Search type

School of Environment, Education and Development


Information on applying for a PhD or a Professional Doctorate at the School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED).

Admission to PhD or a Professional Doctorate in our School is highly competitive. In reaching a decision on applications, we review a number of criteria, including:

  • the availability of two appropriate supervisors for PhD programmes;
  • the relevance and strength of your research proposal;
  • your academic standing and relevant professional experience.

If you meet our entry requirements and are matched to a suitable supervisor, you may be required to attend an interview.

Application deadlines for internal funding opportunities are often at the beginning of February for programmes starting the following September. If you are planning to apply for a scholarship or award that is not attached to a particular project, it is normally stipulated that you hold an offer of a place from the University before applying.

Entry requirements 

  • A First or Upper Second Class Bachelor’s degree (or its international equivalent).
  • A relevant master’s degree, with Merit and a minimum average grade of 60% in both the taught course units and your dissertation (or international equivalent of 60%).
  • Evidence of English language ability - an internet-based TOEFL score of 100, with at least 25 in the writing component and at least 22 in all other components, or an overall IELTS score of 7.0, with at least 7.0 in the writing component and at least 6.0 in all other components.

Some of our Professional Doctorate programmes have additional entry and documentation requirements.

How to apply

To apply, complete and submit an online application form. Your completed application should include:

  • two references, one of which should be familiar with your academic work, on headed paper from the institution, signed, dated and stamped;
  • a degree certificate and transcript for your bachelor’s and master's degrees;
  • a research proposal;
  • evidence of your English language proficiency;
  • a personal statement outlining your reasons for wishing to study on the programme, and the experience and skills you will bring;
  • a detailed CV.

When you submit an application, you will receive notification that it has been received. Our admissions team will contact you to let you know if we require any further information.

We aim to process all applications within six weeks and will contact you with our decision as soon as possible.

Finding a supervisor

Providing clear details of your research area or group within your research proposal will make it easier for us to identify suitable opportunities for you.

Please see PhD programmes for relevant research groups to find a potential supervisor, and include this in section six of the application form under 'Proposed programme of study'.

You can apply without identifying a preferred supervisor, but we recommend that you contact potential supervisors for advice on developing your research proposal in advance of submitting your application.

Although guarantees cannot be made, we will do our best to match your area of research to the most suitable supervisors within the field. 

For more guidance, see How to write a research proposal.

Contact us

For further information, email Christopher Kitchen, Postgraduate Research Recruitment and Admissions Officer. You can reach Christopher at +44 (0)161 275 0807.