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Applying for Postgraduate Study

Durham University is committed to recruiting the most able and talented postgraduate students from across the world. It seeks to achieve this by identifying merit and potential and ensuring that its admissions process is open, fair and transparent to all with the potential to meet our entry requirements, regardless of background.
You can find our full Postgraduate Admissions Policy here.

Below you will find guidance on how to apply for a postgraduate programme at Durham University through our online application process and information about what to expect at each stage of the application process.

Stage One: Check entry requirements

The standard minimum entry requirement to study a postgraduate programme at Durham University is normally achievement of an upper second class UK honours degree (2:1) or equivalent qualification and two satisfactory academic references. Full details of qualification equivalencies by country can be found here. For applicants who are not Native English speakers, English language evidence may also be required.

However, some Academic Departments and programmes have different or additional entry requirements. Therefore, before you apply, it is important to check the appropriate course listing in the courses database or departmental web page to ensure that you meet or are able to meet before the programme commencement date:

• The Academic Department and specific programme’s entry requirements and, if applicable, any English language requirements
• The financial requirements of the programme you are interested in (including deposit payment, tuition fees and any other associated costs).

For further information on fees and funding your studies see

Departmental web pages can be found at and, in addition to the above, will provide the details of any other special requirements for the programme in which you are interested, such as guidance regarding personal statements, research proposals, supporting documentation and references and specific costs associated with studying your chosen programme. If entry to your programme involves successful completion of an interview, details of this can also be found on the relevant course information web page.

Additional Information for Applicants to Postgraduate Research Programmes

If you would like to study a postgraduate research degree, you will first need to contact the relevant Academic Department to check that they have a suitably qualified supervisory team and appropriate academic facilities. This will also allow you to informally discuss your research interests with the relevant staff. Contact details for each Academic Department can be found here. Contact details for specific programmes can also be found on the relevant course information web page.

Stage Two: Complete the application form

You can apply to most of our postgraduate programmes via our online application form.

However, if you wish to apply for:
• Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), please contact the School of Education
• Master of Social Work, please contact the School of Applied Social Sciences

There are five different application form types available via our online application system:

  • MBA
  • Postgraduate Research (applicants for a professional doctorate, e.g. in Education -EdD - or Business - DBA - should use this form)
  • Postgraduate Taught
  • Pre-Sessional English Language
  • Student Records Form

Please select the appropriate application form type for your chosen programme of study. If you are unsure which form to use, please contact us at for guidance.

If you wish to apply for any of the following programmes, please contact the relevant Academic Department to register your interest prior to making an application, using the contact details provided below.

Academic Practice:
Durham University Learning and Teaching Award:

For the following programmes, please contact

Consultancy for Mission and Ministry (MA)
Consultancy for Mission and Ministry (PDip)
Theology and Ministry (MA)
Theology and Ministry (PCert)
Theology and Ministry (PDip)
Theology, Mission and Ministry (BA)
Theology, Mission and Ministry (Cert)
Theology, Mission and Ministry (Dip)

Once you have discussed your intended application with the relevant Academic Department, please select 'Student Records Form' under 'Application Type' on the postgraduate online application form and then select your chosen programme under 'Course and Mode of Study'.

If you are unable to use the online form, experience any problems, or require any further advice on completing the application form, please contact the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office for assistance by emailing

In order to complete the application form, you will be required to provide the following information:

  • Personal details
  • Your education and qualifications already achieved and details of any qualifications that you are currently studying for, if applicable
  • The names and addresses of two academic referees
  • A Personal Statement
  • Supporting documents (for example, degree certificates / transcripts, English Language evidence if you are not a native English speaker, CV, samples of academic work).

Please note that you will need to provide certified translations of any documents which are not in English.

You will be able to upload supporting documentation as part of your online application but please check the relevant Academic Department’s web page first to confirm exactly what is required. Please note that it is an applicant’s responsibility to request their own reference letters directly from their referees. You can obtain these from your referees, scan and upload the original signed letter to the online application system or alternatively your referees can forward their reference letter directly to the relevant Academic Department. Please do check the specific requirements of the relevant Academic Department before sending or submitting any references, as some departments provide templates or alternative ways for confidential references to be submitted.

