Frequently asked questions
FAQs for applicants, offer-holders and those interested in postgraduate study at Imperial in the future.
Use the links below to jump to the section of interest:
- The application process
- Using the application system
- Supporting information and references
- Deposits and application fees
- English language requirements
- Visa and CAS
If you're an exchange student and you have questions about applying to Imperial, please email Imperial's student exchange co-ordinator, Adrian Hawksworth.
Do I need to travel to Imperial for an interview?
No. If an interview is part of the admissions process for your course, the department will contact you directly to arrange for this to be conducted via a suitable online platform.
Do I need to send you evidence of mitigating circumstances due to disruption I have faced as a result of COVID-19?
No. We understand that COVID-19 has caused some form of disruption for all of our postgraduate applicants this year and we know how you must be feeling.
We do not want to put you under any extra pressure so you do not need to submit evidence of your mitigating circumstances.
We will take the disruptions you’ve faced this year into consideration when reviewing your application.
How do I provide evidence of my academic qualifications?
If you need to submit your academic qualifications to Imperial as part of your offer conditions please follow the guidance outlined in your offer letter regarding your verification options. If you are unsure how to verify your academic qualifications, please contact the relevant Admissions team.
There are several ways you can verify your degree documents with us:
- If you are applying to a postgraduate course at Imperial from a UK university, you can use the statement of qualifications form in place of transcripts. The university where you completed your undergraduate studies needs to download and complete this form and include the university stamp. Your university should then email this form to the relevant Admissions team.
- If the university where you completed your undergraduate studies has a secure e-transcript sharing service, we recommend using this to share your transcript with the relevant Admissions team.
- If you have been provided the option to verify your degree via the qualification check service, you can opt to do this and this will be accepted as official verification. If you do not wish to use this service and your university does not have a secure e-transcript sharing service, then you may email your official degree documents to the relevant Admissions team. If you send your documents via email, you may be required to present your original documents at a later date (providing your place is confirmed).
The application process
How do I apply?
Whether you're applying for a Master's course or a research programme, you you must apply online using our application system. It's called Imperial Gateway.
Once you have created an online account, you can search for the course(s) you want to apply for and start your application.
See our how to apply pages for more information.
What are the entry requirements for postgraduate study?
If you intend to apply for a Master's degree the College minimum requirement is a UK Lower Second Class Honours degree. The majority of programmes have higher requirements, usually a minimum of a UK Upper Second Class Honours. Please see the relevant course page for details.
For admission to a PhD, MPhil, MD (Res) or EngD research programme the College would normally expect you to hold or achieve a Master's degree, in addition to a Bachelor's degree at UK Upper Second Class Honours Level.
Meeting the academic requirements for your course of interest does not automatically guarantee entry.
While your academic profile is an important factor which admissions tutors use to make their decision, other factors such as suitability for the course, proficiency in English (you will need to have passed a College-approved English test), relevant work experience and references are also important.
Which international qualifications do you accept?
You can see the full list of qualifications accepted for postgraduate study at Imperial on our Country Index.
The grades listed here are the minimum required for entry to the College and may be higher for your course of interest, due to the demanding and competitive nature of our programmes.
For more detail, please see the entry requirements on our course pages. You'll also find contact details on these pages in case you have any further questions about the course or your particular circumstances.
What is the application deadline?
Applications for postgraduate study normally open in October or November.
Most courses do not publish a formal closing date but will close as they become full so early application is generally advised.
If an application deadline does apply, this will be published on the relevant course page.
For more details, please visit our How to apply section.
How many courses can I apply for?
Up to two courses per admissions cycle
You can apply for up to two courses in an academic year.
We will consider your application for Master's courses in the order they are submitted so it is important to list your preferred course as your first choice and your reserve course as your second choice.
Your second choice application will only be considered if you are unsuccessful at gaining a place on your first choice programme.
