Filling in your postgraduate application

If the university or college you want to apply to uses the UKPASS service, you'll need to make an online application. Here's how to do it.
Relevant to

Your application doesn't have to be completed all at once – you can add to it or change it later. Help text is also available in each section of Apply.

  • First you register to use Apply

    Here you put things like your nameaddress and date of birth.

    • You'll also be asked some security details, including choosing a password and selecting a security question. 
    • Once you've completed your registration you will be allocated a username.
    • Make a note of your username and password – you'll need these to sign in to your application.
  • Sign in to verify your email address and fill in the rest of your personal details
    • Sign in with the username given to you when you registered, and the password you chose.
    • You will have be sent an email from UKPASS giving you a verification code for your email address. Enter the verification code to continue with your application.  
    • The information you’ve already filled in will show up automatically and then you'll need to enter some information like nationality and residential status.
    • Additional information (UK applicants only): here we ask about national identity and ethnic origin – not for selection, but to help with equal opportunities monitoring. This information is not given to your chosen uni or college until after they've made their decision.
  • Then you add your course choices
    • Select uni and course details from the drop-down lists.
    • You then need to select your preferred start month and year.
    • Different programmes may have various options to select, such as full or part-time, differing end qualification levels (e.g. master's or doctorate) and different lengths of study time (e.g. 12 months or 24 months). 
    • If you are adding a new application and click on 'Continue' you'll be told if there's any fee to pay and asked if you wish to continue.
  • You'll be asked to provide some more information
    • How you intend to fund your study.
    • If you have any criminal convictions to disclose.
    • If you have an impairment/special needs.
    • How you heard about the programme.
    • Whether you are using an agent.
  • Your education

    Here you tell us about your:

    • school/high school and qualifications
    • university/college details and results 
    • English proficiency - if you're applying from outside the UK and your first language is not English, most unis and colleges will expect you to provide evidence of your ability to undertake a course taught in English. Please check uni/college websites for details of the requirements for the postgraduate course you're interested in
    • professional qualifications
  • Supplementary information
    • The questions shown in this section are specific to your chosen uni/college and programme.
    • Please answer all the questions as fully as possible. 
    • If you have to provide a written answer you may be asked to complete the response in a text box or submit it as an attachment. You can attach a file not exceeding 5MB by clicking on 'Attach' and then browsing to the file. To make sure your file doesn't exceed the limit you could use an application such as 'winzip' to make the file smaller.
    • Another option is to send a document by post or by separate email – click 'send under separate cover' for a pop-up screen displaying the person at the uni to send it to. Make sure you also give them your full name and Personal ID.
  • Then you write your personal statement
    • A good personal statement is important – it could help to persuade the admissions tutor to offer you a place and, in cases where interviews aren't conducted, may be your best chance to make the case for your admission.
    • The personal statement gives you the opportunity to tell your chosen uni exactly why you are applying, and why they should want you as a postgraduate student. What have you done in the way of relevant study, thinking or work experience to prove your ability and commitment to the course?
    • Demonstrate that you have researched the course, the university and, if relevant, its career opportunities. This is basic human psychology: you will make a more favourable impression if you have thought about what’s being offered to you. Reflect upon your experience. How has it led you to the conclusion that this particular form of postgraduate study is right for you? Mention your long-term plans. What are your goals and how would the additional study help you?
    • Also say what further reading you have done – academic papers, news reports, blogs and discussions... all of this additional research and thinking may help your case.
    • In what way are you a critical thinker? All postgraduate courses require you to do more intensive research than is the case with a first degree. Which projects and activities have sharpened your ability to think freshly, creatively, spot what other people miss, set objectives and measure your results?
    • The information you give to support your application should be carefully considered, presented effectively and entirely accurate.
    • Take your time and give as much relevant information as possible, don't think 'one sentence will do' - unis want to see a well completed statement giving reasons for applying and evidence in support of your application.
  • Enter details of two referees
    • You'll be asked for details of two referees. They must know you well enough to write about you and comment on whether you are suitable for postgraduate study.
    • You can't complete and send your application without either full details of both referees, or confirmation as to how the references will be provided to your chosen uni.
    • Your references need to be written in English, unless you are applying to a Welsh university or college and are completing your application in Welsh – in which case they can be written in Welsh.
    • The references can be:
      • entered into the spaces provided
      • sent as attachments to your application
      • sent by your referees to the uni to the address shown in the link 'Address details for attachments'
    • References must not contain any false, misleading or partial information and you must not write any of your references yourself.
  • Making changes before you send us your application

    Cancellation: you can cancel a partially completed application by signing in to your Application Summary and clicking 'Application ID'. This will display the 'View Application' screen where you can cancel your application. A cancelled application does not count towards the maximum 10 applications.

    Adding and changing information: you can change and add to the information in any section, even if you have already recorded the section as completed. Sign in to your Application Summary and select 'Amend personal data' from the left-hand navigation to make additions and amendments.