation for higher education
- If you have taken, or are planning to take, a year out - please give your reasons why
- If you are not currently in full-time education, please give details of your current or previous employment