We aim to make the application process for our postgraduate research programmes as easy as possible for you. 

  • Step 1: Decide what route you would like to take (e.g. apply for an advertised project or propose your own research) 
  • Step 2: Check the entry requirements 
  • Step 3: Check the deadlines 
  • Step 4: Think about how you will fund your research programme (if required) 
  • Step 5: Prepare required documents 
  • Step 6: Complete your application 

Follow the steps below for further information and how to submit your application. 

Step 1: Decide what route you would like to take 

Step 2: Check the entry requirements for your chosen programme or project

Please visit your chosen course page or research project advertisement for specific entry requirements. 

You would need to meet our English language requirements. For details, please visit the English language requirements page. Please note, you do not need to provide proof of English Language proficiency at the point of submission, but this will be required before you can start the programme.

Step 3: Check the deadline

If you are applying for an advertised project, please note the deadlines included in the advert.

If you are proposing your own research, you must apply at least 8 weeks before the course start date. If you are an international applicant you should apply earlier; we would advise applying as early as possible and at least 12 weeks before the course start date at the latest. Please visit your selected programme page for more information. 

Step 4: Think about how you will fund your research programme (if required) 

If your chosen project is partially-funded, self-funded or you are proposing your own research, you will need to think about how you will pay the tuition fees and/or expenses before you apply. We provide some guidance on fees and funding avenues here. 

Step 5: Prepare the required documents

We can only consider applications that are complete and have all supporting documents. Your application should include:

  • Copies of the transcripts and certificates for all your higher education degrees (including English translations, if required).
  • Your research proposal (if you are applying for your own research project).
  • A personal statement which outlines any further information which you think is relevant to your application, such as your personal suitability for research, career aspirations, possible future research interests, further description of relevant employment experience. 
  • A copy of your passport. Where relevant, include evidence of settled or pre-settled status.
  • Two academic referees who can discuss your suitability for independent research (references must be on headed paper, signed and dated no more than 2 years old); at least one reference should be from your most recent University. You do not need to provide both references at the point of submission, but this will be required before you can start the programme.
  • Evidence that you meet the English Language requirementsPlease note, you do not need to provide proof of English Language proficiency at the point of submission, but this will be required before you can start the programme.
  • If relevant, any additional documents or information required by the advertised project.

Step 6: Complete the online application form

Check which College your research aligns to:

Submitting an application can be split into the following steps:

  1. Click on 'Application Form' below to access the online application form. Then click "Apply for selected Degree Programme" (this will open in a new window)
  2. Complete the online application form, uploading the necessary documents
  3. We'll review your application and contact you if we require any additional information/documents
  4. If you have applied for one of our research projects, and your application is successful, the supervisor will contact you to arrange an interview.
  5. If you have submitted your own project, and your application is successful, a supervisor who is interested in your project will contact to arrange an interview.

If you experience any technical problems, please contact  it_helpdesk@aston.ac.uk, including screenshots where possible.

Application Form

Application guidance notes

The following guidance notes will aid you in completing the online application form. We advise keeping this page open while you apply as a useful point of reference.

Making your online application

When progressing through the application form please use the hyperlinks/buttons at the bottom of each page and not your web browser back and forward buttons.

Existing Aston Students: Please note: You will need to Create a New Account to start a new application please do not log in with your student username and password.

When creating your new account please ensure that you provide us with a valid and accurate email address as most of the correspondence from Aston will be sent via email.

You will be automatically logged in after this and be able to start your application immediately.

You can elect to 'Save and Return Later' at any point of the process, at which point you will be emailed details on how to return to your application later.

Sponsored Students

You are a sponsored student if all or part of your tuition fees will be paid by an external organisation. This may be an employer, government body or embassy (not a family member). On receipt of an official letter purchase order, the University will send a tuition fee invoice directly to your sponsor.

Please specify in your application that you are a sponsored student. To confirm your sponsorship, please follow the instructions here: Tuition Fee Sponsorship | Aston University

Completing the online form

There are guidance notes available through out the application to assist you in completing the form.

Names
Please input your first names and family name as stated in your passport or other official documentation. 

E-mail addresses
E-mail address. This is your personal email address - the email address used to register an online application account with Aston University.

Alternative contact E-mail address. If you are an Educational Agent, working on behalf of an applicant, please insert the Educational Agent email address in this box.

Addresses
Please provide information on your address. The permanent address is usually your home address. This is the address we will use to contact you unless you specify a correspondence address. 

