Careers and Employability Service
Services for current students

Applying for courses


There is no central admission system for most postgraduate courses in the UK except for teaching, law, nursing and midwifery, and social work. 

While some courses have deadlines, for example graduate medical programmes, others will close once all the places are filled. Popular courses can be full as early as the Christmas prior to starting. For other courses places may still be available right up until they start.

All universities produce prospectuses and often have open days. Always visit the campus and talk to staff and students before accepting an offer.

You need to think about funding before you have secured a place as some forms of funding may require you to apply before the course application deadline.

Do some research on postgraduate funding


Postgraduate courses

Making an application for a postgraduate course is very similar to applying for a job. You need to convince the admissions tutor you have:

  • the right skills and experience
  • academic ability
  • interest in the course

Referencing international qualifications

Many employers use standard application forms,
which often do not cater for the variety of qualifications that international students apply with.

You can get a statement about how your qualifications compare to UK equivalents from UK NARIC (the UK’s National Recognition Information Centre)


Selection tests

For some courses you will need to take a selection test. 

Entry to medicine and veterinary science

Entry to management schools - including overseas

Application support


PhD programme

For some PhD programmes, you will need to submit a research proposal with your application. For advice on the content of your research proposal and the messages you should aim to get across, use the following resources:

Postgraduate Study
How to write a research proposal

Books are available for reference only in our office:

  • How to get a PhD
  • Getting your PhD
  • The PhD Application Handbook

Other useful resources

Using English for Academic Purposes
Advice on writing a research proposal

DfE application form assistant tool
If you are applying for PGCE

What to include in your applications



Careers and Employability Service

University of Nottingham
Portland Building, Level D
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 3680
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3679