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Entry requirements for degree programmes

Admissions to all ICR research degree programmes are governed by the ICR Admissions Policy and Procedure (PDF) and the Appeals and Complaints Procedure for Applicants (PDF).

General criteria

We consider applications on merit and have a strong commitment to enhancing the diversity of our students.

To be eligible for registration for the degree of MPhil/ PhD, you should have:

  • a degree in a relevant subject, passed with First Class or Upper Second Class honours [1]
  • or a Masters degree in a relevant subject
  • or an overseas qualification of equivalent standard to the above
  • or an MPhil in a relevant field (see paragraph 9.1 of the MPhil/PhD Code of Practice)

And you must have:

  • experience of research work relevant to the post [2]

Also, if your first language is not English:

  • you must be able to demonstrate a proficiency in English to the equivalent of an IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum of 6 in any one component;
  • or within the last two years in a majority English speaking country, have either education experience in English for a minimum of 1 year; or work experience in English for a minimum of 18 months and be able to satisfy Home Office visa criteria where necessary. [3]

It may be possible to make a conditional offer to candidates whose IELTS score is less than the minimum, subject to further study and re-examination, and to UK visa requirements. The qualification would need to be in place before we sponsor a visa application.

Specific criteria

Further eligibility criteria may apply to specific programmes and projects. Carefully read any information provided by the funding body and in the project proposals. You can also help us to ascertain your eligibility by being accurate in your answers to screening questions in the application forms, such as your requirement for a visa to study in the UK and the ITN eligibility questions. You can provide clarity by using the ‘Additional Information’ part of the application. For example, you might want to include some of your employment history to confirm eligibility. 

Please note that:

[1] – If you have not yet completed the relevant qualification then you are expected to be in your final year of study, and to nominate an academic referee from your institution who can confirm the classification you are on track to achieve. Our standard expectation from undergraduate study is a First, but we will consider candidates with a good Upper Second.

[2] – One of your referees must be able to comment on your research experience.

[3] – The Home Office visa criteria for English language eligibility is either for applicants to be from or have studied an appropriate academic qualification in a majority English-speaking country (see Tier 4 (General) student visa) or have passed an approved English language test (the full visa guidance gives details of countries that are recognized as majority English speaking countries).

Click to see list of majority English speaking countries

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • the Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • UK
  • USA

PhD studentships

Applications for our main PhD studentships recruitment round are now closed.

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