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How to Apply

Applications can be made for research study, normally to commence in October or February each year.

Applications can be made for research study, normally to commence in October or March each year. Our Research Degree digital prospectus provides an introduction to the research areas offered at Northumbria, in subject groupings and as described by students, staff and graduates. 

October 2017 entry (excluding RDF17-see below) 1st July 2017

March 2018 entry

1st December 2017

June 2018 entry (Faculty of Engineering and Environment only)

1st March 2018

The DBA/DBL is an October intake only. The deadline is 1st June 2017.

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

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


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 1000 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. For guidance on writing your research proposal, please see here.

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 applications 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 offer pre-sessional English programmes throughout the year. For further details regarding our minimum English language requirements and English programmes visit our English Language Centre pages 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, by telephone, by video conferencing, or via Skype. A successful interview will normally result in referees being contacted and if satisfactory references are obtained, and (if applicable) the university is able to sponsor you as a Tier 4 student, an offer is usually made in writing. Please note that the Faculty of Engineering and Environment will not review applications until two suitable references have been received.


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


Northumbria Research Link

Northumbria Research Link (NRL) is an open access repository of Northumbria University's research output.


Research Staff Profiles

Our students learn from the best – inspirational academic staff with a genuine passion for their subject, whose teaching is shaped by world-leading and internationally excellent research.

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