How to apply for a PhD

A step by step guide to applying for a PhD.

1. Find out what's available

PhD opportunities are available across all of our institutes' disciplines:

We also offer a number of fully-funded studentships at various points in the year, which are sometimes limited to a particular topic or subject area.

2. Check the entry requirements

To undertake a PhD programme across any of our Institutes or the Academy, you must have a minimum of an upper class honours degree (2:1) or overseas equivalent in a related subject area.

3. Develop your research proposal

The research proposal is a short document that summarises the research you want to undertake. It will outline the question you intend to address, the subject background and your proposed research methods. Most importantly, your research proposal should demonstrate how your research is original, and what it will contribute to the current understanding of your chosen subject area. You may also be required to include a bibliography or a copy of your CV.

Different institutes have different requirements for the proposal, so it is extremely important to contact the department in advance to discuss your ideas.

If you wish to apply for a studentship, you do not need to develop a research proposal; instead please quote the studentship reference number on your application.

4. Discover your potential supervisor(s)

It is a good idea to make contact with your preferred supervisor(s) to discuss your ideas before submitting an application. This will help your potential supervisor(s) understand your ideas and will give you an opportunity find out more about the partnerships and contacts you can utilise throughout your research journey.

To find a potential supervisor, take a look at our staff page.

5. Check fees and funding

Before submitting an application, you will need to be sure that you can pay your and any surrounding costs over the duration of your studies, such as accommodation and library subscription fees.

You may also wish to research whether any funding is available.

Find out more on the fees and funding page.

6. Check visa requirements

UK/EU students do not need a visa to study at Loughborough University London, but international students should check what is required and how to apply for their visa and other documentation.

7. Complete the online application form

The online application form consists of 11 sections. You’ll need to provide your personal details, such as your name and address, your nationality and how you plan to fund your studies.

You’ll also need to specify the type of programme you are applying for and select the department you wish to apply to from a dropdown menu. We will ask you to confirm which member of academic staff you have spoken to from the department.

If you are applying for a studentship, please ensure that you quote the correct reference number.

We require two references (academic, where possible) to support your application. The University will contact your referees direct, so please remember to include accurate and up-to-date correct contact details for your referees. Along with your references, we’ll also need copies of your supporting documents (such as certificates and transcripts). If you are awaiting results then you can upload the documents you do have, and upload outstanding documents when they become available.

Visit the application portal to complete the application form.

8. What happens next?

You’ll receive an acknowledgement email once your application is complete, and we’ll then start to process your application. Please be aware that it usually takes a minimum of 6 weeks to assess your application. 

We will keep in touch with you throughout this time, with news and information about the University. You can log into the Application Portal at any time to track the progress of your application.

If your application is successful, we’ll send you an email with details of any conditions you must meet before your offer is confirmed. To secure your place, you must log back into the Application Portal and accept the offer.

9. Provide us with your results

If you are awaiting results, don't forget to upload your transcript as soon as it is available, as we cannot confirm your place without these documents. You will be sent a notification by email once your place is confirmed.