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Frequently asked questions about the application process

We understand that there is a lot you need to think about when you’re applying for a postgraduate research degree. Below is some information to guide you through the application process.

A guide to applying

How do you make an initial enquiry?

It is highly recommended, although not essential, that you contact potential supervisors before submitting your application to ensure we have the supervisory capacity for your research. This can be done searching our staff profile pages for your subject area.

How do you submit an application?

Simply go to the course page that you’re interested in and click ‘Apply now’. You will then be taken to our online application portal, myHub. You will need to create an account and complete the application form in full. You can save the form as you go, enabling you to return to it at as many times as you want before submitting. The form is split into tabbed sections. As you complete each of the tabbed sections they will turn green - only click submit once all of your tabs are highlighted green.

If you're a current student at BU interested in research study, you can complete and submit our Fast Track application form. There's no need to make a separate application.

How long should a research proposal be?

We recommend that your research proposal is around 1,500 words long (excluding references). Please read our Research Proposal Guidance Document for more information.

What supporting documentation do you need to provide with an application?

Please ensure you include the following documents with your application:

  • A copy of any undergraduate and postgraduate degree certificates and final transcripts
  • A copy of your IELTS or other recognised English language test certificate (if applicable)
  • A copy of your current passport and any current or previous UK visas (if applicable)
  • A detailed personal statement stating your reasons for wanting to undertake research at Bournemouth University
  • Your research proposal.

If you have yet to complete your degree or English language test, please provide dates of when your results are due.

Colour copies of the above documents can be scanned and uploaded alongside your online application. If you are accepted on to the programme you will have to show original copies of the documents at enrolment.

How many references do you need?

We will ask you to supply the details of two referees, both of whom should normally be able to provide an academic reference. We will contact them to request references as part of your application with your permission.

What happens next?

We will keep you informed of the progress of your application throughout the process. It normally takes 4-6 weeks between application and the final decision.

Assessing your application

Once we have received your application form, research proposal and supporting documents, your application will be reviewed by relevant members of academic staff within the faculty to which you have applied.

Interview stage

If your application has met all the minimum entry requirements, you may be invited to an interview. Where possible, you should attend the University in person for this- however, if you are an overseas applicant or are unable to travel, you may be interviewed via video conferencing (e.g. Skype) or other suitable means.

The interview panel will normally include your potential supervisors and/or other relevant academics within the faculty.

Making an offer

If your application is successful, an offer will be made to you via your myhub account. You will be asked to confirm your acceptance within 14 days to secure your place on the programme.

Important information for international students

If you are an international student, it is important that you check whether you require a visa or entry clearance to study in the UK. It is your responsibility to arrange your student visa or to apply for entry clearance if required. Please note that the offer letter that will be sent to you cannot be used for visa purposes. A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) will be issued to you once your deposit has been received/verified by the relevant payment authority, and also when all conditions of your offer have been met.