A ten step guide to applying for a place to study for a PhD: Part two

In part one of this guide we set out the first five steps that you should work through when applying to do a PhD.

In this article we will complete the list by setting out the next five steps, leading up to submitting an application to your chosen university.

As a brief reminder, the first five steps were: ensure your funding; determine your research question; write a research proposal; decide where to apply; make informal contact with your prospective supervisor.

The next five steps are:

STEP 6 If possible you should visit your chosen university. Arrange the visit with the academic department to which you will be applying. Hopefully you can schedule a face to face meeting with your supervisor, or at least some current PhD students.

STEP 7 Having made informal contact with your prospective supervisor, revise your research proposal in light of any feedback.

STEP 8 Next visit the university’s website and make sure you understand the application process and formalities. For an example, see the King’s College, London web page ‘How to apply’, which includes a useful video. It may help to set out a step-by-step list of what you need to do to complete the application.

STEP 9 Before submitting your application, make sure that you satisfy the entry requirements. This will include an English language qualification (eg International English Language Test System) if English is a second language for you. Make sure you have the necessary documentation (eg degree certificates, proof of funding). You should also make sure that you have spoken to your academic referees and asked their permission to include them as referees.

STEP 10 The final step is to complete the forms and submit your application. Be meticulous, proof read and double check everything. An incomplete application will slow the process and a poorly filled out form will create a bad impression.

If you need any help or guidance, the PhD Consultancy has a wide range of experts who can support you through the application process.