If the correspondence address given is temporary, please ensure that you notify the relevant Admissions Office of any changes.

Disability/additional support needs
This section is included for the purposes of monitoring equal opportunities and to ensure that students with a disability know about and have access to appropriate facilities and services. Applications are judged solely on academic merit. The University is committed to equal opportunities in its admissions policy and considers applications from candidates with disabilities on the same academic grounds as apply to all candidates.

Find out more information about the facilities and support available contact:

The Enabling Team
Aston University
Aston Triangle
Birmingham
B4 7ET
UK

Telephone: +44 (0) 121 204 4700
E-mail: enablingteam@aston.ac.uk


If appropriate, please choose the code most relevant to you from the drop down menu, when completing the online application form. Please also give any details of any special requirements or additional support needs you might have.

Educational details
Please include all qualifications obtained or anticipated (post compulsory education only).

Please make sure that the names of the educational institutions are written in full and not abbreviated to initials – also state the country in which the institution is located. Please indicate the type of award for which you have studied e.g. BA, BSc or MA and the title used on the degree certificate/transcript. Give the grades you obtained e.g. degree classification, Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) score and state what it is out of i.e. 80/100.

Please note that the authenticity of your qualifications will be checked by Aston with the awarding institution/examination board and that submission of fraudulent documents will disqualify you from studying in the UK.

Professional Qualifications
Please enter any professional qualifications received or memberships of professional institutions that are relevant to your application e.g. the Chartered Institute of Marketing Professional Diploma or any other non-academic qualification e.g. GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test).

Your Academic Qualifications, to a maximum of 14
The most important qualification to include is the qualification you are currently studying, or if you have completed all qualifications, the highest qualification that you have achieved.

English
All applicants are required to provide evidence of their ability in English. The minimum English language requirement varies between schools - please refer to the English Language Requirements page for the individual programme requirements.

Relevant Work Experience
Please include any relevant work experience to support your application by ticking the box and completing all the mandatory fields.

Please note that relevant work experience is a requirement for some programmes; please refer to the course entry requirements for further information.

Finance Details
Please provide as much information as possible about how you will be funding your postgraduate studies. If you have been awarded a grant/scholarship for all or part of your costs please send us a copy of the letter of the award you have received from the grant-awarding body. This can be uploaded at the beginning of your application.

Personal Statement
You are required to complete a personal statement.

The statement should add any further information which you think is relevant to your application e.g. personal suitability for research, career aspirations, possible future research interests, further description of relevant employment experience etc. Also include information about your leisure activities and interests.

Please do not include symbols in your text as the system may not recognise them.

Research proposal
A good research proposal is one of the most important aspects of your application to the Research Degrees Programme. When the University receives your research proposal, we use it to confirm the quality of your ideas, your ability to think originally and critically, to ensure that you really have understood the depth of investigation that your doctoral research will entail, and that you have a good understanding of the key theories and literature. Research Proposals should be in sufficient detail to enable the relevant research group or supervisor to decide if your experience is appropriate and if your proposed topic is relevant to existing research themes at Aston. The outline should be a substantial document, typically 6 to 12 pages in length. Please refer to ‘How to Apply’ section on the programme page for programme-specific requirements. If applying for an advertised project or studentship, please refer to the advert for research proposal requirements.

References
You must provide two official references. Members of your family or friends cannot provide references. At least one of your referees should be from the institution where you studied your last University degree. References must be provided on headed-paper and/or stamped by the institution and must be signed by the referee.

If you choose to enter an email address for either of your referees they will be automatically e-mailed to ask them to provide you with a reference if the ‘Email this referee on application submission?’ box is ticked. The referee’s email address must originate from the referee’s official university/professional e-mail address. Private e-mail references will not be accepted.

The referees will receive full instructions on how to complete the references and where to send once they have completed the reference. PLEASE NOTE: If you apply for more than one course at Aston but are using the same referee you do not need to tick the ‘Email this referee on application submission?’ box, for your second or any subsequent applications.

Those applicants who have chosen not to have their referees automatically emailed will need to contact the relevant PGR Admissions Office for more information on manually sending the references for your application. Please include the Application Reference Number, emailed to you separately, on all correspondence.

If you are applying for an advertised Studentship please state the reference code. This can be found on the advertisement.

 

What happens next?

Once you have completed your application you will be automatically logged out from the system and emailed with confirmation that your application has been received.