If you are applying for two courses you should put both your first and second choice on one application form. You should not submit two separate applications.
Business School courses
If you are applying to the Business School, you may only be considered for one programme per admissions cycle, with the exception of applicants to our Finance Master's programmes, who may select two programmes. The two programmes must be the same type of Master’s programme i.e. both MSc.
We process your application for Doctoral study simultaneously, so you do not need to specify a preference if you are applying for more than one.
When will I receive a decision on my application?
We aim to make application decisions within 8 weeks of receiving a complete application, which includes your references and any supporting documents.
However, some courses will release decisions at certain points in line with published application ‘rounds’. Where this is the case, the relevant details will be published on our course page.
This decision timeframe may vary throughout the year, especially during peak periods and if the selection process includes an interview.
In addition, if you have applied for a particular funded opportunity, the decision may take longer and you should check the relevant programme/scholarship pages for details.
If you have waited more than 8 weeks and are unsure of your application stage, or have particular concerns, please contact the relevant Admissions team for an update.
Can I change the course I applied for?
To request a change to the course you applied for, please email the relevant Admissions team.
In the message, please specify:
- which course you have already applied for
- the course you wish to considered for instead
We will consider all change requests, though we may not always be able to approve them, depending on your application and admission status at the point that we receive your request.
Who can I contact for questions about the application process?
We hope that our detailed webpages will answer the majority of your queries relating to applying to Imperial.
However, if you have a specific query that is not covered in these pages, please contact the relevant Admissions team.
Can I defer my offer?
You may apply for a deferral of entry, under exceptional circumstances.
Requests for deferral are considered at the discretion of the academic department you applied to and will be based on a change of circumstances that is outside your control, and could not have been foreseen, that will prevent you from taking up your offer on the course starting date.
Please contact the academic department you have applied to if you wish to request a deferral. They will provide you with the criteria for considering your request.
You can find the contact details for your department in the ‘further information’ section of the webpage for your chosen course or programme.
I have a GMAT/GRE offer condition – how do I make sure you receive my scores?
If you have been asked to take a GMAT or GRE test as part of your application or this is part of your offer conditions, you should release your scores to Imperial online. Doing so will allow the relevant Admissions team to verify your results online.
You can also email a copy of your results to the relevant Admissions team.
Please note: the ETS will make an online GRE at Home test available in certain regions. Imperial will accept this version of the GRE.
I didn’t reply in time to my offer and it has now been withdrawn. What should I do if I want to accept the offer?
If you didn’t reply to your offer within 28 days, your offer may have been withdrawn.
If you now want to accept your offer, please email the relevant Admissions team to request that your offer is re-instated.
Using the application system
How can I reset my password?
If you forget your Imperial Gateway password, you can reset this yourself by following these instructions.
- Navigate to the Imperial Gateway landing page.
- Click the Forgot your password? link and enter the email you used to create your account.
- Check the email account which you used to create your Imperial Gateway account for an email with a password reset link.
- Click on the link to be taken to a page where you can create a new password.
- If this email doesn't arrive, please check your spam/junk mail folders first before contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you no longer have access to this email account, please also contact us at this address.
If you enter your password incorrectly five times in a row, your account will lock automatically and you will need to wait 90 minutes for it to unlock (which will happen automatically).
If you think someone other than you has been trying to access your account, please email email@example.com
How do I activate my account?
When you create your account for the very first time, an activation is link is automatically sent to the email address you used.
Please click the link in this email to activate your account.
If you cannot find the email, check your junk/spam folders to make sure it's not there.
If you still cannot find the email, try logging in to the Imperial Gateway again which may trigger a new activation email.
If you do not receive the activation email this time, please use this enquiry form to contact the Technical team.
I'm not sure how to complete part of the application, can I get help?
Please contact the relevant Admissions team for any questions about the application form and guidance on what to submit.
How do I update the email address you use to contact me?
All communications are sent to the email address you provided when you created your Imperial Gateway account.
