How to apply

Image of PhD student, Teresa, in a green

Entry requirements

  1. Academic qualification

    We select research students based primarily on their academic ability. This is usually decided on the basis of academic performance to date. This normally means that you will need at least an Upper Second Class Honours degree (or its equivalent) and will normally also need to have (or be doing) an MA, preferably one with a substantial research methods component.

  2. English language

    Students whose first language is not English must have passed the IELTS (minimum score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each of the written components).

Application process

  1. How to apply

    Applications can be made at any point in the year. You can state your preferred start date on your application, although this will need to be confirmed by the Department. Please note that research registrations begin on the first of the month. You should leave yourself plenty of time after applying in which to make arrangements to come to Sheffield if we make you an offer, particularly if you are an International applicant and will need to arrange a student visa.

    Before you apply for postgraduate research, we recommend that you contact the Department to discuss your proposed research. This will allow the Department to check that there is an appropriate supervisor in the area you wish to study. Please contact our Postgraduate Research Support Officer, Liz Brock, via email at

    Our Postgraduate Research Support Officer can also provide you with information about the Department, the University and the city of Sheffield. 

  2. Application form

    Applications should be made through the University's online application form. You will be asked to provide copies of various supporting documents, such as two academic references, a CV and, in the case of international students, evidence of your English language ability.

    All students need to send transcripts of their previous qualifications. In the case of International students, please include details of the grading/marking scheme used in the assessment of your qualifications.

    The University of Sheffield Online Application

  3. Writing a research proposal

    Your PhD will be the most challenging type of academic work you have ever done. However, before you can begin you'll need to submit your research proposal. This constitutes the main way in which we evaluate the potential quality of your PhD plans. Discover what is required for writing a research proposal.

Advice following the EU referendum

The University is providing information for prospective students following the UK's vote to leave the European Union. Please consult this webpage or email if you have any questions.

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