Everything you need to know to apply for a research degree.

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Applying for a research degree

Please note: we are now accepting applications for an April 2022 start; application deadline: 31 Dec. 2021.


Before anything else, you will need to make sure that we can supervise your proposed research project. There are various ways to find a potential supervisor.

  • Directly, through our Staff Directory  
  • By subject area: browse our Supervision page
  • By faculty: explore our faculties (for information on our faculties, see also below under Application Form)
  • By keyword: use the Find an Expert widget below

Once you have identified a potential supervisor, email us indicating your proposed topic and possible supervisor/s. We will then liaise with them to determine if they have capacity. Once we have established that you can be supervised, you will need to complete the application form (see below).

Please email us if you are transferring from another institution or applying for a PhD by Works in the Public Domain.

Your proposed research

Your application will include a proposal for your research. The proposal is an opportunity for you to communicate your passion for the subject area and to make a persuasive argument about what your project can accomplish. Make sure that your passion for the subject shines through in your application.

Preparation for Research Pathway

Some applicants who would like to study for a research degree (MPhil/PhD) may need some help in preparing their research proposal. For these students, we offer a Preparation for Research Pathway. For a one-off fee of £500 (not eligible for any bursary), students may register as a Preparation for Research student.

Application Form

Download Form A - University of Winchester Application Form for Research Degree Aug 21

Return your completed form, electronically, to the PGR Admin team.

Entry requirements

Applicants must ensure they meet the following entry requirements:


Applicants for entry to postgraduate research programmes should have at least one of the following qualifications:

  • A Masters degree from a UK university or a degree from a non-UK institution deemed to be of equal standing to a UK degree, or
  • A first class or upper second-class Bachelors degree award by a UK university or a degree from a non-UK institution deemed to be of equal standing to a UK degree
  • A professional qualification recognised as equivalent to a good degree
  • Equivalent evidence of prior professional practice or learning that meets the University's criteria and guidelines for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)*

*Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL, formerly known as AP[E]L)

Applicants who wish to apply for advanced standing (exemption from part of a programme) based on previous study and/or experiential learning may apply for RPL. Please note that any credits or marks gained from previous study shall not be counted in your final result as your award is calculated solely on the credits and marks accumulated while registered at the University of Winchester.

An application for RPL to exempt the postgraduate research student from part of the research skills programme, or from a module on the pre-thesis stage of a professional doctorate programme, should normally be submitted at the application stage. Please note RPL cannot be used in relation to the thesis for a Professional Doctorate, MPhil or PhD qualifications. Please read the RPL Policy or email us for further details.

Additional requirements

  • Two satisfactory written reports from academic referees
  • A student is admitted to a Professional Doctorate or Professional Master's programme on the basis of being actively engaged in a profession relevant to the award being sought
  • For the award of PhD by Works in the Public Domain or the Professional Doctorate by Contribution to Practice, an appropriate number of prior publications or other outputs (this shall be determined on a case by case basis as specified in the programme outlines). These degrees are currently available only to members of staff and to people who have an existing relationship with the University.

Digital literacy

Digital literacy contributes greatly to the confidence with which students engage in learning and teaching towards their degree. This includes general university processes and communications, the virtual learning environment (including assignment submission), online library access and presentation of work.  Potential students are strongly advised to anticipate and address their needs before starting and, once enrolled, to take advantage of the support available.

Start dates

Due to Covid-19, we are currently reviewing our application process for the 20/21 academic year, we will post an update here once this has been concluded.

Induction dates TBC. Please note: your attendance in person at Induction is compulsory. If you were unable to attend this then your start date would have to be deferred to the next entry point.

Professional Doctorates 

Find out more about the professional doctorate courses on offer at the University of Winchester.

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