Research Degrees - How to Apply
Thank you for your interest in continuing your studies with the School of Engineering and Materials Science.
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Listed below you will find the steps to follow when applying for a PhD research degree in the School of Engineering and Materials Science, for more general information on postgraduate research degrees see the postgraduate study, research degrees web page.
1. Review entry requirements and funding
The entrance requirement for entry to a research degree is a good second class honours degree or a master's degree from an UK university, a recognised equivalent from an accredited overseas institution or an equivalent professional qualification. You should also take note of any English Language requirements if English is not your first language. The College’s standard requirement for English is IELTS 6.5. Further details can be found on the International students pages.
At this stage it is important that you have a realistic plan to secure sufficient funding. On your application, please be sure to include details of how you intend to secure sufficient funding to complete the research programme and writing up process within the normal time period, which is at least 36 months.
Details of the studentships that are currently being advertised in the School are available at http://www.sems.qmul.ac.uk/research/studentships/
2. Make sure there is a research match
Before applying you need to ensure that the School has the expertise within the specific area to supervise your research. To do this you need to visit the School website and look under the research pages. You should look at what research groups there are and review individual staff research interests.
If you are able to identify a match with your own research interests, the next step is to complete the online application process (see point 3 below).
Once you have identified a research area that matches your research interests, and hopefully also identified a research supervisor you should now complete the online application process.
Please navigate to our degree programmes page and select your choice of programme, study-mode and start month - this will take you to the online application form for your preferred programme.
Full guidance notes are provided during the online application process. If at any stage you require any advice or assistance, or encounter any difficulty in using the online application service, please contact The Admissions and Recruitment Office (details above)
You should read the full application guidelines notes, but generally each application should also include the following:
Degree transcripts. Please provide a transcript of your degree(s). If you have not yet completed your degree please provide a transcript of your results achieved to date.
- If your degree was from a UK university-please upload a transcript of your marks for each year.
- If your degree was from an overseas institution, you should supply a transcript of your marks for each year of your studies and a copy of your degree certificate together with a certified translation if the document is not in English. Please note that original documentation will be required before you enrol. International applicants are also advised to include high school transcripts.
Two references. Please provide the contact details of two referees. At least one reference must be from an academic referee who is in a position to comment on the standard of your academic work and suitability for postgraduate level study. Where appropriate, a second referee can provide comment on your professional experience.
Your referees can either submit a paper copy and post it to us, or complete it electronically and send it via email. Download our reference request form here:
If your referee emails your reference to us we can only accept it if it is sent from a university or company email address. References from a personal email address such as ‘Yahoo’ or ‘Hotmail’ are not acceptable. Paper reference forms should be endorsed by an appropriate institution/company official stamp or on official institution/company letterhead. Alternatively if your referee has agreed to provide an open reference letter you can scan this and upload it, in the upload document section of the online form.
All PhD applicants must write an acceptable research proposal. This should answer three questions:
- What area of research are you interested in and why? You should be as specific as possible. Please indicate if you have already identified a research supervisor
- What is your experience in the relevant area?
- What are your career plans?
Your statement of research interest should be no more than 500 words long, or one side of A4 paper.
Curriculum Vitae (CV)/ Resume.
The above documents are mandatory but it is also advisable to send the following documents in support of your application:
- Statement of purpose Your statement of purpose should explain why you want to study your proposed course and how it will help your life and career. This should typically be one side of A4 paper.
- IELTS certificate If English is not your first language then you will require a valid English certificate, The College’s standard requirement for English is IELTS 6.5 with a minimum score of 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in each other individual test section (R,L,S). Further details can be found on the International Students' pages.
Further information on how to apply is available at http://www.qmul.ac.uk/postgraduate/applyresearchdegrees/
4. What happens next
All applications will get logged initially with the Admissions Office, so they should be your first point of contact. The Admissions and Recruitment Office will forward your application to the School. If the School is interested in taking your application further, they will contact you directly to arrange an interview with two members of academic staff (one of whom will be your possible supervisor). Interviews normally last 30 minutes and may take place in person by visiting Queen Mary, occasionally interviews are conducted via teleconference call at a mutually agreeable time. We aim to inform you of a decision on your application within six to eight weeks of receipt if you have provided all the required documentation. If you require a decision by a given deadline in order to apply for funding please make this very clear on your application.
5. Contact Details:
The Graduate Admissions Office
SEMS Postgraduate Research Admissions
6. PhD Research Studentships
Details of the studentships that are currently being advertised in the School are available at School of Engineering and Materials Science Research Studentships