Supervision and Research Proposals

All applicants must identify and contact potential supervisors before making their application. Applications are welcome all year. Start dates are in late September and early January.

How to Search for a Supervisor

If you are interested in applying for a research degree in our department, please consult our People page and the UCL Staff Profiles to identify and approach a suitable project supervisor. If you are unsure who might supervise your project, please contact the relevant programme director to discuss the proposed project and the practicalities of studying for a research degree at our department. The Programme Director, will put you in touch with a possible supervisor. Guidance as to how to write a proposal can be found here: Writing a Research Proposal 

For those candidates planning to apply for funding, initial contact with a subject area director or prospective supervisor should be made in October or November where the deadline for funding is usually December or January. Applicants intending to apply for scholarships will need to complete the application process before applying for scholarships. For information consult our Funding pages.We recommend that candidates begin their degrees in September, where possible, as various funds (such as the AHRC) work to an academic calendar.

IMPORTANT: Enquiries to potential supervisors should be accompanied by a CV and initial research proposal. Proposals should be 1,000-1,500 words long, with a title, an overview of existing scholarship related to the research aims and objectives, specific research questions and a indication of the methodology to be employed. 

We recommend that you apply in the autumn to start the programme the following September.

We prefer candidates to have a distinction or indication of distinction-level work (e.g., a distinction mark for the dissertation) at Master’s level or equivalent.

How To Write a Research Proposal

Formal applications for Graduate Research Programmes are made via the central UCL Admissions pages but you are strongly advised to contact us with project proposals before making an application. A proposal should convince scholars that your project is conceptually innovative, methodically rigorous and offers substantive content. You may wish to refer to the Postgraduate Online Research Training (PORT) website for further advice.

Your proposal should address your research aims and questions, some account of existing scholarship on the subject, a clear statement about your methodological approach, and a provisional chapter outline. Your PhD proposal will enable us to determine whether we are able to offer you supervision in your chosen area of research. Please do not submit more than one proposal at a time.

MPhil / PhD Translation Studies only: As a first step, please complete this online enquiry form for MPhil / PhD Translation Studies, which will be considered at our next regular PhD supervisors meeting.


The admission process may require an interview with your prospective supervisor(s) and another academic member of staff. The interview can be conducted in person or online.