Department of Social Sciences

  • Step 4 – What happens once you have applied?

    The following subsections outline what happens once you have submitted your application, including the general timescale for a decision, the possible outcomes, and what to do if your circumstances change after you have been issued with an offer.

    Timescale

    • The Research Administrator will acknowledge receipt of your application by email.
    • Providing that all of the relevant documentation has been received, the Research Administrator will then forward your application and supporting documents onto the Postgraduate Research Tutor. The Postgraduate Research Tutor will discuss your application with an appropriate member of staff (ie. one who shares a similar research interest to yourself) before making a decision. In some cases this decision may require you to attend an interview. All decisions are based on academic merit (where appropriate professional experience, publications, written reports or other appropriate evidence of accomplishment shall be taken into consideration), the availability of an appropriate supervisor, and the receipt of two satisfactory references.
    • We strive to make a decision within one month of receiving your application. Please note, however, decisions may take longer during busier periods of the academic year.

    Possible outcomes

    In most cases you will be notified of the outcome of your application by letter:

    • An unconditional offer may be issued to an applicant who has submitted all of the necessary application documents, met all of our entrance requirements, and can be supervised our academic staff. Under such circumstances we may choose to issue an offer without conditions. Any offer is, however, subject to payment of the appropriate research student fees, each year, for the duration of the programme of research (see Research Degree Fees).
    • You will be sent a formal offer letter from the Postgraduate Research Tutor. This constitutes the contract between you and the University. A copy of the letter is lodged with the Graduate Office. You will not be able to enrol until you have accepted this offer by signing and returning the acceptance slip enclosed with your offer letter.
    • If you are an international student, once your signed acceptance slip has been received the Graduate Office will issue a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) which you will need in order to apply for your visa (see Available Start Dates). All queries about this should be emailed to pgr.visa@brookes.ac.uk
    • Enrolment instructions will be sent to you directly by the Graduate Office, near to your start date, and any queries about this process should be emailed to researchenrolment@brookes.ac.uk
    • A conditional offer may be issued to an applicant who will be offered a place providing that they meet certain conditions. For example you may be offered a place subject to you achieving a specified grade on a current course (eg. Masters) or future examination (eg. IELTS), or on any other condition that the we deem to be appropriate.
    • Unless otherwise stated on your conditional offer you must meet these conditions prior to your expected start date. If you are an international student you must meet any conditions well in advance of your expected start date in order to allow sufficient time to receive your unconditional offer and Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) which you will need for your visa application (see Available start dates). Please send evidence confirming that you have met the conditions specified in your offer letter to the Research Administrator.
    • You will be sent a conditional offer letter from the Postgraduate Research Tutor outlining the conditions of your offer. This constitutes the contract between you and the University. You must sign and return the acceptance slip enclosed with your letter to confirm that you accept your offer and its associated conditions.
    • If you are a Home/EU student enrolment instructions will be sent to you directly by the Graduate Office, near to your start date, and any queries about this process should be emailed to researchenrolment@brookes.ac.uk. If you are an international student you will receive enrolment instructions once you have met the conditions outlined in your offer and thus been issued with an unconditional offer letter.
    • In some cases the we may request that you submit a revised research proposal before making a decision on your application. This may be done if greater discussion/further clarification is needed on certain areas of your proposal.
    • The Research Administrator will contact you by email to explain the amendments that are being requested. It is your responsibility to resubmit your proposal once you have made the requested amendments. There is often no need to resubmit your other application documents at this time. Once your revised research proposal has been received it will be forwarded onto the Postgraduate Research Tutor for a decision.
    • We may then choose to make you an offer (either unconditional or conditional) or reject your application.
    • A rejection letter will be issued to an applicant whose application has been unsuccessful. This may be for a number of reasons, such as there are no supervisors available to supervise in the area of your research interest or it was deemed that your application did not demonstrate readiness for a research degree. Where possible we will provide a reason for our decision and make suggestions as to how you could improve any future applications.
  • Change in your circumstances

    • Please inform the Research Administrator of any changes in your personal circumstances (eg. change to your home or email address, etc).
    • If your change in circumstances means that you are no longer able to start your research degree on your specified start date please inform the Research Administrator immediately. You may request to defer your offer for up to one year. This request must be approved by your proposed Director of Studies and the Postgraduate Research Tutor. If you have been awarded funding you should be aware that there may be implications to your award should you request to defer and this should be checked with the sponsoring body.
    • We strongly advise applicants request to defer their offer prior to their expected start date and not retrospectively.
    • If your request to defer is supported by your proposed Director of Studies and the Postgraduate Research Tutor you will be issued with a formal offer letter confirming your revised start date.

    Thank you for your interest in the research degree programme in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. We wish you every success with your research career whether at Oxford Brookes University or elsewhere.