After this point, admissions staff at Aston will communicate with you via the email address you have provided regarding the outcome of your application and you will not need to log in to the Online Application form again.

If you have any supporting documents which you need to send to us please send these to pgr_admissions@aston.ac.uk.
 

Notification of decision

The University will make a decision based on the information you have provided and you will be advised of the decision within a few weeks. (If you do not hear anything after 6 weeks and you have completed your online application and provided all required supporting documentation, you can email the PGR Admissions Office as stated on your receipt of application email. Your query can be processed quicker if you can provide your Reference Number, as provided on the email sent you when you submitted your application form).

You will be contacted by the university with a decision to invite you to an interview, or that your application has been unsuccessful.

Following a successful interview, the offer of a place will be made. This may be subject to certain conditions which you have to meet before your admissions can be confirmed (conditional offer). You must satisfy these conditions by sending further evidence or completing additional documentation to the University.

If you have any more questions about the application process or the information you will need to provide the University, please contact us.

Technical problems

This section provides you with some simple solutions to technical problems that you might have whilst completing the online Application Form.

I can’t create a new account, what should I do?
If you are unable to create a new account, please ensure that you are using a supported web browser (listed below) and that you are completing all of the required fields on the new account page.

You are unable to create an account twice with the same email address. If you need to apply for a second Degree Programme at Aston, you can use your existing account details to log in. If you have forgotten your original password, please follow the instructions below to receive a reminder of your password.

If (after verifying that you are using a supported web browser and that you do not already have an account in the system) you are still unable to create an account please contact our technical support staff at it_helpdesk@aston.ac.uk

I haven’t received any emails from the application form, why is this?
Normally, you will receive an email once you choose to ‘save and return Later’ to your current application or when you complete an application form. You may not receive these emails if:
Your email software or provider has marked the emails as Junk or Spam. Please check your Junk / Spam folder to see if any emails have been directed there.  Additionally, please ensure that you add ‘aston.ac.uk’ to your email account safe list so that any further emails sent to you by the Admissions team are received quickly and safely. You may also have entered your email address incorrectly when creating your account. If this is the case, please contact our technical support staff at it_helpdesk@aston.ac.uk with your name, date of birth and email address.

How do I get a reminder of or reset my password?
To have your password reset visit this webpage on MAP. You will be asked to provide the email address, surname and date of birth that you entered when you originally created your account. If these are accepted by the system, your password will be reset to a random value and emailed to you.

If you are unable to retrieve your password this way, please contact our technical support staff at it_helpdesk@aston.ac.uk

The application form doesn’t look right or doesn’t work properly on my computer, what can I do?
The Aston application form has been tested to work with the following web browsers:
Internet Explorer 8 Firefox Google Chrome Safari You will also need to ensure that Javascript is enabled on your internet browsing software. This is usually enabled by default.
If you are using one of these web browsers and are still experiencing issues, please contact our technical support staff at it_helpdesk@aston.ac.uk

I’ve made some mistakes on my application form or supporting documentation, what do I do?
If you haven’t submitted your application form, you can change any of the documents you have uploaded and any of the information you have entered simply by logging into your application and making the necessary changes.

If you have submitted your application form, please contact the relevant Admissions Office as stated on your receipt of application email  with details of any changes you wish to make, along with any supporting documentation if applicable

How do I log back into an uncompleted application form once I have chosen to ‘Save and Return Later’?
You can access any existing application form by simply logging back into your application.

You can log in using the email address and password you used to create your account. However you cannot use this to start a new application.

Additional advice for international students

If you are an overseas student and require a student visa to come to the UK, you must also allow sufficient time to submit your visa application form to your local British Embassy/High Commission.

For some of our courses you may also be required to apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate, which can take up to 4 weeks to be issued, please allow sufficient time for this.

If you are applying as an international student, you should note that the terms and conditions of entry into the UK usually prevent you registering for a part-time programme. For more information, please refer to www.gov.uk/student-visa or www.ukcisa.org.uk

Contact us

If you require any additional advice before you wish to submit your application, please contact us at pgr_admissions@aston.ac.uk

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

I’ve submitted my application. What happens next? 

Once you have completed your application you will be automatically logged out and emailed confirmation that your application has been received.

After this point, admissions staff will communicate with you via the email address you have provided regarding the outcome of your application, and you will not need to log in to the online application form again.

