Guide

Apply for a research degree

Updated on 7 July 2023

How to apply for a research degree, such as a PhD, Master's by Research, or Professional Doctorate.

On this page

Step 1: Decide on your topic

We have a large choice of postgraduate research opportunities with supervision from experts in their field.   You can choose from:

Step 2: Decide on your degree

We offer:

You can study either full or part-time. You may be able to study for some degrees by Distance Learning. 

Step 3: Entry requirements

Check your discipline for minimum entry requirements and English language requirements.

Step 4: Contact a supervisor

Once you have chosen a topic, you will need to contact the project supervisor before you submit your application. 

  • Email the supervisor you would like to work with
  • Send a copy of your CV with qualifications and research experience 
  • Discuss your potential application and any practicalities (e.g. suitable start date). 

If you have already made contact with a supervisor, you will still need to send them your CV and discuss your potential application with them.

Ideally, you should have a named supervisor before you can submit an application. Learn more about our supervisor’s research profiles on our Discovery Research Portal.

Step 5: Fees, funding, and cost of living in Dundee

In some disciplines, postgraduate research degrees are mostly self-funded.

We understand that finding funding can be challenging. Funding options can vary depending on your circumstances and the specific programme you are interested in.

Supervisors can work with you to find funded places or alternative funding options. However, you will need to ensure you have funding for your intended research project.

Find out more about our fees, payments and cost of living:

Step 6: Application

Once you have met all the requirements and established a research project with a supervisor, we will invite you to apply.  We have three start dates per academic year: September, January, and May.

You can apply for a PhD or other postgraduate research degree using our Direct Application System. The links to each degree are found under the research topic pages.

Our research community thrives on the diversity of students and staff which helps to make the University of Dundee a UK university of choice for postgraduate research.  We welcome applications from all talented individuals and are committed to widening access to those who have the ability and potential to benefit from higher education. Learn more about applying with a disability.

The School of Life Sciences has a pre-application process. Before using the standard University application, postgraduate researcher applicants need to complete the relevant pre-application form. If you submit a University application to the School of Life Sciences, without first completing the pre-application form, your application will be rejected.

Step 7: Our decision

After you have completed and submitted the application, we will send you a confirmation email. We will also send you details of your University of Dundee applicant IT account by email.

Your applicant IT account is different from the account you created to submit your application. Your applicant account will give you access to My Applications on eVision, which is used for tracking your application, uploading documents we ask for, accommodation, and so on.

We can make three types of offers of admission and we will inform you of our decision by email. Your offer may include conditions – for example, completing your undergraduate or master’s degree with a certain grade or meeting our English language requirements.

  • Unconditional - if you have already obtained the necessary entry requirements
  • Conditional - if you still need to obtain the qualifications specified in the offer. Once all conditions are met, your offer will be changed to Unconditional.
  • Rejection - if you are not suitably qualified or for other reasons explained in your notice

After receiving an offer

Congratulations! After you receive our offer, we will give you instructions for how to respond. You can either:

  • Accept - if you wish to take up the offer, or
  • Decline - if you no longer want the place

Step 8: Confirm your place

If your offer is unconditional, we may still need to verify your qualifications. 

If your offer is conditional, you should submit your documents to your My Application Portal in eVision as soon as they are available, so that your place can be confirmed.

If you are unable to take up your place, you can request to defer your entry to another available entry point (up to a maximum of 12 months) by emailing ASRS-PGR@dundee.ac.uk.

If your application is unsuccessful and you are not sure why, you can request feedback.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

ATAS applies to all international students and researchers (apart from exempt nationalities) who are subject to UK immigration control and are intending to study or research at postgraduate level in certain sensitive subjects. 

Learn more about ATAS

Step 9: Before you start your degree

You can find everything you need to start your postgraduate researcher’s journey on our welcome page.

You will need to matriculate, set up your IT account, and install your digital education applications.

If you have any questions, you can contact your School or the Doctoral Academy.