How to apply

Information on your application, our PhD timeline and entry requirements.

Doctoral research: tips on how to apply

Your application

In advance of submitting your application you should discuss your proposal with potential supervisor(s) you have identified by using our Find a supervisor page. If you are applying for a funded project or suggested study topic then you should contact the academic listed associated with the project.

Once you have contacted your prospective supervisor, please apply using our online application form. Please note that applications will not be considered until they are complete and all references have been received.

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As part of your application please ensure that you state the title of the project and the proposed supervisor(s). If you are applying for a project of your own design, please see our guidance on writing your research proposal.

Please note that an offer of a place does not constitute an offer of funding to support your research. The University of Sheffield Fees and Funding page provides information regarding sources of funding, living costs and other expenses.


Our doctoral programmes usually follow the academic year and so students should expect to commence their studies at the end of September. However, we appreciate that funding priorities and international academic calendars can differ and we will endeavour to accommodate different start dates.

In general we recommend that applications are made at least six months in advance of the proposed start date. In practice, however, applications may need to be completed earlier, especially in the case of scholarship funding applications. Please consult the Fees and Funding pages for deadlines before applying.

PhD entry requirements

Candidates will need at least a 2:1 undergraduate degree in geography or a cognate discipline, and offers to final year undergraduates are conditional on this requirement. A strong masters degree would be an asset to an application, but this is not a necessary criterion. International students seeking clarity on entry requirements should consult the Prospective International Students pages.

For candidates for whom English is not their first language or who do not possess a degree taught in the English language there are minimum English language requirements. If these have yet to be met, they will be made conditions of any offer made.

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