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How to Apply

Application deadlines and details for Postgraduate Research Study.

Applications can be made for research study, normally to commence in October or March each year. To view our list of projects that are currently open to apply, please click here.

Please note that advertised funded studentships may have separate deadlines. Please refer to the deadlines within the advert.

Please note that applicants applying for an RDF studentship opportunity cannot already be a PhD holder or be currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

Apply online via the following webpages:

October DBA/DBL*  1st June
October PhD entry

1st July (1st June for the Faculty of Business and Law)

January Professional Doctorate in Health, Education and Society 31 October
March PhD entry  1st December

*DBA/DBL is an October intake only. The deadline is 1st June. Discover what you need to apply for our courses

Before Applying

For more information about Northumbria University's Postgraduate Research degrees, please see our dedicated Postgraduate Research degree section; here you will be able to find out about fees and funding, our research areas and our research staff. We recommend that you look at the research interests of academic staff and contact them using the ‘contact expert’ facility before writing your proposal to see if they match your interests.


Read about our PhD programme and apply online now. Please note that applications will only be accepted when submitted with the following information:

  • A fully completed application form (all sections must be completed)
  • Evidence of academic qualifications (certificates and transcripts)
  • Evidence of accepted English language proficiency for applicants whose first language is not English
  • A 1,000 word research proposal, outlining your area of research; please note that even if you are applying for a specific research vacancy with a pre-defined research proposal, you are still required to write a proposal expanding on the provided description of the project. For guidance on writing your research proposal, please see here. Applied Sciences studentships do not require submission of a proposal, please refer to the studentship advert for further information.
  • If you are applying for a course within Newcastle Business School or Northumbria Law School, you will need to use the PGR Research Proposal Template.

Entry Requirements

Usually applicants are expected to have at least an upper second class Honours degree (UK) or equivalent from an overseas university, or lower second class Honours degree (UK) or equivalent from an overseas university plus a Masters degree in a relevant discipline. Applicants who do not hold these qualifications must demonstrate equivalent intellectual competence possibly referenced by appropriate experience to the satisfaction of the relevant University committee.

For DBA/DBL applications and Business and Law PhD applications, in addition to the above, you must have a minimum dissertation score of 58%, with your dissertation or dissertation plus research components equating to at least 60 credits. Please contact if you are unsure about this.

Applicants to Professional Doctorates programmes should note that in some cases, 150 credits of advanced standing may be awarded against their existing Masters qualification, where the applicant has appropriate experience of practice in line with the University Professional Doctorate Framework and/or evidence of appropriate continuous professional development.

English Language Requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, you will need to meet our minimum overall and component scores for research programmes. For applicants to all Faculties this is the equivalent of an IELTS overall score of 6.5 with no component below 6.0. For Newcastle Business School you will also need to achieve a score of 6.5 in the writing component of IELTS.

If you do not have the correct level of English language proficiency, Northumbria also offers pre-sessional English programmes throughout the year. For further details regarding our minimum English language requirements and English programmes visit our English Language Centre webpages or email

What Happens Next?

Provided applicants satisfy our entry requirements and the research proposal aligns with Northumbria's research areas, applicants will be required to undertake an interview. This may be conducted on a face-to-face basis, or via Microsoft Teams. A successful interview will normally result in an offer being made in writing provided that the university is able to sponsor you on a student visa (if applicable).

Interview Dates

You will be contacted by PGR Admissions via email regarding your interview, unless you have applied for one of the studentships below:

For interview dates for the Northumbria-Sunderland AHRC Centre for Doctoral Training, please contact

For interview dates for the ESRC Northern Ireland / North East (NINE) Doctoral Training Partnership PhD Studentships in the Social Sciences, please contact

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