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Applying for postgraduate study

Postgraduate programmes are available at HE institutions and some independent research establishments

At postgraduate level, most applications are made directly to the institution. Be aware that the process can be lengthy and time consuming.


There are some instances where you don’t have to apply directly to the institution offering a postgraduate programme:

UCAS Postgraduate

HE institutions participating in UCAS’s postgraduate application service, UCAS Postgraduate, where applications are made online to them through this scheme. Be aware that only some, and not all, UK HE institutions are involved.

UCAS Conservatoires

Postgraduate music-performance programmes, where applications are made through UCAS Conservatoires (although applications should be made directly to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama).

UCAS Teacher Training

For postgraduate teacher training programmes in England and Wales, where applications are through UCAS Teacher Training.

Access/foundation programmes

Some universities now offer access/foundation programmes for students who studied for their first degree outside the UK and now wish to pursue a postgraduate course in the UK. They are designed so that students can familiarise themselves with UK study methods, refresh their knowledge and improve their English before starting their postgraduate programme.

If you are a research student, you may begin your studies at any point in the year as long as you have the agreement of your academic supervisor. However, first you must convince a potential supervisor that you have the foundation of knowledge to pursue the research in question, so providing examples of your work is important.

Research students

Applying for courses in the UK
Applying to independent boarding schools and colleges
Applying to FE colleges
Applying for undergraduate study
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