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Postgraduate research Application Guide

We are delighted that you are thinking of undertaking a postgraduate research degree at the University of the West of Scotland.

Applying for postgraduate study is a simple process through our online application system.

There are four intakes for postgraduate research degrees throughout the year – February, April, June and October – you can choose which intake suits you best when you apply.

It’s easy to make an application. There are a few steps that you need to go through to ensure you have everything you need to make an application. Our step-by-step guide (below) helps you make your application. If you live outside the UK, we’ve developed a different  step-by-step guide for international students.

If you want to apply directly you can make your research degree application using our online application system:

Apply for a research degree

Research Degree APPLICATION Step-by-step Guide

Before you begin your application, it is important to read our step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Choose a course

We offer more than 80 postgraduate research degrees at MRes, MPhil or PhD level.

Decide which course you would like to study at UWS, making sure that it is the appropriate level of study for you.

Check our research study options

Step 2: Check the entry requirements

Make sure that your academic qualifications meet the requirements for your chosen course (most postgraduate degree courses will require you to hold an undergraduate degree from a UK institution (if you’ve studied abroad you’ll need an equivalent qualification from an institution recognized by the UK National Recognition Information Centre).

Step 3: Scholarships and funding

Financial support for postgraduate research study is limited, and is typically distributed by one of seven UK Research Councils. Visit to find out whether your field of research is eligible for funding.

Find out more about scholarships and funding opportunities at UWS.


Step 4: Apply

You can apply for postgraduate research at UWS via our free online application system.

As part of the application process you will need to provide digital copies of the following documents:

  • copy of your degree certificate(s)
  • copy of your academic transcript(s)
  • English language proficiency test certificate (if English is not your first language)
  • At least one academic reference, signed and on headed paper or sent from the referee’s work email account (if you do not hold the reference please provide the email address of your academic referee).
  • A research proposal

Once you are ready you can submit your application through our online application system. You can apply for a postgraduate research degree right up to the start of the intake. 

Start your application

Step 5: Application processing

After you submit your application, we will send you an email confirming that we have received your application within 24 hours. You will also be given log-in details for the system so that you can track your application.

Step 6: Decision

Once your application has been processed, we will contact you by email to confirm if it has been successful. This will include guidance on how to accept an offer and fee payment, if required.

Our Admissions team will make one of the following decisions:

  • Unconditional offer: you already meet the necessary entry requirements
  • Conditional offer: you still need to achieve the required qualifications. Once you meet these conditions, your offer will change to unconditional
  • Unsuccessful: you are not considered to be suitably qualified

You can also monitor the progress of your application on the UWS online application system.

Step 7: Preparation


Once you receive and accept your unconditional offer, you’re ready to study at UWS. We’ve developed a short pre-arrival guide to help you to prepare for life and study at UWS.

You can also explore life at UWS at our University Life section.

UWS Admissions Policy

The UWS Admissions Policy has been developed to provide transparency in the admissions processes and practices of University of the West of Scotland, ensuring that a quality service is given to all applicants.

Our priority for admissions is to match prospective students with the programme of study that best meets their needs. Due to demand for UWS undergraduate courses we run a competitive process for our undergraduate degrees which means that the entry requirements.

We are committed to ensuring that our approach to the admissions of students is transparent, fair, honest, consistent, accessible, personalised and timely.

Good luck with your application!


Last updated: 01/12/2017