School of History, Philosophy and Culture

  • Step 3 – How to apply

    The following subsections outline the application process in detail, including what you should do prior to submitting your application, available start dates, and the application procedure.

    Applying is a two-stage process. First, it is essential that you check whether your specific research interests can be adequately supervised by submitting a provisional research proposal (please see Prior to submitting your application). Second, if the School encourages you to do so, you need to submit the relevant application form and supporting documentation (please see The application procedure).

  • It is essential that you check whether your specific research interests can be adequately supervised before submitting a full application. To do this please email the Research Administrator (see contact details below) your provisional research proposal. This should be 1500–2000 words in length and should include a title and a summary of the proposed subject area. There is no specific format for research proposals but the following areas are usually covered; introduction, evidence of background reading and knowledge/previous experience of research area, details of research methods proposed to carry out the project, the aims of the research project, plus any proposed hypotheses/outcomes. The Research Administrator will then contact the Postgraduate Research Tutor to ascertain whether the necessary facilities and supervisors are available. If your area of research can potentially be supervised you will be encouraged to submit a full application (see The Application Procedure).

    There is no deadline for the receipt of research degree applications; you may apply at any time of year. You should be aware, however, that the enrolment dates are in January and September (ie. the start of Semesters 1 and 2). The next available start dates are:

    • 17–21 September 2018
    • 24–25 January 2019

    If you are an international student you will need to apply for a Tier 4 student visa in order to come to the UK as a student. Following changes to the UK immigration system in 2009, the University now issues a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) - this is a unique reference number that students use when they make their visa application. The CAS is only issued to students in receipt of an unconditional offer to study at Oxford Brookes University. The Graduate Office recommends that international students require at least 3 months between receiving their unconditional offer and gaining the necessary visa. Therefore, if you are an international student please allow at least 4 months between submitting your application and your expected start date, to allow enough time to process your application.

    MPhil, PhD, MPhil/PhD and MA/MSc/LLM by Research and PhD by Published Work applications

    If you would like to be considered for one of the above degrees you must apply via our online application system which can be accessed here. In addition the following documentation must be uploaded along with your application or emailed separately.

    1. A Personal Statement. This should explain in full why you are applying for a place as a research degree student and how it relates to your academic and career development
    2. A Research Proposal (1500–2000 words). There is no specified format for research proposals but the following areas are usually covered: introduction, literature review, previous experience of research area, how your research project will make an original and independent contribution to knowledge, details of research methods proposed to carry out the project and the aims/objectives of the research project. If you have already received feedback on a research proposal submitted to the School prior to making this application you should incorporate this into your proposal at this stage
    3. A Curriculum Vitae (a maximum of 2 pages in length)
    4. Two References, at least one of which must be academic. Your referees should be able to tell us about the standard of your recent academic/professional work, any expected examination results, your ability to work at postgraduate level in the subject area in which you intend to study, your ability to work independently, your ability to participate in seminars and/or to carry out research/fieldwork/laboratory work, your ability to sustain commitment over the period of study, your personal qualities, and your proficiency in spoken and written English (if applicable). The reference form can be downloaded from the downloads section of this page. You have the option of giving your referee access to your application in UKPASS so that they are able to attach their reference separately
    5. Scanned, certified copies of your degree certificates or a transcript of your academic record to date. This also applies to applicants already studying at Oxford Brookes University. A full translation must be provided for all documents that are not in English
    6. If English is not your main language, scanned copies of any English language qualifications (eg. IELTS certificates). Please see English language requirements for further information
    7. If you have already been awarded funding please provide a letter from the sponsoring body confirming the award and its duration
    8. A completed ethnic origin form (see the downloads section of this page)
  • Please contact the Research Administrator, Charmian Hearne, for all research degree enquiries.

    Charmian Hearne
    Research Administrator
    School of History, Philosophy and Culture
    Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
    Oxford Brookes University
    Headington CampusGipsy Lane
    Oxford
    OX3 0BP

    Tel: +44 (0)1865 484998
    Email:  chearne@brookes.ac.uk