Skip to main content

Postgraduate application process

Male student hands holding pen, completing postgraduate application form

Follow the steps below for a guide on how to apply for a postgraduate course and what to expect after you apply.

Before you apply

Choose your course or research area

  • look for a taught course or research area.
  • check whether there is an application deadline
  • make sure you meet all the entry requirements
  • check the fees (they vary depending on course) and living costs
  • if you are applying for a postgraduate research degree only, then contact the relevant academic school to discuss your research proposal

Please note that funded research projects have their own application instructions that may differ from the standard postgraduate process.

Gather supporting documents

You will need to provide:

  • exam results (copies of original certificates or transcripts and English translations, if necessary, to prove you have the qualifications listed on your application form)
  • references: some programmes require one or two references (usually at least one from a recent lecturer or professor) – you can ask your referee to download and fill out our referee report form or obtain a signed and dated reference on headed paper
  • personal statement: some programmes require a specific personal statement, so check the entry requirements for your programme. Please provide information that is relevant to your application for admission such as: why you wish to follow this programme, the benefits you expect to gain from it and the skills and experience you possess which make you a suitable applicant. The character limit for the personal statement is 3,000
  • research proposal (for research students who are not applying for listed projects)
  • English Language certificates (for applicants whose first language is not English) – see our English Language requirements

Documents can be uploaded as:

  • Word documents (.doc or .docx)
  • PDFs
  • JPEG images (.jpeg or .jpg)

The maximum file size is 1,024Kb.

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

Look into potential funding options

Visit our postgraduate funding pages to see what’s available. You cannot normally apply for funding until you have an offer to study, so it's important to apply for your chosen programme as early as possible to make time for funding applications.

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

You can apply for the majority of our postgraduate taught and research programmes on our course pages. If you wish to apply for non-degrees or standalone modules, please get in touch with our team for further details.

Track your application

After you've submitted your application, we will email you a username and password so you can track the progress of your application.

Postal applications

The quickest and easiest way to apply is online, but you can also apply by post if necessary.

Fast-track for Cardiff University students

Our fast-track option offers a streamlined application service for current Cardiff University students by pre-filling your application form with many details and only requesting required information.

After you apply

You’ll receive an email from Admissions confirming your offer.

When will I receive a decision on my application?

Most applicants hear back from us within 4-6 weeks. For some courses decisions are made more quickly, although applications for research degrees can take longer.

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.

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 in order 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.

What if I was unsuccessful?

You can request feedback on your application.

You can accept your offer:

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. This includes provision of official documentation as required, to evidence the conditions of offer have been met. Where stipulated, payment of a deposit by the stated deadline is also required to secure your place.

Apply for funding

Find out how to fund your postgraduate degree.

Find somewhere to live

Apply for a place in university residences or find private rented accommodation.


Tell your friends and family you’re going to Cardiff University.

Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook to keep in touch and up to date with all things related to postgraduate study with us.

Contact us

For more information about applying to study with us, please ask us a question using the contact form.

When completing the form please provide as much information as possible to help us to direct your enquiry.