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Applying to Durham University

You can apply to most of our postgraduate programmes via our online application process, below. However, if you wish to apply for:

Stage One: Contact the department

Before you apply, check the departmental web page to ensure that you meet:

  • The Department's entry requirements and, if applicable, any English language requirements
  • The financial requirement of the programme you are interested in (including tuition fees and living costs).

Departmental web pages can be found at and, in addition to the above, will give the details of any other special requirements for the programme in which you are interested, such as guidance regarding personal statements, supporting documentation and references.

For further information on fees and funding your studies see

If you would like to study a research degree, check the Department has a suitably qualified supervisory team and appropriate academic facilities.

Stage Two: Complete the application form

Applications should be made using the online application form. If you are unable to use the online form, please contact the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office for advice:

You will be asked for the following information:

  • Personal details
  • Academic qualifications and career to date
  • An outline of your research interests (for higher degree by thesis)
  • The names and addresses of two academic referees
  • Your chosen college.

You will be able to upload supporting documentation as part of your online application but please check your department’s web page to confirm what is required. Please note that you will need to provide certified translations of any documents which are not in English.  The translations must be provided by a professional translation organisation and should include the following:

  • Details of the translator’s credentials, ie their professional qualifications;
  • Confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the original;
  • The translator’s contact details;
  • The translator’s original signature and the date of translation;
  • The award date of the qualification.

All postgraduates are members of one of our colleges, as well as being accepted by a department. Each college is individual, and offers a wide range of support, accommodation and facilities. You can find out more information on our colleges within the Colleges and Accommodation section of this website.

The Colleges Postgraduate Office will contact you after you have accepted your offer from the University with an online application for membership only or membership and accommodation. Queries should be directed to the Colleges Postgraduate Office at

Stage Three: We process your application

  • We will process your application on the basis of all the information provided and will let you know the outcome as soon as possible
  • In certain circumstances we may contact you to request further information.

Stage Four: Our response

Once your application has been considered by the Department, it will be sent to the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office along with a recommendation for approval. The Department will contact you directly if they are unable to recommend your application for approval.

The Student Recruitment and Admissions Office is responsible for approving all postgraduate applications. You should be aware that approval by the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office is not a formality and that in some cases where a department has recommended approval, the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office will be unable to support this. Until you receive an offer from the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office, you have not received a formal offer of a place.

We aim to deal with your application as quickly as possible and most forms are processed within four to six weeks of receipt.

The Durham University Student Recruitment and Admissions Office is available to provide assistance if you have any queries in relation to your application. Please contact the team at or 0191 334 6492.

“What I enjoy most about studying here is the academic environment. The students at Durham University are very hard working and this generates a very positive attitude and a good atmosphere for our study. For example there are always many students studying in the library, in the café area and many other places, no matter whether it is in the examination period or not. During my PhD period, I’ve got to know many other researchers from various fields. This encourages idea exchanges and subsequently brings the benefit of both knowledge and social network expansion.”

Cen Chen, PhD Crystallisation from microemulsions, China

Postgraduate study

Postgraduate study opportunities

Interested in postgraduate study? Click on the above image or download the PDF version

For further information

Any questions not answered in our web pages? Contact: pg.admissions@

Did you know... At Durham University we have 3,580 postgraduate students (2012/13).

Did you know... Durham University is ranked 4th overall in The Sunday Times University Guide 2013, and 5th overall in both The Times Good University Guide 2013 and The Complete University Guide 2014.

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