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Research degrees

Applying for a research degree

How to apply for a research degree at York St John, including deadlines and how to write a research proposal.

Our application deadlines

We accept new research students on 1 October, 1 February and 1 June each year. We accept professional doctorate students on 1 January.

The final dates for submitting your completed application are as follows:

Intake UK applicants International applicants
1 October 30 June 30 May
1 February 31 October 30 September
1 June 30 April 31 March

Please note that research degree applications go through several formal processes. Once you have submitted your application, we will be in contact after the submission deadline.

The International How to Apply page has further information for international applicants.

Before you apply

To apply for a research degree, you will need:

  • Qualification details
  • Employment and work experience history
  • Referee contact details
  • A research proposal (see 'How to apply' below)
  • A research supervisor (see 'How to apply' below)

If you want to apply for a professional doctorate, read our separate guidance page: Applying for a professional doctorate.

If you have any questions before you apply, contact us at

All our academic schools also have a Postgraduate Research Lead. Use the drop down menu to find the Postgraduate Research Lead for your area of interest.

School Postgraduate Research Leads

School Postgraduate Research Lead: Claire Hind -

Contact Claire if you are interested in subjects relating to:

  • Drama and theatre
  • Music performance and production
  • Fine art, illustration and photography
  • Media production
  • Design
  • Visual communication

School Postgraduate Research Lead: Dr Scott Cole -

Contact Scott if you are interested in subjects relating to:

  • Language and linguistics
  • Children, young people and families
  • Teaching and education
  • Psychology and mental health

School Postgraduate Research Lead: Robert Edgar - 

Contact Robert if you are interested in subjects relating to:

  • History and American studies
  • Politics and international relations
  • Religion, theology, philosophy and ethics
  • English literature and media studies
  • Geography

School Postgraduate Research Lead: Adam Odell - 

Contact Adam if you are interested in subjects relating to:

  • Maths and data science
  • Computer science
  • Biomedical science
  • Sport and exercise science
  • Health sciences

School Postgraduate Research Lead: Rosie Binfield-Smith -

Contact Rosie if you are interested in subjects relating to:

  • Business and management
  • Law
  • Sociology, criminology and policing
  • Accounting, economics and finance
  • Marketing
  • Tourism, hospitality and events

School Postgraduate Research Lead: Dr Khaled Kesseba -

Contact Khaled if you are interested in subjects relating to:

  • Management, Business Management and International Business
  • Management Studies Research
  • Public Health and Global Healthcare Management
  • Digital Marketing
  • Project Management
  • Computer and Data Science

How to apply

List item One

Find a research supervisor

Before you can apply to study with us, you will need a research supervisor.

Your research supervisor will be an academic at York St John University who is working in a related area to your research. This is to make sure we are able to support you in your area of research.

To find a suitable supervisor, refer to our institutional repository (RaY) and contact an academic whose expertise aligns with your research interests.

Your research supervisor should understand current theories and ideas in your chosen area. They may be researching a similar topic to you.

View our research centres and groups


List item Two

Write a research proposal

A research proposal should explain the topic or question you want to research. It should be 1,500 words long. This does not include references.

Your proposal should tell us:

  • What you hope to find out.
  • What methods you will use for your research.
  • Your understanding of current thinking around the subject area.
  • The knowledge and skills you have to get started on a large research project.

You will upload your research proposal to your online application. Please note that all research proposals are put through Turnitin software.

Examples of research proposals

List item Three

Complete an application form

To start your application form, go to our Course Search portal.

Course Search

You will need to create an application login. When you have done this, select 'Postgraduate Research' and your area of study. This will then show you all available application links. Select the link you need and then fill in the form.

If you need help with your application contact us at:

After you have applied

The Research Office will review your application with one of our Postgraduate Research Leads.

We may invite you to an interview to talk about your application and research proposal. If you are successful, we will send your application to the Research Degree Sub Committee. They will make the final decision.

The result of your application will be sent to you by email. This email will include details of any conditions you need to meet as part of your offer.

Your acceptance email will include a reply slip. You must return this by email to accept or decline your place.

We will be in touch before your start date to make sure you have everything you need.