How to apply

Books and coffee.

How do I apply?

Applications to the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science can be made at any time of the year and you may start at any point during the year. However, most of our postgraduate researchers start in October and we would recommend this so that you have the benefit of a full induction programme.

Apply and track the status of your application online.

Deadline and timescales

We have two main start dates for our postgraduate research degree programmes: 1st October and 1st February.

We would recommend starting at these times whenever possible so that you have the benefit of a full induction programme. Deadlines to apply for these start dates are below. Applications submitted after these dates will be automatically considered for the next available start date unless otherwise stated. We may be able to consider other start dates throughout the year at the discretion of the School.

If you would like to be considered for a different start date, you should apply at least 3 months (for UK applicants) or 4 months (for international applicants), before your proposed start date. If you are applying for funding you should ensure you apply for the academic place of study well in advance of any scholarship deadlines. The majority of scholarship deadlines are in January and will stipulate an October start date. 

Start date Deadline to apply for UK applicants (full-time or part-time) Deadline to apply for International applicants (full-time only)
February 2024 31 October 2023 30 September 2023
October 2024 30 June 2024 31 May 2024
February 2025 31 October 2024 30 September 2024


Scholarships deadlines

If you intend to apply for scholarships these usually have deadlines early in the year and most require you to have already secured your place on a course. We advise you to apply for a place on the PhD at least 6 weeks before a scholarship deadline.

What documents do I need to apply for my research degree?

  • copies of all transcripts and degree certificates
  • research proposal
  • three academic references in support of your application - enter the names and contact details on the application form. Your referees should be qualified to comment on your academic ability and should not be from people related to you by blood or marriage. You are responsible for contacting your referees and ensuring that all necessary references are received.
  • a written sample of your work - this should constitute an essay on a question of your choice (no less than 3-4,000 words) that demonstrates your ability within the relevant field (Philosophy, Theology and/or Religious Studies, History and/or Philosophy of Science, or Interdisciplinary Applied Ethics).

How do I write a research proposal?

Your research proposal should:

  • be 500 words, including a short bibliography
  • be focused
  • identify why your proposed research fills a gap in relation to existing work (e.g. because the line you are proposing to take is new, develops work further or in new directions, shows why or how apparent problems can be solved, etc.)
  • outline what the motivation for your proposed research is and how you intend to go about pursuing it, with reference to what you take the central literature in the area to be.

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

Advice on writing your research proposal can be found on the University's research degree pages.