How to apply - PhDs

Applying for a PhD is quite different to the process for undergraduate and Master’s degrees – you need a clear and original idea that aligns with the strategic themes of a faculty, as well as ensuring your research project will make a positive contribution to research at BCU. To ensure you are fully prepared, here are the key steps of the PhD application process.

Making your application

Write your proposal

Your research proposal should give potential supervisors a clear idea of your intentions for your research project, including what you aim to solve or discover and why your research will be important.

Outline the idea of your research, what you hope to achieve with it, provide a firm academic context and highlight what benefits your research will have.

Apply online

Now you’ve written and refined your proposal, it’s time to send in your application through our application portal. As well as your research proposal you will need to upload your proof of qualifications, including your qualifications and transcripts.

If you are an overseas student, you also need to upload proof of English language proficiency and your passport. Once you have submitted, the Doctoral Research College will assess your application to see if our academic staff are able to supervise you.

Attend an interview

If your chosen research can be supported, the relevant faculty will invite you to an interview. There, they will discuss your application in more detail and explore your project further. Ensure you have an updated CV with details of qualifications and prepare a brief summary of your research interests.

Receive your offer

Following a successful interview, you will receive an offer of a place to study your PhD, DBA or EdD programme, which will also include information on fees and the payments required at enrolment (unless you have applied and been granted funding for your project). For international students, there will also be information and guidance on securing the appropriate visa.

Begin your journey

Whether you’re studying full-time or part-time, your PhD will be one of the most challenging, exciting and highly rewarding times of your life. It is a chance for you to conduct innovative research in an area that interests you. Let the journey commence!

PhD Studentships

PhD studentships are PhD funding opportunities supported by the University and organisations, where your research will be actively used in overcoming real-world problems.

VC's 2024 Studentship Scheme

We are delighted to launch the first phase of the Vice Chancellor’s Inaugural PhD studentship scheme, which is offering 23 doctoral studentships to undergraduates and taught postgraduates with the potential for onward teaching employment following completion of the doctoral study.


Fees and funding

Find out more about all the funding opportunities that are available to you, as well as guidance on fees and studentships.

Find out more

Research Centres

Our research centres work to address key local, national and global challenges, in line with the priorities of the University and our students.

Explore our centres

Contact Us

Got any queries or concerns about what studying is a PhD is like? Send us a question or find the answer in our FAQs.

Contact us