You can change this by logging back in with your current email address and password.
On the homepage of your account, navigate to the My profile section and click on 'Update profile'.
I’m having a problem creating my account / creating a password
For all issues when creating an account or a new password, please use this enquiry form to contact the Technical team.
Please provide as much information as possible on any error messages you are seeing and the steps you are taking.
When creating a password, please remember it must contain all of the following:
- a minimum eight characters
- at least one uppercase letter
- one lowercase letter
- one number
- one of the following special characters: @ $ ! % * ? &
I cannot find the course I want to apply for
Please contact the relevant Admissions team to confirm that the course you are searching for is available for applications.
My account is locked, how can I unlock it?
If you enter your password incorrectly five times in a row, your account will lock automatically and you will need to wait 90 minutes for it to unlock (which it will do automatically).
If you think someone other than you has been trying to access your account, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
I made a mistake in my application. How can I correct it?
Once an application has been submitted, you cannot edit the information in it yourself.
To request changes, please contact the relevant Admissions team.
Supporting information and references
How will my referees be contacted/how do I change a nominated referee?
On your application form, you will need to provide the contact details of two referees (one of which must be academic).
When you submit your form, the online application system will send an automatic reference request directly to their professional email accounts so they can submit their recommendation letter quickly and efficiently online.
You can view the status of your reference request in your Imperial Gateway.
If you referee has not submitted their reference and you want to re-send the request, you can do this in your Imperial Gateway account as outlined below:
- Log into your Imperial Gateway account
- Scroll down to the My Applications section
- Click on 'View' under the Track Application heading
- Click on the Supporting Documents & References heading and scroll down to the Reference Requests section
- Click on Resend next to the appropriate reference request – this will send your referee the reference request email again
Please note that reference requests can only be resent once every 24 hours. If you have already resent the request within the last 24 hours, the resend button will not be visible.
Nominating a new referee
If you have been informed that your referee is unable to submit a reference for you, you can also cancel a reference request in the above section and then fill in the details of a new referee.
My referee has made an error and needs to re-submit their reference, how do they do this?
If your referee has already submitted via our system, but made an error in the document they uploaded, they will need to send a corrected version of the reference letter to email@example.com. This should be sent from an appropriate professional email address.
How can I tell if I entered the correct contact details for my referee?
You can view your referee details in Imperial Gateway:
- Log into your Imperial Gateway account
- Scroll down to the My Applications section
- Click on 'View' under the Track Application section
- Click on Supporting Documents & References and scroll down to the Reference Requests section
What should I write in my personal statement?
Your personal statement provides an opportunity to demonstrate your suitability for the programme.
Typically your personal statement should be one side of A4 and include your motivations for applying to Imperial, and any other supporting information not included elsewhere on the form that you feel will enhance your application.
Can I change the document that I uploaded/add some more supporting documents?
Once you have submitted your supporting documents and they have been approved, you cannot change these or upload any additional documents that we have not asked you to supply.
If we require any additional information or documentation, we will write to you directly to request this.
Once you have applied, we will not accept/require updated transcripts. If we make you an offer, this will be conditional on verifying your completed academic qualifications.
Why won't the system let me upload my supporting documents?
Uploading supporting documents is only possible after you have submitted your application.
Once you have done this, you will see a message on the homepage of your account within 24 hours that lets you know that you can now upload your documents.
If you still cannot upload documents 24 hours after submitting your application, please contact the Technical team using this enquiry form.
Deposits and application fees
Is there an application fee?
If you're applying for an MSc or MRes course then an £80 application processing fee applies to help cover some of the administrative and staffing costs associated with processing the large volume of applications that Imperial receives.
For 2021 entry, the fee for MBA applications from to Imperial College Business School is £135.
There is no application processing fee for other postgraduate courses such as PG Certs, PG Dips and PhDs.
