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How to apply for a postgraduate course

Get all the information you need to apply for a postgraduate taught or research course at Cardiff University, with our step-by-step guide.

Cardiff University does not charge an application fee for any of our postgraduate programmes.

If you wish to apply for non-degrees or standalone modules, please get in touch for further details.

Application process

Follow the steps below to find out exactly how to apply for our postgraduate degree programmes and what to expect after you have applied.

Funded research projects and studentships may have their own application instructions that could differ from the process below.

  1. Choose a taught course or research area.
  2. Check the start date and application deadline.
  3. Check the entry requirements - if you have not yet met the entry requirements, you can usually still apply for a course. You may receive an offer of a place on the condition that you meet the requirements before you start the course.
  4. Check you can pay the fees (they vary depending on course) and the living costs.
  5. Look at our funding pages to see the financial support available  - if you intend to apply for funding, we advise that you submit your application at least two months before a scholarship deadline.
  6. Write a research proposal and find a supervisor to discuss your proposal (for self-funded research projects only).
  7. Gather the supporting documents required for your application.
  8. Apply through our online application portal via our course and research area pages - you can save your application and return to it later, so you don’t need to complete it all at once.
  9. Wait for us to process your application.
  10. We will send you an offer - find out what your offer means.
  11. You should reply to the offer by the set deadline.
  12. Follow the next steps.

International applicants

If you're an international student applying to Cardiff University, you may also need to:

Help with your application

If you are unable to submit an application via our online form, or need further support, please submit an application by post.

If you need any support with your application, please get in touch with our team.

Supporting documents

You’ll need to upload some documents as part of your application. The documents we need depend on the course and your circumstances, so please check the requirements before you gather any supporting information.

All documents should be in English or accompanied by certified translations.

If you don’t yet have all the evidence required, you can still apply and upload your supporting documents when they become available.

You will need to provide:

  • copies of your degree certificate and academic transcripts (or a partial transcript if you are still studying)
  • the contact details of a referee – ask your referee to fill out our referee report form or get a signed and dated reference on headed paper
  • evidence of your English language level (if English is not your first language) – see our English Language requirements
  • a copy of your passport (if you need a visa to study here)

Depending on the course you apply for, you may also be asked to provide additional documents, such as:

  • further references
  • a personal statement
  • a portfolio
  • a research proposal

If your course does not require additional documents, there will be no option to provide them in the application form and there is no need to submit them separately.

Track your application

After you've submitted your application, we will email you a username and password. You will be able to log in and track the progress of your application at any time.

We'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

How we process your application

We aim to process your application within 4-6 weeks if all documents have been provided, but due to a very high volume of applications it may take longer for your application to be reviewed. We will contact you as soon as an update is available.

If you have a scholarship deadline, please let us know in your application and we will try to make a decision in time, where possible.

Your academic school may contact you directly if they require any further information or wish to invite you for an interview. You will receive an email asking you to check your applicant portal for more details.

We will let you know our decision

We will notify you of the outcome of your application by email and in the portal.

If your application is successful, you will be able to view your offer letter our online application portal.

Unconditional offer

This means you have been offered a place - congratulations!Now all you need to do is accept the offer.

Conditional offer

This means you have been offered a place, but something is missing from your application – most likely one of your supporting documents or you are still to complete one of the qualifications required to gain admission to the university. Your offer letter will clearly state what evidence needs to be supplied. Once we have everything, your offer will change to Unconditional.

Unsuccessful applications

You can request feedback on your application if it is unsuccessful.

Occasionally, the academic school may think that it is more appropriate to offer you a place on a different course. In this case, we will notify you of a change of course offer and you will be able to see the details by logging in to your applicant portal.

Reply to the offer by the set deadline

If you receive an offer, you can accept it by:

Deposits may be required to secure a place on specified postgraduate programmes. Where a deposit is required, details will be given in your formal offer letter.

Your offer is subject to you accepting your place and meeting the exact conditions of your offer a minimum of 14 days before the start date of your programme, unless otherwise agreed by the university.

Next steps

Once we have confirmed your offer, we will write to you to officially welcome you to Cardiff University and provide any further information you need.

Find out how you can start preparing for your arrival in Cardiff.

Postgraduates in kitchen

Postgraduate accommodation

Apply for university accommodation after you have accepted your offer to study here.

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New students

Discover everything you need to know about starting your journey as a student with us.

Look at our admissions policies if you'd like more detailed information about the admissions process.