PhD entry requirements

Academic requirements

We would normally expect you to have a First or Upper-Second (2:1) honours degree - and preferably a masters degree - from a UK university for entry on to our PhD programmes. We also accept qualifications and relevant experience that we consider to be equivalent.

We accept equivalent international qualifications for entry on to our postgraduate courses.

International applicants

There is no longer a requirement for international PhD applicants  to apply via an agent. This applies to all markets. Should you wish to apply for your research degree through an agent we have a network of agents and representatives in different regions across the world. Some agents may charge for provision of services so please check this directly with them.

Applying for a visa

In order to enrol onto a postgraduate research programme, you must have a valid UK visa. Applying for a visa can be a lengthy process and your enrolment may be delayed if you don’t have it in time. Please bear this is mind when considering when you wish to start.

We offer visa and welfare support to our international applicants.

English language requirements

The University must also be satisfied that you have the necessary English language skills to undertake a research investigation.

For research programmes, we require a minimum of IELTS (International English Language Testing System) level 7, with level 7 writing and a minimum level 6.5 in other elements (reading, speaking and listening). Please note that English language certificates are only valid for two years.

You do not need to supply an IELTS certificate if you have completed a degree from a predominantly English-speaking country, as defined by the UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) or if you have citizenship of a predominantly English-speaking country, as defined by the UKVI.

Due to COVID-19 many IELTS Test centres are closed, so during this period, we will also accept:

ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme)

If you are a non-UK/EU/EEA citizen, you may require an ATAS certificate to study at the University of Derby depending on your subject area. For more information, take a look at the list of disciplines on the website.

Professional doctorates

If you are applying for one of our professional doctorate programmes, you must hold the standard academic entry requirements for a PhD and be employed in a relevant profession.

If you do not hold the standard academic entry requirements, you may be considered if you can demonstrate relevant research or professional experience. 

Contact us

For any further questions about applying, please contact us:

T: +44 (0)1332 591167