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The application process

1. Contacting a supervisor

Once you have found a PhD project you would like to apply for you should express your interest, usually via email, with the supervisor before you make a formal application.

The contact details for supervisors, and any information/documents they require from you, are listed on our project pages.

2. Formal application

Once you have contacted the academic, and they have agreed to consider your application further, you will be required to make a formal application. 

    • All formal applications proceed via the Queen Mary online application portal - links provided below. If your application is successful we will give you an offer on the condition that you are given a funding award*. You will then apply for funding from the relevant council/institution. 
    • For some studentships, for example those offered by the ESRC Doctoral Training Center, once the academic has agreed to act as your supervisor you apply via the funding body.

*If you are planning on self-funding please see our application advice pages.

If you have been selected for interview you will be contacted in advance. The interview may be in person, by telephone or virtually for example using Skype. You should be prepared to answer questions about your application, experience, motivation and background knowledge relevant to your proposed project.

If you are unsure about the application process for your chosen PhD project contact us for further advice:

Email: sbcs-pgadmissions@qmul.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 5889


Queen Mary online application form

If you are required to apply via the Queen Mary website your application should include the following:

  1. A completed application form - Please ensure you complete information regarding your supervisor's name and how your PhD will be funded.
  2. Transcripts of your academic results/qualifications
  3. Proof of English language ability for applicants from non-English speaking countries - Please see our entry requirements page for our language requirements
  4. Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  5. A research proposal  - See the 'Your research proposal' page for detailed advice on putting this statement together.
  6. References - You will need to supply contact details of two academic referees. At least one reference must be from an academic referee who is in a position to comment on the standard of your academic work and suitability for postgraduate level study. Where appropriate, a second referee can provide comment on your professional experience.

    Your referees can either submit a paper copy and post it to us, or complete it electronically and send it via email. Download our reference request form.  

    If your referee emails your reference to us we can only accept it if it is sent from a university or company email address. References from a personal email address such as Yahoo or Hotmail are not acceptable. Paper reference forms should be endorsed by an appropriate institution/company official stamp or on official institution/company letterhead. Alternatively if your referee has agreed to provide an open reference letter you can scan this and upload it, in the upload document section of the online form.

  7. A statement of purpose (one-side A4 maximum) - This should set out:
  • Your previous academic, or other, experience relevant to the proposed research;
  • Why you wish to undertake this research at Queen Mary;
  • Your previous research or professional training and what further training you think you will need to complete a PhD;
  • The ethical issues you will need to consider in undertaking this research.

Online application forms



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