Decide on a research area
You should have a general idea of a research topic before you apply for our PhD programme.
Our research is organised into four divisions. Read about our divisions and the research they do. This will help you understand how we structure our research and let you see the faculty working in each area.
Find a supervisor and develop your proposal
Our PhD programme is student-led. This means you will need to find an academic:
- whose research interests relate to your proposed research project
- who is available and willing to supervise you
Our faculty normally state if they are willing to supervise PhD students on their staff profiles. View a full list of our academic staff.
You should always try to contact an academic to discuss your proposed research before applying.
Apply for your PhD
Apply using our online application form. If you have all the information you need, this should take around 30 minutes. You will need to create an account before you start your application.
You will need:
- your personal details
- your passport details (if you need a Tier 4 visa)
- your intended start date (October is our only entry month for PhD students because of the taught units)
- plans for finance and funding
- your up-to-date curriculum vitae/resumé
- proof of your English level, if English is not your first language
- details of your intended research and the name of your intended supervisor
- the names and contact details of your referees
- your supporting documents
- if you want to apply for ESRC funding, you must complete and upload the Student Statement Form
Application form links
If you don’t have the necessary qualifications to enter the three-year PhD programme, we may ask you to complete the one-year MRes first. Find out more about our PhD content and structure.
All PhD students start in October because of taught units. There is no specific deadline, but processing applications takes time.
Please apply by August for an October start date.
Please apply by May for an October start date.
Required documents and information
If you do not provide these documents, we will not be able to assess your application.
You will need to provide:
A scan of your degree certificate
If your degree certificate is in a language other than English you must provide:
- official copies of the original documents
- official English translations of the original documents
If you are still studying (as an undergraduate or postgraduate) you must provide a degree transcript.
International students will also need an English language assessment certificate.
We do not accept character or personal references, only professional or academic.
- one reference must be an academic reference from the institute where you have studied
- the second reference may be another academic reference or a work reference
If you have not studied in the last seven years, the second reference must be a work reference.
Your references must be a scan of a signed and dated letter, on official letter headed paper.
Details of your intended research and the name of your intended supervisor
You must supply:
- the name of your intended supervisor
- an outline of your proposed research
The outline of your research should be around 2,500-3,000 words (no more than six sides of A4 paper). It must include your:
- your proposed programme of study:
- three-year PhD
- four-year Integrated PhD
- part-time PhD
- proposed thesis title
- aims and objectives
Your CV should be around 1,000 words (or two sides of A4 paper). It should:
- be up-to-date
- include your academic, personal and professional achievements
- include prizes you’ve won
- include papers you’ve published
If you want to apply for funding, write a brief statement (around one side of A4) explaining why you should be considered.
If you are applying for ESRC funding, you must complete the ESRC Student Statement Form. You must submit this as a supporting document with your application.
All ESRC applicants must also complete the Equal Opportunities Form to provide data required by the ESRC. Do not attach this form to your PhD application. Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
After you’ve applied
Track your application
After you submit your application, we will email you login details for Application Tracker. You can use Application Tracker to check the progress of your application.
We may ask you to provide more information or invite you to meet your potential supervisor to discuss your research proposal.
We aim to make a decision within six weeks of receiving an application and all supporting documents.
Accepting your offer
We will let you know if your application has been successful through Application Tracker. If you have been successful, we will make you an offer to study.
Use Application Tracker to accept or decline your offer as soon as possible.
An unconditional offer means you have met all our requirements and we are offering you a place on the PhD programme.
A conditional offer means that you have not met all our requirements but we hope you should be able to. Requirements that conditional offers depend on often include:
- English language test results
- degree results
- satisfactory references
You will not be able to start your PhD until you have met our requirements and uploaded evidence of them to Application Tracker.
If you have met the offer, we will contact you about the next steps.
If you no longer want to study at Bath, please contact us to withdraw your application.