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Applying for a Research degree

New research students can start on 1 October or 1 February each year. The deadlines for applying to study with us are:

  • For an October start apply before the 1 July
  • For a February start apply before the 1 November.

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 Doctorates applicants will need a personal statement of 500 words.

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

Research proposals and research supervisors

Before you can apply to study a research degree with us you will need:

  • A research supervisor
  • 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 just want to find out more, contacting a Research Lead is a great first step.

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

School Research Lead: Matthew Reason

You will want to contact Matthew 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 Lead: Matthew Clarke

You will want to contact Matthew 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 Lead: Andrew Village

You will want to contact Andrew if you are interested in subjects relating to:

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

School Research Lead: Andrew Hill

You will want to contact Andrew if you are interested in subjects relating to:

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

School Research Lead: Chris Moreh 

You will want to contact Chris 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

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 start date to make sure you have everything you need.

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