Guidance on applying for a PhD within the School.
Additional detailed information on the application form and other tips can be found on the UCL Application Pages within the Graduate Prospectus.
Applications will open mid-October for the following September entry date. Please note that we accept applicants for September start dates only.
We strongly encourage applicants to apply as soon as the application is ready and by end of July at the very latest. If you are applying for funding, you will need to apply earlier (usually early January depending on the funder) for external and internal funding schemes. Guidance on funding opportunities and deadlines can be found on our Funding page.
You should normally hold a first or upper second-class honours degree or an equivalent qualification and hold a Masters (or international equivalent). In normal circumstances, we do not accept candidates without an MA degree. Those applying from overseas should have achieved high grades, especially in the modules or subjects relevant to their research, and should attach a certified official transcript to their application.
Students whose first language is not English will need to provide evidence of their capacity to research and write in English. In some cases, we may ask for an English language qualification as part of any offer conditions.
Further details regarding entry requirements and English language requirements can be found at: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/english-language-requirements
Identify a Supervisor
Interested applicants should identify a member of academic staff with the appropriate specialization, and you should approach them well in advance of the application deadline (and any funding deadlines) to discuss their application. All staff and their research profiles are listed on the SSEES website:
Guidance on contacting potential supervisors:
All applicants are required to submit with the application form a research proposal of 1,000 - 1,500 words. When approaching supervisors, you should have a draft version of this to send (at least 500 words). This will help them decide if they are able and willing to supervise your topic. We advise you approach supervisors plenty of time ahead of any funding deadlines so they can give advice on refining this ahead of an application if needed. Some guidance on writing a research proposal is given in the below document:
Once your proposed supervisor(s) has agreed to supervise you and you have completed your research proposal, you should formally apply via the UCL Online Portal. Please note any deadlines for funding and application requirements for certain funding schemes, as some may require earlier submission dates and additional documents (See Funding pages)
Questions about the application process can be directed to the Programme Administrator (Research and IMESS). Questions about potential supervision can be directed to the Head of Postgraduate Research, Dr Kristin Roth-Ey.