Find out what we look for in your application
The selection process for postgraduate taught courses is continuous from when applications first open.
Some Business School programmes open in August each year, with the majority of other programmes opening early October. Selection is continuous up to the point where courses become full and close to applications.
We advise applying as early as possible (ideally, by March) due to the competitive nature of our programmes.
Please check the course page for the course(s) you are interested in, as programmes may operate their own deadlines or application rounds.
All applications are given careful consideration. Applicants can normally expect to receive a decision on their application within six to eight weeks of receipt of a complete application (including references). We advise applicants to check the relevant department's web page for specific information.
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Applicants for Master’s, Diploma and Certificate courses may be asked to attend an interview.
You can find more information about a Department’s interview process, including its policy on interviewing applicants based overseas on individual course pages.
All departments attach considerable importance to the report of the academic referee. This can play a major part in deciding whether an applicant is called for interview and in determining whether an offer is made.
The assessment of previous academic performance is of particular value, as are indications of the strength of an applicant's motivation to study the chosen subject at higher degree level.
A professional reference can also be of use in establishing an applicant’s postgraduate career development and is a requirement for certain courses which stipulate relevant experience as an entry requirement.
You will need to complete a personal statement as part of your application. These statements support your application by demonstrating that the course is right for you and that you have the skills, knowledge and aptitude to achieve the course requirements. They are normally around one to two pages long.
The description of the programme should detail the key course requirements, including skills, experiences and technical abilities. Use this description as a guide to the points you address in your statement. You can also talk about how the course fits in with your desired academic progression or career aspirations. You could structure your statement like this:
- Current studies and how they're useful or relevant
- Why you chose this course in particular
- Relevant work experience and skills
- Extra-curricular activities and interests
- Why you chose this university
- Concluding paragraph
If you are initially applying to two courses, you can submit two personal statements. You will have two options when submitting your personal statements. You can submit one document with both your first and second choice personal statements (marked clearly with headers). Alternatively, you can submit your first choice personal statement when applying and, should you be unsuccessful, you can then send your second choice personal statement to the appropriate admissions team.
Selection for research programmes occurs throughout the year and all applications are given careful consideration. Some programmes may have specific deadlines, for example when combined with a one year Master’s programme.
Some departments and schemes will restrict applications to particular times, either due to funding requirements or because the students are all admitted at a specific time. Students should look at the departmental websites or the websites relating to that particular scheme for detailed information.
While the specific selection criteria vary by course there are certain general points which are equally applicable to all departments.
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All applicants must be interviewed before a formal offer of admission is made. This interview must be conducted by at least 1 and normally 2 members of staff in addition to the Director of Postgraduate Studies or the Head of Department or nominee.
Interviews may be conducted as a video conference or teleconference if it is not possible for the candidate to visit the Department.
Further information about an individual Department’s interview processes, including its policy and practice on interviewing applicants based overseas are detailed on the individual departmental websites.
All applicants are required to provide the names and contact details of two academic or professional referees.
References are always taken up in writing and all departments attach considerable importance to their reports. They play a major part in deciding whether an applicant is called for interview and determining whether an offer is made.
The assessment of previous academic performance is of particular value, as are indications of the strength of an applicant’s motivation to study at research level. A professional reference can also be of use in establishing an applicant’s postgraduate career development
Research topic and submission
In order to assist in the processing of applications, applicants should identify the research area (and if appropriate, specific project) and the Department in which they wish to work.
They should also include the name of their potential supervisor if they have already been in contact with an academic member of staff and reached an agreement about a suitable topic.