Information for Applicants
All applications are made through the University of Essex’s online application system. See below for details on how to apply. But before applying, we strongly advise that you contact us to enquire about studying here.
The portal will ask you to specify a department in which you want to study. Applicants to our PhD programme should select ISER (Institute for Social and Economic Research). Applicants to Masters programmes should not select ISER, but should select the partner department in which the Masters degree is hosted.
If you are applying for a 1+3 (Masters + PhD), you will need to make two separate applications – one for the Masters course and one for the PhD.
- Check that your proposed field of study is in one of the areas in which ISER offers supervision
- Think about how you will fund your course of study – check out our scholarships and investigate other sources of funding.
- Check that you fulfil our entrance requirements
- If you would like feedback on your research proposal before you apply, please email the graduate director attaching a CV and a draft proposal of 2-3 paragraphs.
PhD applicant checklist
The University of Essex online application system will ask you for the following documents:
- A full CV
- A short personal statement (max 500 words) outlining the reasons for your interest in your proposed area of research
- A research proposal (1000-2500 words)
- Official transcript(s), in English or a certified translation, of your academic results to date, showing a full breakdown of your marks or grades.
- Two references, at least one from an academic referee. References should be verifiable, according to the University’s guidelines
- Evidence of English language qualifications (see entrance requirements)
- You may also like to submit samples of written work, publications, etc.
When to Apply
You should apply at least six weeks before the start of the term in which you plan to commence your studies, to allow us to process your application. Most students apply long before this. We encourage students to start in October, though we do also accept students starting in January and April. Note that although we accept applications at any time during the year, there are deadlines for scholarships.
This information should be read in conjunction with the Introduction to the Graduate School and the Prospectus of the Graduate School, which gives fuller information on academic and social life at the University.
If you have any questions about your eligibility or the application process, please don’t hesitate to get in touch