If you have any supporting documents which you need to send to us, please send these to PGR Admissions

Your application will be assessed by the Postgraduate Research (PGR) Admissions Team and, if you are eligible, it will be referred to the supervisor named on your application. If the supervisor is interested, they will contact you directly to arrange an interview. If you have not named a supervisor, your application will be referred to the most appropriate Research Group. If a relevant academic is interested, they will contact you directly to arrange an interview. 

If you do not hear anything after 6 weeks and have provided all required supporting documentation, you can email the PGR Admissions Team as stated on your receipt of application email. Your query can be processed quicker if you can provide your Reference Number on the automated email sent to you when you submitted your application form. 

When will I receive an offer?

You must be interviewed before an offer can be made. After you have interviewed successfully, the PGR Admissions Team will need to undertake further checks and secure approval.

Your offer may be subject to certain conditions which you have to meet before you can receive an unconditional offer.

The PGR Admissions Team and your supervisor will work hard to get your offer to you as soon as possible.

When should I apply? 

If you are applying for an advertised project, please note the deadlines included in the advert.

If you are proposing your own research, you must apply at least 8 weeks before the course start date. If you are an international applicant you should apply earlier; we would advise applying as early as possible and at least 12 weeks before the course start date at the latest. Please visit your selected programme page for more information. 

Can you fund my studies?

Any available projects that provide funding will be detailed in the advertisement. More information on fees and funding can be found here

What’s the status of my application?

If you have submitted an application through the online application form (Via My Aston Portal - MAP), then it is being processed. The PGR Admissions Team will contact you directly with any updates. 

How do I add more documents to my application?

Log into your My Aston Portal (MAP) account and upload your documents to your application, or you can email them to PGR Admissions

The link that was sent to my referees is not working. What should they do?

Please ask them to send their reference letter to PGR Admissions from their academic email address.

I’m having technical problems. What should I do?

Please email our technical support staff at the IT Helpdesk and include as much detail as possible, including screenshots where possible.

I can’t create a new account, what should I do?

If you are unable to create a new account, please ensure that you are using a supported web browser (Internet Explorer 8, Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari) and that you are completing all of the required fields on the new account page.

You are unable to create an account twice with the same email address. If you need to apply for a second Degree Programme at Aston, you can use your existing account details to log in. If you have forgotten your original password, please follow the instructions below to receive a reminder of your password.

If (after verifying that you are using a supported web browser and that you do not already have an account in the system) you are still unable to create an account please contact our technical support staff at it_helpdesk@aston.ac.uk.

I haven’t received any emails from the application form, why is this?

Normally, you will receive an email once you choose to ‘save and return Later’ to your current application or when you complete an application form. You may not receive these emails if your email software or provider has marked the emails as Junk or Spam. Please check your Junk / Spam folder to see if any emails have been directed there.  Additionally, please ensure that you add ‘aston.ac.uk’ to your email account safe list so that any further emails sent to you by the Admissions team are received quickly and safely. You may also have entered your email address incorrectly when creating your account. If this is the case, please contact our technical support staff at it_helpdesk@aston.ac.uk with your name, date of birth and email address.

How do I get a reminder of or reset my password?

To have your password reset visit this webpage on MAP. You will be asked to provide the email address, surname and date of birth that you entered when you originally created your account. If these are accepted by the system, your password will be reset to a random value and emailed to you. If you are unable to retrieve your password this way, please contact our technical support staff at the IT Helpdesk

The application form doesn’t look right or doesn’t work properly on my computer, what can I do?

The Aston application form has been tested to work with the following web browsers:

Internet Explorer 8, Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari. You will also need to ensure that Javascript is enabled on your internet browsing software. This is usually enabled by default.

If you are using one of these web browsers and are still experiencing issues, please contact our technical support staff at it_helpdesk@aston.ac.uk

I’ve made some mistakes on my application form or supporting documentation, what do I do?

If you haven’t submitted your application form, you can change any of the documents you have uploaded and any of the information you have entered simply by logging into My Aston Portal - MAP and making the necessary changes.

If you have submitted your application form, please contact pgr_admissions@aston.ac.uk with details of any changes you wish to make to the form, along with any supporting documentation if applicable

How do I log back into an uncompleted application form once I have chosen to ‘Save and Return Later’?

You can access any existing application form by simply logging back into your application. You can log in using the email address and password you used to create your account. However, you cannot use this to start a new application.

Considerations for disabled applicants applying to postgraduate courses

The Disabled Students’ Commission provide a guide to help you through the process of asking the important questions of, and making sure you have the necessary support from, your prospective or selected university or college – from the outset.