How to apply for a research degree

How to apply for a research degree

Our five step process details how to apply for a research degree at the University of Glasgow


Step 1: find out what's on offer

Identify your research area

Browse our A-Z list of subject pages to find out more about the areas of postgraduate research study available.

Identify potential supervisors

All Postgraduate Research Students are allocated a supervisor who will act as the main source of academic support and research mentoring. You may want to identify a potential supervisor and contact them to discuss your research proposal before you apply. Please note, even if you have spoken to an academic staff member about your proposal you still need to submit an online application form.

You can find relevant academic staff members with our staff research interests search.

Search for funding and scholarships

As a commitment to supporting students and rewarding excellence, the University of Glasgow offers a fantastic range of scholarships. A list of scholarships available to postgraduate students is available on our scholarships site. The application process varies depending on the scholarship you wish to apply for. Please consult individual scholarship entries for details on how to apply, eligibility, application deadlines and contact details.

You can find a list of funding opportunities on the relevant Graduate School website for your College.

You may also want to check for specific funded projects on our pages on Find A PhD.


Step 2: check the entry requirements

Entry requirements for postgraduate research vary.

All Postgraduate Research applicants should normally possess one or more of the following:

  • First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree or equivalent qualification (2:1 in the case of UK Research Council supported students).
  • In some cases a Masters qualification or equivalent is required

Candidates whose first language is not English must show evidence of appropriate competence in English. You can find the specific requirements on our international students pages.

Please check the relevant entry in the A-Z┬álist of subject pages to find out any specific entry requirements and application documents.


Step 3: gather your documents

Before applying please make sure you gather the following supporting documentation:

  1. Final or current degree transcripts including grades (and an official translation, if needed) – scanned copy in colour of the original document
  2. Degree certificates (and an official translation, if needed): scanned copy in colour of the original document
  3. 2 references on headed paper (academic and/or professional).
  4. Research proposal, CV, samples of written work as per requirements for each subject area. Please check the relevant entry in our A-Z of subjects for specific details.

Submitting References

To complete your application we will need 2 references (One must be academic the other can be academic or professional). Your references should be on official headed paper. These should also be signed by the referee. You can then upload these via the Applicant-Self-Service system with the rest your documents to complete the application process.

Please be aware that documents must not exceed 5MB in size and therefore you may have to upload your documents separately. The online system allow you to upload supporting documents only in PDF format. For a free PDF writer go to www.pdfforge.org.

If your referees would prefer to provide confidential references direct to the University then we can also accept the reference by email, from the referee’s official university or business email account to rio-researchadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk. We will then add these to your application.


Step 4: apply online

Once you have all your supporting documentation you can apply online through our Online Application System.


Step 5: I've applied. What next?

Once a decision has been made regarding your application the Research Admissions Office will contact you by email.

If you are made an unconditional offer

You can accept your offer through the Applicant Self Service by clicking on the ‘Accept/Decline link’ for your chosen programme under the ‘Admissions Section’ at the bottom of the Applicant Self Service screen.

Please make sure you accept your unconditional offer within 4 weeks of receiving your offer. If you are an international student your CAS will not be issued until you have accepted an unconditional offer.

If you are made a conditional offer

If you accept a conditional offer then the offer status on Applicant Self Service will change to ‘incomplete’ to indicate that the application is incomplete until such time as all the conditions are met.

Your offer letter will list all the conditions that apply to your offer and you can upload the required document(s) through Applicant Self Service. If you have met the conditions satisfactorily, you will automatically be sent an unconditional offer.

If your application is unsuccessful

If your application is unsuccessful then we will send you an email to inform you of this which will outline the reason why we have been unable to offer you a place on this particular programme. Please note that your application status will be updated to 'Cancelled' on Applicant Self Service if the offer is rejected.

Deferring your offer

If you want to defer your start date, please contact us directly at rio-researchadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk. We need authorisation from your supervisor before we confirm your request to defer. Once we have this we will contact you by email to confirm.

How to register

After you have accepted an unconditional offer you will receive an email nearer to the start of your studies to tell you how to register online using the University's MyCampus website, the University’s student information system. That email will provide you with your personal login details and the website URL. Please ensure that your email address is kept up to date as all correspondence is sent via email.

For more information and a step by step guide can be found on our Registry site.


Contact us

If you have any questions about your application before you have applied please contact the relevant Graduate School:

If you have any questions once you have submitted your application form please contact our Admissions department:

Any references may also be submitted by email to:

International Students