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Applying for a Research degree

Everything you need to know about applying for a research degree at York St John, including deadlines and research proposal information.

We accept new research students on 1 October and 1 February each year (or 1 January, for professional doctorates only).

The deadlines for applying to study with us are:

  • For an October start date, applications must be submitted by 1 July.
  • For a February start date, applications must be submitted by 1 November. This excludes Institute for Social Justice Bursary applications.

To apply for a Research Degree, please use our course search to begin an application for your chosen research course. Before applying using the links below, please make sure that you have spoken to the appropriate Research Lead to determine whether we would be able to support your area of research.

Research proposals and research supervisors

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

Your research supervisor will be an academic at York St John University who is working in an area related to your research. They will understand the current theories and ideas in your chosen area, and may be currently researching a topic similar to yours. Your supervisor will support you during your course and can make suggestions about your research. 

A research proposal explains the topic you want to research. It should be 1,500 words long, not including the references. Your proposal tells us what you hope to find out and the methods you want to use to conduct your research. It will show us that you understand current thinking around your chosen subject and are equipped with the knowledge and some of the skills needed to get started on a large research project.

Contact us to discuss your research proposal

If you know what subject you want to research or you just want to find out more, contacting a School Research and Knowledge Transfer Lead is a great first step.

Our School Research and Knowledge Transfer Leads are the right people to talk to if you want to study a research degree. They can help you turn your interest and curiosity into a research proposal. They can also put you in contact with an academic who is researching a similar subject, and who could be your research supervisor during your course.

School Research and Knowledge Transfer Lead: Steve Rawle - 

Contact Steve 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 Research and Knowledge Transfer Lead: Dr Dai O'Brien - 

Contact Dai if you are interested in subjects relating to:

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

School Research and Knowledge Transfer Lead: Abi Curtis - 

Contact Abi 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 Research and Knowledge Transfer Lead: Daniel Madigan -

Contact Daniel if you are interested in subjects relating to:

  • Maths and data science
  • Computer science
  • Biosciences
  • Sport and health sciences

School Research and Knowledge Transfer Lead: Dr Jack Denham

Contact Jack 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

What you need to apply

To complete your application you will need:

  • Qualification details
  • Employment and work experience history
  • Referee contact details
  • A research proposal
  • A research supervisor
  • Professional Doctorate applicants will need a personal statement of 500 words.

After creating an application login, please select 'Postgraduate Research' and your area of study to view and access all available application links.

Begin your application by visiting our Course Search portal:

Course Search

If you need help with your application you can contact our Admissions team at

After you have applied

Your application will be reviewed by our Admissions team and the appropriate School Research Lead. You may be invited to an interview to talk about your application and research proposal.

If you are successful your application will be sent to the Research Degree Sub Committee who will make the final decision on your application.

The result of your application will be sent to you by email including any conditions that you need to meet as part of your offer. Your acceptance letter will include a reply slip which you can return via post or email to accept or decline your place.

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

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