How to apply for Research programmes

You are viewing: Choose a course

Entry Requirements

To be considered for an MPhil/PhD or VRS programme, we look for a good UK Master's degree (or overseas equivalent), which is generally in a relevant area to the programme you are applying to.

When to apply

Application deadline

The admissions cycle starts on the 1 November 2023 and the deadline to apply for a research programme is 15 June 2024. We may consider applications received after this date up until the 'late application' deadline of 5 July, but this will not be guaranteed. We therefore encourage you to apply by 15 June for guaranteed consideration.

Visiting Research Applicants will need to ensure an application is submitted 3 months prior to the start date of the term you intend to commence your studies. The next available session will be January 2024. 

If you are considering applying for sponsorship to fund your studies, it is strongly recommended that you apply for your research programme as early as possible to allow for processing time.

Applying for MPhil/PhD and VRS programmes

Requirements for completed applications

An application is only considered complete if the following requirements have been fulfilled:

Your application will only be initially assessed once your reference has been confidentially submitted by your nominated referee. The Doctoral School Admissions team will check that all required documentation has been provided and that the reference is acceptable and meets our requirements during the initial assessment.

Incomplete applications, missing any of the below elements, cannot be considered and will not go forward to the Academic Selectors within the Department for consideration.

Apply to SOAS

You can apply for postgraduate study at SOAS through our dedicated application system.

Application requirements

Applying via one of our Global Partnerships?

If you are applying for the joint MPhil/PhD in Applied Development Economics programme with University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), as well as completing all the steps in the ‘How to Apply’ section above, you will also need to:

· specify either SOAS or Wits as your ‘Home Institution’ in the Partnership Universities section of the application form.

If you plan to be based mainly at SOAS in the UK for the duration of the programme, please select SOAS as your Home Institution.

If you plan to be based mainly at Wits in South Africa, please select Wits as your Home Institution.

For any queries on our Global Partnerships or how to apply, please contact the Global Partnerships team

You can find out more about SOAS full range of Global Partnerships on our website.

Applications enquiries

All queries regarding an application must come directly from the applicant. We are unable to discuss your application with a third party (with exception of SOAS Approved Agencies if they have submitted the application on your behalf and are thus identified on your application).

You must have one of the following identifiers available when contacting Doctoral School Admissions regarding your application:  

  1. application PIN number (if you have not yet submitted your application)
    This is the unique number you receive when you create your application, which allows you to log into your application account. This will be a mix of numbers and letters.
  2. or application ID (if you have submitted).
    This is the unique 7 or 8 -digit number you receive when you submit your application for consideration.

Information on the Expertise and Research Interests 
Information on the expertise and research interests of SOAS staff can be found under the respective departments pages of the SOAS website. You may wish to consult with an academic member of staff with regard to your research proposal before submitting your application (although this is not essential as supervisory availability is one of the issues that will be considered by our academic assessors). You should not delay submission of your application whilst contacting academic staff. 
Please note: 

  • Any informal expression of interest in your application does not guarantee a formal offer of study will be made. 

  • Offers for a research degree are subject to the availability of relevant supervisors

  • If your application is successful and you are made an offer of study, it is not guaranteed that your proposed supervisor will be the academic you have identified as your preference.

  • If you are reapplying for a research degree due to lack of available supervisor for your previous submission, please note that we can not guarantee an offer will be made. 

Contact us