How to Apply for a Research Degree

In March 2015, York St John University was granted research degree awarding powers (RDAP), and therefore all new research qualifications awarded are degrees of York St John University which are subject to the relevant policies.

Start Dates

We accept new research students on 1 February, 1 June, or 1 October each year (or 1 January, for professional doctorates only). These enable research students to start with a cohort of peers this helps to overcome the isolation experienced by research students in some other institutions. We strongly recommend that applicants make their applications as early as possible, and at least three months before their preferred start date.

Application Process & Entry Requirements

How do I apply?

Firstly, it would be useful to identify which degree that you would be interested in undertaking by viewing our Research Degrees Offered page. We would then recommend identifying which Academic School your research project might fit within. Our Supervision Areas by Academic School page should help you identify this.

We would then recommend that you liaise with the School Research Lead of the Academic School that you wish to apply to, contact details are available on the above link. If you send them an email with your proposal, expressing your interest, then they will be able to let you know if there is supervision available in your respective research area. The School Research Lead will advise you on whether to make an application.

If you have been advised to make an application, please read our step-by-step guide on using the online application system alongside completing the application.

The links to begin applying are on the main Research Degrees page.

Entry Requirements & what I need to provide

  • The minimum requirements for entry to a research degree are normally:
    an upper second class honours degree (2:1) or a postgraduate Master’s degree in a relevant discipline;
  • for applicants whose first language is not English, evidence of English language competence as set out in the Research Degree Student Admission and Interview Guidance Notes (found under the tab 'Admissions and Registration').

Or, in exceptional circumstances:

  • such other qualifications and/or experience as may be deemed by the RDSC to be acceptable as equivalent.

Applications for research degrees must be made through the Online Admission System and must include:

  • a fully completed application form;
  • draft research proposal;
  • evidence of English language qualification to York St John University minimum standard (for those whose first language is not English);
  • two academic references.

For further requirements on what you need to provide and our entry requirements, please follow the links below:

What happens next?

The application will be acknowledged and passed to the relevant School Research Lead for consideration. If an appropriate supervisory team can be identified, and the application and research proposal are considered to be viable by the School Research Lead and potential supervisors, the candidate will then be interviewed. If called for interview, candidates will be asked to give a ten minute presentation on their research proposal.

If successful at interview, the applicant will be recommended for acceptance, with the Admissions Office issuing an offer email containing any conditions to be met prior to the start of the course and further information around research policies and regulations.

If you have any queries post-interview relating to your application, please contact

Duration of Study

For York St John University Research Degrees:

  Full-time Study Part-time Study  
PhD 3 Years 6 Years Plus a possible 1 year overtime for writing up
EdD/DMin/DRel Not available 6 Years Plus a possible 1 year overtime for writing up
MPhil 2 Years 4 Years Plus a possible 1 year overtime for writing up
MA/MSc by Research 1 Year 2 Years There is no overtime for writing up with this degree



Supporting Documents

The Research Degree Handbook, Regulations for Research Degrees and Code of Practice are all available on the Research Document Directory.

You may also find the Online Application Guide useful.

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