PGR Bridge Programme for International Applicants

The English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC) are now offering a bridge programme to help selected applicants gain the required academic skills to produce a successful application proposal and familiarise themselves with what it means to do a doctorate in the UK Higher Education system.

Two students walking down a corridor with glass walls.

What is the ELTC Bridge Programme?

It is a six week online course organised by the ELTC . You will receive skills training every day and also look at and work on sample proposals. You can then, of course, apply the skills to your own proposal. In parallel you will be working on your proposal with your potential supervisors. They will give you feedback to improve it and look at drafts.

At the end of the course you will have to undertake two assessments:

  1. An assessment set by the ELTC to assess the academic skills you have learned. If you pass, you will get a certificate of successful completion.
  2. An assessment of your revised proposal to decide whether it now meets the standard required to undertake a doctoral degree at the University of Sheffield. If it does, you will be offered a place (provided all other entry requirements are fulfilled as well) to do your research project with the chosen supervisor team. If the proposal does not pass, you will not be offered a place but you can of course take the much improved proposal to apply to any other university of your choice.

How does it work?

  • You apply for a doctoral place in the department of your choice as you normally would. Please check our entry criteria and what is expected in terms of a research proposal. If there is a potential supervision team that is interested in your idea but thinks that your proposal does not show the quality needed yet, they can recommend you to the English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC) Bridge Programme.
  • You need to be recommended by your potential supervision team to join the Bridge programme but you cannot apply to the ELTC directly.
  • You need to have satisfied all other entry requirements for the doctoral programme you are applying for (e.g. previous qualifications, references). The only exception is English Language: we will accept candidates who are within 0.5 of the required IELTS band to the Bridge Programme. Any offer would be conditional on passing both components of the Bridge Programme’s assessment.

How much does it cost?

The six week course costs £425 per week and takes place online.

Am I guaranteed a place of study if I do the Bridge Programme?

No, this is not a pre-sessional course. Your offer will be conditional on you passing both assessments described above.

For more information about the Bridge Programme, please contact the Faculty of Social Sciences' PGR team on

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