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Applying for a PhD

The UCL SECReT programme integrates research, taught elements, and transferable professional skills. There two different routes to a PhD, and you need to research them both carefully before applying.

Routes of study

There are two different routes to a PhD with UCL SECReT. Below you can find details of how to apply for each route. Please note that if you do not include the required information in your application, it will not be considered.  


Route A: Security Science MRes + MPhil/PhD (4 years)

Your application must be made online via UCL Select. If you are applying for funding from UCL SECReT, your application must be received by 15th July 2020. If you are self-funding or you have applied for funding elsewhere the application deadline is 26th July 2020. All applications received after this date will be rejected. In order for your application to be considered, it must include the following information:

1. Names and email addresses of TWO potential supervisors who you would like to review your application
  • Please note that without this your application will be REJECTED immediately.
  • Identify two UCL academics conducting research in your areas of interest. The best way to do this is to visit our research section, visit UCL's departmental websites or search for academics by research theme in IRIS. Read as much as you can about their research and the PhD projects they have supervised to ensure that they are suitable. N.B. one of the academics must be based in the Department of Security and Crime Science.
  • Send them an email (i) introducing yourself, (ii) outlining your research interests, (iii) explaining that you wish to apply to the "multi-departmental SECReT Security Science research programme", and (iv) would like to list them as potential supervisors in your application.
  • List their names under the "supervision" section of your application.
2. The names of the funding schemes you intend to apply to, along with any submission deadlines
  • You will be able to see a list of the scholarships we offer on our website from the end of January each year. These will close at the end of the May prior to the July deadline each year.
  • Interviews can only be organised once shortlisted applicants provide information about their funding plans. These must be outlined at the end of your personal statement, not under the funding section of the application. You will need to write a short statement about what makes you eligible to apply for the particular scholarship(s) you would like to be considered for. 
3. Academic transcripts for each of your degree level qualifications
  • Transcripts should be uploaded to UCL Select. They should outline both the grades you achieved in individual modules and the overall grade you obtained in your degree programme, degree certificates are not sufficient. Transcripts must be translated into English. 
4. The details of two referees who can comment on your academic ability
  • At least one of them must be an academic referee.
5. A personal statement with four parts
  1. A research proposal no longer than two sides of A4. This can include a brief description of the research fields and research questions you are most interested in studying during your PhD. 
  2. The main skills and knowledge you could contribute to this programme.
  3. Your reasons for selecting this integrated taught doctoral programme.
  4. How you will fund your studies for the 4 years. It is not expected that you send a full research proposal at this stage, as Route A students have the opportunity to explore various disciplines before writing their final PhD proposal at the end of year 1. You can find guidance on writing a research proposal online
6. A statement for each scholarship you are applying for, to be included at the end of your personal statement
  • Each statement must indicate the name of the scholarship and provide evidence showing you are eligible to apply for it (e.g. alignment with the mission of the funding body). Please note that the members of the selection panel come from a broad range of disciplines. Your statements should therefore be written for a lay audience using plain English and avoiding jargon. Information on available scholarships can be found on our PhD scholarships webpage.

If you have already applied for the programme and are in receipt of an offer, please follow the instructions in point 6. You should send your personal statement (and any questions prior to applying) to scs-admissions@ucl.ac.uk marked FAO SECReT Programme Administrator.

Apply for the Security Science MRes + MPhil/PhD (Route A)


Route B: Security and Crime Science MPhil/PhD (3 years)

Your application must be made online via UCL Select. In order for your application to be considered, it must include the following information:

1. The names and email addresses of TWO potential supervisors who you would like to review your application
  • Please note that without this your application will be REJECTED immediately.
  • Identify two UCL academics conducting research in your areas of interest. The best way to do this is to visit our research section, visit UCL's departmental websites or search for academics by research theme in IRIS. Read as much as you can about their research and the PhD projects they have supervised to ensure that they are suitable. N.B. one of the academics must be based in the Department of Security and Crime Science.
  • Send them an email (i) introducing yourself, (ii) outlining your research interests, (iii) explaining that you wish to apply to the "multi-departmental SECReT Security Science research programme", and (iv) would like to list them as potential supervisors in your application.
  • List their names under the "supervision" section of your application.
2. A CV and academic transcripts for each of your degree level qualifications
  • Your CV and transcripts should be uploaded to UCL Select. They should outline both the grades you achieved in individual modules and the overall grade you obtained in your degree programme, degree certificates are not sufficient. Transcripts must be translated into English. 
3. The details of two referees who can comment on your academic ability
  • At least one of them must be an academic referee.
4. A personal statement using the following headings (to be uploaded in the statement section)
  • Potential supervisor details and email addresses.
  • A brief description of the research field you are most interested in studying during your PhD.
  • The key skills and knowledge you could contribute to the project.
  • Your reasons for selecting the UCL SECReT Route (B), Security and Crime Science Doctoral Training programme.
  • Details of how you will fund your studies.
5. A research proposal of ~3000 words (to be uploaded in the statement section)
  • The proposal should introduce the research questions and hypotheses you would like to investigate, and the research methods you would like to apply in your work. Clearly indicate how the required data will be obtained, and what resources you need for your project. You can find guidance on writing a research proposal online
6. A statement for each scholarship you are applying for, to be included at the end of your personal statement
  • Each statement must indicate the name of the scholarship and provide evidence showing you are eligible to apply for it (e.g. alignment with the mission of the funding body). Please note that the members of the selection panel come from a broad range of disciplines. Your statements should therefore be written for a lay audience using plain English and avoiding jargon. Information on available scholarships can be found on our PhD scholarships webpage.

If you have already applied for the programme and are in receipt of an offer, please follow the instructions in point 6. You should send your personal statement (and any questions prior to applying) to scs-admissions@ucl.ac.uk marked FAO SECReT Programme Administrator. The recommended start date for 3 year MPhil/PhD degrees is in late September each year (the official start of the academic session). However, students may also apply to begin in January or in April.

Apply for the Security and Crime Science MPhil/PhD (Route B)