Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work

How to apply

  • We welcome part-time and full-time applicants, who can fund their course of study, but we will only accept projects where we can support you with a supervisory team with the relevant research experience. For this reason, we ask for the following:

    • Take a look at the research pages for where your research topic would sit, to identify that there is a relevant research group for your research.
    • Email a provisional Research Proposal (2,000 words maximum) and CV to

    There is no specified format for research proposals, but the following areas are usually covered:

    • A proposed title (this should be short and reflect the subject)
    • Aims/research questions
    • A background summary covering a literature review, your previous experience of the research area, and how your research project will make an original and independent contribution to knowledge
    • Outline of research methods proposed (including an indication of participants, data collection and analysis)
    • A note on any relevant ethical considerations
    • A summary of any resources required in order to undertake the research
    • Bibliography: You should include a list of references to the books, articles and other sources that you used in writing the proposal.

    Our Doctoral Tutors can then ascertain whether the necessary facilities and supervisors are available. If this is so, you will be encouraged to submit a full application.

    If English is not your first language and you need a Student visa to enter the UK, you will need to meet the UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) minimum English language requirements.

    The University’s requirements are higher than the levels required by this, as you need to show that your English language skills are at a high enough level to succeed in your studies.

    Our requirement is IELTS: 6.5-7.0 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking), depending on the subject. Please note that an IELTS certificate is only valid for 2 years. For further information about the test visit the IELTS website. Please note that we no longer accept TOEFL qualifications.

    However, there may be the following exceptions. See the UK Government visa information for more detail on the information.

    If you do not meet these requirements you may be able to take our University English as a pre-sessional course to meet the university’s language and academic requirements. You can find out more on our pre-sessional courses here.

    English language requirements for visas
    If you are from a country that the UKVI considers to be majority English speaking, then you will not have to prove your English language level for visa purposes. If you have an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree then this may meet the UKVI's language requirements.

    For support with your visa application, you can contact the University’s International Student Advice Team, and for more information on the requirements for visas please visit the GOV.UK website.

    How to Apply

    The steps described below are for self-funded and externally funded students only. If you are wishing to apply for a funded studentship advertised by the University please refer to the application instructions for that individual studentship on the Research Opportunities Page.

    Once you have taken the Steps Before Applying, there are two requirements in making a formal application for MPhil or MPhil/PhD.

    If you are an overseas (including EU) applicant, you also need to read about our English Language requirements.

    You can apply online for a place for any of our research degree programmes.

    For further guidance and answers to frequently asked questions.

    If your application progresses, you will be invited to interview which may be in person, by Skype or telephone.

    If successful, we will provide detailed instructions as to what to happens next and what you will need to do. Please note that if you are successful and an international applicant, you will be required to obtain ATAS clearance before applying for a visa. You can see what this means, by going to the UK Government's ATAS site.