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How to apply research – Bath Spa University

Ready to join us on your research journey? Find out below how to submit an application with us.

The below process outlines how you can make a postgraduate research application with us.

Please note, these steps can only be followed after you have found a postgraduate research supervisor (see our research contacts page for more information on how to do this). 

Ready to apply?

See our Apply Now page. 

Entry and application requirements

To apply, you will usually hold at minimum a first or upper second class honours degree from a UK Higher Education Institution, or its equivalent.

If you don’t have a relevant Master's degree, you’ll normally be required to undertake formal research training as part of your studies.

You will also need to supply the below documents with your application. 

Research proposal form

The research proposal form helps you to focus your research into a specific area or direction. It may ask you questions such as:

  • What is your research question?
  • What has been written/not written on the subject and why? How does your research fit into this?
  • What is your proposed methodology? What will your research methods be? What resources may be required?

This, along with a discussion with a potential research supervisor, will help you to decide what path your research degree may take, and help you plan for success with your application. 

Degree certificates

We will require copies of any of your previous degree certificates, such as BA, MA, MSc. However, we do not need to see documents relating to GCSEs, A-levels, Higher, or Advanced Higher.


We will also need transcripts of your results officially issued from the awarding body. 

Writing sample

Please include a sample of your writing work (for example, this may be your MA dissertation, or any other relevant coursework). 

International requirements

If you are an international student, we will also need you to submit copies of your passport and any visas you already hold prior to your application.

If you are applying from a country not defined as 'Majority English-speaking', you will also need to provide an English language qualification, i.e. IELTS certificate, obtained in a test taken no more than two years prior to the point of application.

Please note that the minimum required for acceptance is an overall score of 6.5 with no lower than 5.5 in any one area. Required scores will vary by course, and will often be higher.

In Creative Writing, the expectation is that candidates will achieve no lower than 7.0 overall and 6.0 in any one area. For creative practice degrees, this is lowered to no lower than 6.0 overall, and 5.5 in any one area. 

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure compliance with these criteria before applying.

If you have previously studied in the UK

International applicants who have previously studied in the UK will be asked to produce any prior CAS letters upon applying.

Two academic references

It is the responsibility of the applicant to contact their referees directly to request references from them. Please download the Reference Request template and forward this onto your referees for them to use as guidance to the preferred content of their reference. Academic references will need to meet the following criteria:

  • Referees must be able to comment on your academic ability and suitability for your proposed research project (i.e. Directors of Study, Module Tutors, Course Tutors, Personal Tutors, Manuscript Tutors, Programme Directors).
  • References should be provided on institutional headered paper, or come directly from an academic email address, i.e. those ending with ''. 
  • Referees should ideally send their references directly to you, for you to upload later with your application documents. Referees can, however, send their references directly to should they so wish.
Evidence of funding (if applicable)

If you are in receipt of funding for your proposed study, for example a scholarship award, please be prepared to provide evidence if requested.


Once all of your documentation has been submitted it will be assessed by the relevant academics who will then make a decision on whether you will be invited to interview.

Please note that interviews will not be granted if any documentation is still left outstanding. If you have any queries about this part of the process, please contact us at

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