Application Fees

Currently, there is normally no application fee to pay when applying for a postgraduate programme at Durham University. However, for application to Durham University Business School postgraduate taught programmes, there is an application fee of £50 per application. Once Durham University Business School receive your online application form, you will receive an automatic email within 48 hours asking you to pay the £50 application fee* which is required to progress your application.

You’ll need to follow the link in the email to the webpage where you can confirm your details and make the payment using a debit or credit card. This is a secure website operated by Secpay, which will send you an automatic receipt of payment. Once Durham University Business School receive confirmation that your application fee has been paid, they will be able to progress your application. If you do not pay the application fee your application will be automatically withdrawn.

*Please note that you will only be able to make a payment for one programme in each suite i.e. one MSc Finance programme, one MSc Management programme, one MSc Marketing programme, one Islamic Finance programme. For further information please visit

Application Deadlines

Most postgraduate taught degree programmes commence in late September/ early October each year and Integrated PhD courses normally begin in October, but you may also start postgraduate research degrees in January or April. If you would like to commence a research degree at an alternative time during the academic year, this may be possible. Please contact the relevant Academic Department to discuss this.

In most cases, applications for postgraduate programmes can be made at any time in the academic year, provided that you allow enough time for a decision to be made on your application and for you to make any necessary arrangements (such as visa applications, if applicable) in order to arrive for your programme start date.

However, there are some postgraduate programmes that do operate specific application deadlines, including Durham University Business School MA programmes. Please visit the relevant Academic Department’s web page for full details of application deadlines.

Please note that if you are applying for scholarships or other funding sources, or if you are applying for a programme delivered in conjunction with a doctoral training partnership or centre, there may be additional funding application deadlines to consider when making your application to a postgraduate programme.

Stage Three: We process your application

The Student Recruitment and Admissions Office are responsible for processing applications for most postgraduate programmes. Durham University Business School process applications for all of their taught postgraduate programmes. Decisions on applications are made by admissions selectors within Academic Departments.

Please allow 4-6 weeks for the relevant Academic Department to make a decision on your application.

In certain circumstances we may contact you to request further information If there is any information or supporting documents that you are unable to provide when you complete your application form, please do send this information to the relevant Academic Department as soon as possible in order to prevent any unnecessary delays in processing your application.

Stage Four: We communicate a decision

The Academic Department will consider your application on the basis of all the information provided. Once your application has been considered by the Academic Department, one of two things will happen.

If your application was successful and the Academic Department would like to offer you a place, your application will be sent to the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office along with a recommendation that an offer be made. Applications for taught postgraduate programmes at Durham University Business School will be sent to the Durham University Business School Admissions Team.

If the Academic Department are unable to recommend your application for approval, they will contact you directly.

The Student Recruitment and Admissions Office is responsible for approving all postgraduate offers. Please be aware that approval by the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office is not a formality and that in some cases where an Academic Department has recommended that an offer be made, the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office will be unable to support this. Until you receive an offer letter from the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office, you have not received a formal offer of a place. Offer letters are sent as an attachment via email.

Please be aware that all correspondence from the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office will be sent via email. It is therefore essential that you notify us if your email address changes at any time during the application process. Our contact details can be found here.

If an agent will be acting on your behalf throughout the admissions process, please be aware that they must be authorised to do so via a contractual arrangement with Durham University. We are unable to provide unauthorised agents or third parties with any information in regards to your application. Please contact the International Office if you have any queries regarding overseas agents.

Stage 5: Next steps

Your Decision

If you receive an offer for a place on a postgraduate programme at Durham University, the email containing your offer letter will also provide a link to the Postgraduate Offer Information Booklet, which provides full details and information about what to do next.

Colleges and Accommodation

All postgraduates are members of one of our colleges, as well as being accepted by an Academic 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

Full details of the college and accommodation application process for postgraduate applicants can be found here.

Contact us

The Student Recruitment and Admissions Office are available to provide advice and assistance if you have any queries at any stage during the postgraduate application process. 

Please contact the team at or on +44 (0)191 334 6492.

If you have applied for a taught postgraduate programme at Durham University Business School, please contact the Durham University Business School Admissions team at or on +44 (0)191 334 5439.

Alternatively you can contact the Academic Department you have applied to. Their contact details can be found here.

Postgraduate study

Postgraduate Prospectus 2016

Interested in postgraduate study? Click on the above image or download the PDF version, or you can listen to the Postgraduate Prospectus podcast.

Any questions not answered in our web pages? Contact us via

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