We will waive the fee for any applicant – Home or Overseas – who demonstrates that they are experiencing financial hardship.
If you wish to apply for an application fee waiver, you should review the review the Application Fee Waiver Guidance Notes and submit your completed Application Fee Waiver Form with supporting documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download our Application processing fee terms and conditions
Do I need to pay a deposit?
Deposits are required for all of our Master's programmes. This is normally 10% of the course fee.
Once you have accepted your offer you will be required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. The only exemption from this are students with confirmed sponsorship for the full value of their tuition fees, who will need to provide proof of their funding before being exempted.
How to pay
You will automatically be invoiced for the deposit, normally within five working days of accepting your offer.
Deposit invoices will be sent by email and the deposit must be paid within 28 working days of invoicing; failure to pay the deposit on time may result in an offer being withdrawn.
Please note that the deposit process is automated and so you do not need to contact us to request an invoice.
If you have not received a deposit invoice within five working days of accepting your offer, or you have any other queries relating to deposits, please contact a member of the Tuition Fees team.
You will normally receive a deposit invoice within five working days of accepting your conditional offer. Once we receive your deposit payment your place will be fully secured. If you have any queries relating to paying your deposit, please contact the relevant Admissions Team.
I have a deposit condition in my offer, but I won’t be able to make the payment by the deadline. Can you extend the deadline?
If you have received a deposit invoice as part of your offer conditions, but are unable to pay by the deadline, either because you are applying for funding or you are uncertain whether you can take up your place, please email email@example.com to request an extension to the deadline.
These requests will be subject to your department's approval.
I have a deposit condition in my offer, but a financial sponsor will pay my fees. How do I submit my sponsorship letter?
If you have received a deposit invoice as part of your offer, but are in receipt of financial sponsorship from an official authority of scholarship body, you should email a copy of your sponsor letter to the relevant Admissions team.
English language requirements
Can I submit an application before I take an English language test?
You are welcome to submit an application before taking an English language test.
If you do so, and we choose to make you an offer, demonstrating that you meet the relevant English language standard will form part of your offer conditions.
You will need to send us the results of an accepted English language test by the deadline specified in your offer.
We encourage you to make preparations to take an English language test as soon as you can to make sure you meet the relevant standard (either standard or higher – see our course pages for details).
Which English language tests do you accept?
We accept many different English language proficiency tests and qualifications.
For a full list, visit our English language requirements page.
As a sponsor of Student Route visas (formerly Tier 4), we can make our own assessment of applicants’ English language ability.
To do so, we require you to provide official evidence of the accepted English language test you have taken.
Once this English language requirement is satisfied, your Confirmation for Acceptance of Studies (CAS) – required as part of a Student Route visa application – will include a statement which confirms the College has made its own assessment of your English language proficiency. This means you will not need to provide this evidence on your visa application.
The only exception to this is pre-sessional English students, who are studying below degree level. They will need to take a Home Office approved English language test and provide evidence of this on their visa application.
Visa and CAS
When will I receive my CAS?
Your CAS statement will be available in your My Imperial student portal after you have completed both of these actions:
- you have satisfied all your offer conditions
- you have uploaded your passport to My Imperial
We aim to upload your CAS within two weeks of these actions being completed.
We can only issue your CAS five months before the start of your programme so the majority will be issued from April onwards.
Where can I collect my Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)?
As a result of changes to the UK Visa and Immigration process, non-EEA nationals who apply for a student visa will need to collect a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) within 10 days of arriving in the UK.
Normally BRPs are delivered to a local post office for collection. However, Imperial is also allowing students to collect BRPs from the South Kensington Campus.
In order for your BRP to be delivered to Imperial, as part of your visa application process you will be need to enter the Alternative Collection Location (ACL) code 2HE497 when asked to.
You can find more information about this on our International Student Support pages.
If you are from the EEA and you need to apply for a student visa, your immigration permissions will be issued electronically; you will not be issued a BRP.