How to apply (Research)

When to apply

Application deadline

The admissions cycle starts on the 1 November 2022 and the deadline to apply for a research programme is 15 June 2023. 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 April 2023. Applications should be received no later than 31st January 2023 for this session.

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.

How to apply

How to apply for a research degree

The School's minimum entry requirement for applying for the PhD and VRS programmes is a good UK Master's degree (or overseas equivalent), which is generally in a relevant area to the programme you are applying to. In some cases prior knowledge of a language may be necessary or advisable. 

Some Departments may have specific entry requirements for their programme, which will be listed on individual course pages.

Applying for MPhil/PhD and VRS programmes

Requirements for completed applications

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

Your application will only be initially assessed once your reference have 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 meet 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.

Application requirements

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.

Email and phone queries

  • Email: ensure one of your application identifiers are included in the subject line of any email correspondence you send us. All emails must be sent from the email address attached to your application. This helps us identify your application in the online system.
  • Phone queries: ensure you have one of these application identifiers to hand as this will be requested by the Admissions team.


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