How to Apply

Developing a Research Proposal

As well as applications for a specific funded project Abertay welcomes enquiries and applications from prospective research students for Research Degrees in a range of subject or interdisciplinary areas and on topics across different Divisions.

How to find a potential supervisor

You can search for potential supervisors by browsing the staff profiles listed under Our Research, by using our Research Explorer function, or by searching for keywords or publications using Abertay's open access repository. This will ensure that we have appropriate expertise within Abertay and you will gain an understanding of the prior work of the researcher. You should consider contacting the potential supervisor to discuss your ideas and the possibility of undertaking a research degree under their supervision; discussion will also help you to tailor your application to Abertay expertise specifically. Ask for their feedback and be prepared to take their comments into consideration for future revisions of your research proposal. You can also contact the Graduate School if you would like advice on potential supervisory expertise.

One bit of advice - you should avoid vague blanket emails to several potential supervisors as these are obvious and will probably be ignored.

Applications

Abertay offers Doctorates (PhD or DBA) or Research Masters Degrees (MPhil or MbR*) in a range of subject areas.

*Masters by Research (MbR) graduates will be awarded a Masters degree with one of the following titles depending on the subject area of research:

  • Master of Science by Research (main subject name) (MSc)
  • Master of Arts by Research (main subject name) (MA)
  • Master of Laws by Research (main subject name) LLM

 An expected period of study in months for each award is: 

Award Minimum (months) Expected (months) Maximum (months)
PhD full-time 24 36 48
MPhil full-time 12 24 36
MbR full-time 10 12 14
PhD part-time 48 72 96
MPhil part-time 24 48 72
MbR part-time 20 24 28

Abertay offers three dates for research study – October, February and June of each year. Unless otherwise stated, deadlines for submitting a full application are:

  • Applications for October entry by 31 August (if you need a Tier 4 visa then the deadline is 31 July)
  • Applications for February entry by 15 December (if you need a Tier 4 visa then the deadline is 30 November)
  • Applications for June entry by 30 April (if you need a Tier 4 visa then the deadline is 31 March)

An applicant can apply to defer from one entry point to another on one occasion; however, subsequent requests must be supported by an additional full application.

What to include in your project proposal

This is your opportunity to state your research objectives, to grab the reader’s attention and highlight your suitability for research degree study. The proposal should be around 6-8 pages in length (including references) and the sections headings in this guidance document are indicative only.

You are advised to use a structured approach for your project proposal:

  • Title
  • Abstract (Summary)
  • Introduction/Background
  • Hypotheses and objectives
  • Methodology
  • How to disseminate your findings
  • Ethical considerations
  • Summary and conclusions
  • References

Some good practice tips:

  • Be clear and concise,
  • Structure your proposal by breaking up blocks of text into smaller paragraphs (with headings),
  • Reference you work,
  • Justify your objectives,
  • Briefly write about your previous relevant experience which will help you achieve your objectives and identify your additional professional development and training needs.

Entry Requirements

The minimum entry requirement is an Upper Second Class Honours degree (or equivalent) at undergraduate level in an appropriate discipline and/or a Master’s degree.  In some cases appropriate professional or experiential learning may be considered in combination with a lower classification of Honours degree.

English language requirements

We accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

For candidates whose first language is not English or your undergraduate/Master’s degree was not awarded from a University from a UKVI designated English Speaking country, you are required to show evidence of one of the following qualifications:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL “My Best Score” to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: 62 overall with at least 59 in each component.
  • NECO English at B (4)
  • WAEC English at B (4)

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

To identify whether or not you need to apply for a student visa, please see here or visit the UKVI website.

How to Apply

Abertay offers three entry dates for research study – October, February and June of each year. Unless otherwise stated, deadlines for submitting a full application are:

  • Applications for October entry by 31 August (if you need a Student Visa then the deadline is 31 July)
  • Applications for February entry by 15 December (if you need a Student Visa then the deadline is 30 November)
  • Applications for June entry by 30 April (if you need a Student Visavisa then the deadline is 31 March)

An applicant can apply to defer from one entry point to another on one occasion; however, subsequent requests must be supported by an additional full application.

Once you have developed a research proposal, you can apply online using the below links.

February 2022 Application

June 2022 Application

October 2022 Application

 

Applying for a Visa: International Students Only

You can find more information on applying for a visa and collecting your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) on our visa page. To identify whether you need to apply for a visa, please visit this page on the UKBA website.

Funding Your Study

In most cases, you'll be expected to source your own funding to cover tuition fees and living expenses. If you're an international applicant, you may wish to contact your local British Council Office who may have a list of scholarships available in your country. For more information about funding opportunities and Scholarships, please click here

Contact Us

For more information about how to apply, please call University Admissions on +44 (0)1382 308476 or email admissions@abertay.ac.uk. For any other questions about Research Degrees, please contact the GraduateSchool@abertay.ac.uk.

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