Postgraduate application FAQs

This webpage is designed for international applicants as a series of frequently asked questions about your application to the University of Sheffield.

Off

If you cannot find the answer to your question here please use Ask Sheffield, a database of frequently asked questions and details of how to contact us directly.

Courses

What are your entry requirements?

The University of Sheffield has high entry requirements as we are an international leader in teaching and research and places are competitive. Choose your country or region to find out specific entry requirements.

What is the course content and modules that I will study?

Details about the course you will be studying can be found on the postgraduate prospectus under the relevant course listing.

Who can help me with my application?

We can help you with your application. Choose your country or region to select specific information about your country. Our contact details are there and you can also find information about our local representatives in your country that will be able to help you.

Can I study part-time?

International students will not usually be able to study part-time. In order to get a visa and gain entry clearance to study in the UK, you will have to be enrolled on a full-time course. Individual circumstances vary, so there may be exceptions.

Can I register for a PhD by distance learning?

For EU and International students not resident in the UK the University operates a Remote Location scheme, through which you can study for a University of Sheffield MPhil or PhD by undertaking research at an overseas institution.

Candidates are required to attend the University in order to meet a number of statutory requirements. These will include all viva voce examinations. However, they spend the majority of their programme of research at the remote location site, and should not spend more than eight consecutive weeks in the UK at any time during the course of their degree.

When do your courses start?

Most postgraduate taught courses start at the end of September and only have one admission per year.

For PhD research you can start at any time during the year. You can state your preferred start-date on the application. This will however be subject to departmental approval.

Documents

What documents do you need for my application?

Information about the documents you should include to support your application, and how to supply these, is provided in our supporting documents guidance:

Supporting documents

The standard application deadlines are provided on our key dates and deadlines page. A few courses use different deadlines. If this is the case for your course, it will be indicated in the course listing. We recommend that you apply early in the year (January/February) for courses that start in the autumn (September/October).

Key dates and deadlines for postgraduate taught courses

Have you received my supporting documents?

After submitting your online application, you will receive an acknowledgement email within two working days, giving you your application and choice numbers.

You can attach supporting documents to your online application, either when you apply or by logging back into the form using your email address and password. You can log into your application at any time and add additional documents, even after it has been submitted.

You will then be able to trace the progress of your application online by logging back into the Postgraduate Online Application Form.

Do I need to send you my exam results?

Yes. We require an official/certified copy (this is a photocopy stamped by the issuing university to prove its authenticity) of your final transcript, as proof of your undergraduate degree result.

You should upload these documents to your online application.

If you are not able to attach particular documents to your online application, you can send them to us by email.

Please ensure that you write the application and choice number on all documents that you send to us.

Do I need to bring original documents with me to registration?

Yes, we will need to see your original documents before you are allowed to register. Admissions staff will be available at registration to verify your qualifications.

How should I send my supporting documents to you?

You can attach supporting documents to your online application, either when you apply or by logging back into the form using your email address and password. You can log into your application at any time and add additional documents, even after it has been submitted. 

If you are not able to attach particular documents to your online application, you can send them to us by email. Please remember to write your name and application number on all correspondence that you send in support of your application.

How should I submit my references?

You can upload your references to your online application for most courses. Alternatively it may be necessary for your referees to upload your references themselves via our Referee Portal.

Deadlines

When do I have to apply by?

The standard application deadlines are provided on our key dates and deadlines page. A few courses use different deadlines. If this is the case for your course, it will be indicated in the course listing. We recommend that you apply early in the year (January/February) for courses that start in the autumn (September/October).

Key dates and deadlines for postgraduate taught courses

Staged admissions for postgraduate applications

Our most popular courses receive many more applications than we have study places available. To manage the competition for places on these courses, we operate a staged admissions process, with application and decision deadlines throughout the year.

Applications are submitted in the normal way, via our Postgraduate Online Application Form, but we give preference to applications that exceed the course entry requirements. Applications for entry in September 2021 open from September 2020.

Follow the links below for details of the courses that assess applications in this way, and the dates of the stages they will be using for September 2021 entry:

Can I apply before I have my final results?

You do not need to wait for your final examinations before you make your application to Sheffield. In fact, we encourage applications from students who are academically strong, but have not yet taken their final examinations. Departments are happy to offer you a place on condition that you achieve a certain percentage in your final examinations or subject to satisfactory references. This way, a place is reserved for you until you get your results.

How do I defer my offer?

If we've offered you a study place, and for unforeseen circumstances you can't attend at the start of your course, you can ask to defer your entry to the next admission point. Most postgraduate taught courses have one admission per year, at the start of the autumn semester in September/October.

You can request a deferral through your original online application by clicking on the 'Request Deferral' link in the 'Your Applications' section. Your request will be forwarded to your course's academic selectors for a decision. A change of start date is at the discretion of the University. It isn't automatically given, and you may be asked to make a new application.

If the academic selectors approve your request, we'll send you an amended offer letter with a deferred start date.

You can defer your application a maximum of two times. If want to defer for a third time, we'll ask you to re-apply.

You should submit your deferral request by the deadline published on our key dates webpage.

Decisions

How long does it take for a decision to be made on my application?

For most taught courses, it normally takes academic departments around four weeks to make decisions on applications. Sometimes decisions can be delayed if the academic department needs more information from you. If this is the case, they'll contact you to request it. You can then either send the information to them directly, or upload it to your online application.

Applications to some courses are assessed using our staged admissions process. Where this is the case, it will be indicated in the course entry in the postgraduate taught course listings. You can find information about the process on our webpage:

Staged admissions for postgraduate applications

Will I be interviewed?

If you have applied for a taught master programme, it is unlikely that you will be interviewed – decisions are usually made solely on the basis of information provided in your application. More information is available here

If you are applying for PhD research, some departments may interview you as part of the decision-making process. This may be a telephone interview. More information is available https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/phd/apply/afterhttps://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/phd/apply/after

What does a conditional offer mean?

A conditional offer means that there are requirements that you will need to meet before you can start the course. If we've made you a Conditional offer, the conditions will be stated in your offer letter. When you've met these conditions, you should upload to your online application documents that prove this. When you've met all the conditions of your offer, we'll provide you with a new, Unconditional offer letter.

Unsuccessful application

My application to Sheffield was unsuccessful. Can I find out why?

If you require feedback, you should contact the academic department directly in writing. This can be done by email. Contact details for the academic departments can be found in the information for each course.

ATAS

What is ATAS?

ATAS is the Academic Technology Approval Scheme. Students studying subjects where the knowledge gained may have application in the development or delivery of weapons of mass destruction may be required to apply for an ATAS certificate before starting their course or applying for a Student or Short-Term Student visa

The areas affected will generally be science and engineering and will be identified by JACS codes.

English

What English language qualifications do you accept?

English language qualifications we accept.

Can I study English at Sheffield before I start my course?

Yes. We have an English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC) which offers many different English language courses that you can take.

I took my IELTS 2 or more years ago. Does it still count?

No. You will have to take another IELTS or evidence of another English language qualification.

I studied at an English speaking university. Do I still need IELTS?

Applicants with a first degree taught in English will not generally be required to provide other evidence of English language proficiency.

Postgraduate research

What is the difference between a PhD with Integrated Masters and a normal PhD?

The PhD with Integrated Masters combines a taught Masters programme followed by PhD training and research.