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Research degrees

Applying for a research degree

How to apply for a research degree at York St John, including deadlines and how to write a research proposal.

Our application deadlines

We accept new research students on 1 October, 1 February and 1 June each year. We accept professional doctorate students on 1 January.

  • For an October start date, you must submit your application by 1 July.
  • For a February start date, you must submit your application by 1 November.
  • For a June start date, you must submit your application by 1 March.

International applicants should allow additional time, and can check our International How to Apply page as further updates regarding dates and deadlines become available.

Please be aware that due to the current transfer of PGR Admissions between departments, our next available intake for international postgraduate research students will be our October 2024 intake.

Before you apply

To apply for a research degree, you will need:

  • Qualification details
  • Employment and work experience history
  • Referee contact details
  • A research proposal (see 'How to apply' below)
  • A research supervisor (see 'How to apply' below)

If you want to apply for a professional doctorate, read our separate guidance page: Applying for a professional doctorate.

Make sure you speak to an academic who is working in a related area to your research, and could be your research supervisor during your course. This is to make sure we are able to support you in your area of research.

You can find information about the areas of research of our academic staff on our institutional repository (RaY).

All our academic schools also have a Postgraduate Research Lead. Use the drop down menu to find the Postgraduate Research Lead for your area of interest.

School Postgraduate Research Leads

School Postgraduate Research Lead: Claire Hind -

Contact Claire if you are interested in subjects relating to:

  • Drama and theatre
  • Music performance and production
  • Fine art, illustration and photography
  • Media production
  • Design
  • Visual communication

School Postgraduate Research Lead: Dr Emma Clarke - 

Contact Emma if you are interested in subjects relating to:

  • Language and linguistics
  • Children, young people and families
  • Teaching and education
  • Psychology and mental health

School Postgraduate Research Lead: Robert Edgar - 

Contact Robert if you are interested in subjects relating to:

  • History and American studies
  • Politics and international relations
  • Religion, theology, philosophy and ethics
  • English literature and media studies
  • Geography

School Postgraduate Research Lead: Adam Odell - 

Contact Adam if you are interested in subjects relating to:

  • Maths and data science
  • Computer science
  • Biomedical science
  • Sport and exercise science
  • Health sciences

School Postgraduate Research Lead: Rosie Binfield-Smith -

Contact Rosie if you are interested in subjects relating to:

  • Business and management
  • Law
  • Sociology, criminology and policing
  • Accounting, economics and finance
  • Marketing
  • Tourism, hospitality and events

School Postgraduate Research Lead: Dr Khaled Kesseba -

Contact Khaled if you are interested in subjects relating to:

  • Management, Business Management and International Business
  • Management Studies Research
  • Public Health and Global Healthcare Management
  • Digital Marketing
  • Project Management
  • Computer and Data Science

How to apply

List item One

Find a research supervisor

Before you can apply to study with us, you will need a research supervisor.

Your research supervisor will be an academic at York St John University. They should work in an area related to your research. Your research supervisor should understand current theories and ideas in your chosen area. They may be researching a similar topic to you.

Your supervisor will support you during your research.

List item Two

Write a research proposal

A research proposal should explain the topic or question you want to research. It should be 1,500 words long. This does not include references.

Your proposal should tell us:

  • What you hope to find out.
  • What methods you will use for your research.
  • Your understanding of current thinking around the subject area.
  • The knowledge and skills you have to get started on a large research project.

You will include your research proposal in the application form.

Examples of research proposals

List item Three

Complete an application form

To start your application form, go to our Course Search portal.

Course Search

You will need to create an application login. When you have done this, select 'Postgraduate Research' and your area of study. This will then show you all available application links. Select the link you need and then fill in the form.

If you need help with your application contact us at:

After you have applied

Our Admissions team will review your application with one of our Research Leads.

We may invite you to an interview to talk about your application and research proposal. If you are successful, we will send your application to the Research Degree Sub Committee. They will make the final decision.

The result of your application will be sent to you by email. This email will include details of any conditions your need to meet as part of your offer.

Your acceptance letter will include a reply slip. You can return this by post or email to accept or decline your place.

We will be in touch before your start date to make sure you have everything you need.

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