How to apply

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Entry requirements

  • You should ideally have a first-class or at least a good upper second-class undergraduate degree.
  • A Masters degree is not a requirement but your application is seen more favourably if you have one - ideally you will have achieved a distinction or at least a merit, especially in your Masters dissertation.
  • Your referees must be fully supportive of you and your ability for advanced, independent study.
  • Before you apply, we suggest you consider how your proposed research fits with our staff and their research interests, and the research themes of the School of Media and Communication. 

English language requirements

  • If English is not your first language, you’ll need an overall IELTS score of 6.5, with a writing component of 6.5 and no component less than 6.0. For other qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.
  • If you do not meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

The application process 

The easiest way to apply for a PhD is online. This will allow you to track you application at each stage of the process.

Applications can be made at any time of the year, however, we recommend that you contact your preferred supervisors well in advance of submitting an application and at least six weeks before any scholarship deadlines, if you're applying for a scholarship.

Your research proposal (3,000 – 3,500 words) should include: 

  • A clear statement of the proposed research topic and the research question(s) that are guiding your investigation (explain the importance and originality of the proposed topic).
  • A literature review and bibliography, using the Harvard style of referencing, of relevant academic publications relating to your area of research (identify gaps in, or problems with, existing research to justify why further or new research is required).
  • A description of your choice of methodology and why this methodology might be the most appropriate for your topic (include details of methods of data collection and analysis even if this is preliminary at this stage).
  • An approximate timetable showing a realistic plan for the completion of your research and writing within three years.

Documents to include with your application:

  • PhD application form
  • PhD research proposal
  • Transcripts, including grading system, of your degree(s)
  • Certificates of your degree(s)
  • Two academic references 
  • IELTS certificate (if English isn’t your first language): overall IELTS score of 6.5 (with writing no less than 6.5 and no components less than 6.0). Find out more about submitting proof of English language proficiency and our pre-sessional English courses
  • CV
  • A scholarship application form (if applicable). 

You'll also need to supply the names of supervisors you would be interested in working with.

Once you've applied, we'll contact you as soon as possible to let you know the result. If we're considering making you an offer, we'll invite you for an interview, or a telephone interview if you're living outside the UK.

If you have any queries, please contact our postgraduate admissions team.