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How do I apply for a postgraduate course?

Once you have chosen the course you wish to apply for, there are two ways in which you can submit your application:

  1. Use our Online Application Service (available for most postgraduate programmes, excluding new courses awaiting final approval by the University)
  2. Download and complete paper-based application forms

For details of both processes, please see the How to Apply section

What are the entry requirements?

These will vary according to the specific course(s) in question, so you are advised to consult the Course Finder database.

Allowing for variation between courses, the general entry requirements for postgraduate study at Cardiff University are as follows:

Taught Postgraduate Degree

A UK higher education degree at second class honours level or above, or a non-UK qualification recognised by the University as being equivalent to this.

Note: in many cases, academic schools require an upper second class Honours Degree or equivalent - entry requirements for specific courses are identified in the Course Finder database.

Candidates without a higher education degree may be admitted with relevant professional experience and good general education.

Research Degree (e.g. MPhil/PhD)

A UK higher education degree at upper second class honours level or above, or a non-UK qualification recognised by the University as being equivalent to this.

Note: in some cases, academic schools require a Master's qualification - entry requirements for specific courses are identified in the Course Finder database.

What are the English Language requirements?
What if I do not meet them?

If your first language is not English, you must have a standard of written and spoken English that will enable you to benefit fully from lectures, seminars and tutorials.

The minimum standard required for most courses is an IELTS grade 6.5 — but please bear in mind that for some courses, higher grades than the minimum standards are required.

Read more about Cardiff University’s English Language Requirements.

If you require extra English language tuition before or during your course, this can be arranged through the University's own English Language department.

Should I contact the University before applying?

Prospective students are always welcome to contact their respective Academic School to discuss the possibility of undertaking postgraduate study, and to receive detailed information on teaching methods and course content.

We strongly advise candidates for research degrees (e.g. MPhil, PhD, MScD) to make contact with their chosen School to discuss their proposed area of study. This enables both the candidate and the School to ensure that there are members of staff working in related areas who can serve as supervisors - and that the proposed research can be accommodated. If you are considering applying for a research degree, contact with the School allows you the opportunity to discuss and develop your ideas more fully before completing your application form, benefitting your research proposal and, ultimately, your application.

Specific contact details for courses and research areas are provided in Course Finder.

Who should I ask to provide me with a reference?

You must provide the names and addresses of two people (referees) who have knowledge of your academic or professional ability and who will be prepared to support your application by providing a reference. If you are currently a student or have recently completed your studies, at least one of your referees must be an academic from your university.

Do I have to send references with the application form?

If you use our Online Application Service, you will be able to download personalised reference forms from your personal online application homepage after you have submitted your application. Full guidance on how to use these is provided on this blank referee report form.

If you are submitting a paper-based application, it will help speed up the application process if you are able to submit your completed referee reports along with your application form. If this is not possible, please ensure that they are forwarded to the postgraduate registry as soon as possible.

Is there an application fee?

No - Cardiff University does not charge an application fee.

What are the application deadlines?

In most cases, there is a very flexible approach to applications for postgraduate study. Furthermore, the time by which you need to submit your application will vary according to the course you are interested in - particularly in the case of research degrees, which tend to have several possible start dates throughout the year.

In terms of postgraduate taught degrees, most do not have formal deadlines. Applications are considered on a rolling basis and therefore students will be continually admitted until all places are full. There are some exceptions - notably for courses in Journalism, Business or Social Work, but again these will be noted on course entries on the Course Finder, so please be sure to check.

Applying for Funding

Deadlines for funding applications are generally earlier than those for course applications. For funding available from Cardiff University, please see our Funding & Scholarship Search facility, which details funding opportunities with their deadlines and application parameters.

If you are considering applying for an external studentship, you will usually need to have a firm offer of a place to study on a postgraduate programme before you can be considered for an award. It is therefore important that you apply for your chosen scheme of study well in advance of the closing date for funding applications as set by the relevant funding body.

Information on possible sources of funding can be found in our Funding Options section.

To allow sufficient time to apply for funding, we recommend submitting your application as soon as you are happy with your choice of course.

I am having trouble uploading documents for my online application. Can I email them instead?

Sometimes documents of an unusual format are not recognised by the Online Application Service. In these instances, you can submit your application without the documents attached and then forward the documents either by post to the Admissions Team or by scanning them in and emailing them to References will need to be printed and signed by the referees before they are scanned and emailed - they will not be accepted without a physical signature.

You need to ensure that you include your online application reference number in all correspondence with us, so that documents can be matched to your application. You will find this number on correspondence you have received from us.

How do I check the progress of my application?

After you submitted your application, you should have received login details for the Online Applicant Service with which you can check your progress online.

Otherwise, you should contact the Admissions Team by telephoning +44 (0) 29 2087 9999 or contacting them via the service. Alternatively, the postal address for the Admissions Team is:

Admissions Team
Cardiff University
PO Box 927
30-36 Newport Road
CF24 0DE

Business courses

If you are applying for a course in the Cardiff Business School and would like to check the progress of your application, you should contact the Business Admission Team by telephoning +44 (0) 29 2087 6029 or emailing

International students

If you are an International student from outside the European Union, you are welcome to contact the International Office if you have any queries regarding your application. They can be reached by telephoning +44 (0) 29 2087 4432 or emailing

Can I defer my offer to study?

Once you have received an offer to study but find yourself unable to commence your studies, you may be able to request to defer your start date to the next intake. You need to contact your admissions tutor or proposed supervisor explaining the circumstances surrounding your intention to defer.

For funded studentships the Academic School may not allow deferred entry but may be flexible with the start date.

Ask a question

If you've got a question that isn't answered here, ask our Postgraduate team.