Potential applicants are encouraged to look at potential supervisors in the school to ensure there is capacity to supervise the research. It is important that potential applicants approach specific supervisors directly before submitting a formal application to get advice on their research proposal before submitting a formal application.
The research proposal should be no longer than 2000 words in length. It should be structured under the following headings:
- aims and purpose of the research
- overview of the academic literature relevant to your field
- proposed methodology
- academic contributions of your research
All applications will be reviewed by two members of staff and then if an application is satisfactory, all candidates will be interviewed by the admissions team. Successful applicants will then be made an offer of a place by the Academic Registry. The offer may be subject to the achievement of a satisfactory degree result, or proof of English language ability. The School may require new PhD students to attend the taught part of the SSRM course or specific modules in their first year. Such a requirement will be specified in the offer made to prospective students. The School may also require new PhD students to achieve an average mark of 60 on the required modules in order to proceed to the second year. If students attend the full SSRM programme successfully, they will be awarded a diploma. Applicants will be given the option to ask for an exemption from any such requirement, if they can provide evidence that they have already acquired the necessary methodological skills. Their request will be reviewed by the PGR intake tutor, the Director of Postgraduate Studies and up to two reviewers, based on the quality of the research proposal and other written evidence provided. In cases where more evidence is needed, an interview with the applicant will be arranged. This can also take place via skype, videoconferencing or telephone. All international applicants will be interviewed.
Due to the potential longevity of the application process applicants should plan well in advance to ensure that their application can be processed in time for the next academic intake in October. To accommodate this, the School has implemented specific deadlines for PhD applications.
International applicants will need to have their full applications submitted and acknowledged by April 30th at the latest if they wish to be considered for enrolment the next academic year. Furthermore, for international applicants who wish to apply for scholarships that have deadlines in October (e.g. Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme), applicants will need to have at least a conditional offer in place at the time when they first apply for the scholarship. So if they are applying to the Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme to start Oct 2017 their application must have an offer attached to it by October 2016, hence they must apply by April 30th 2016.
Home/EU applicants will need to have their full applications submitted and acknowledged by May 31st latest if they wish to be considered for enrolment the next academic year.
Evidence of English language is usually required of international students. Arrangements should be made at the nearest British Council office to take an English Language Test (ELTS test), or another appropriate test e.g. TOEFL. We look for the following standard: IELTS minimum overall score of 6.5 with at least a score of 7.0 in the writing section, and no less than a score of 6.0 in other sections. Candidates may be advised that they need additional tuition. Courses are available in Cardiff, varying from a full year to a number of weeks prior to October, each year. More details are available from the English Support Services website.