Research Admissions

Research degrees offer you the opportunity to develop and demonstrate your ability to undertake research that makes an original contribution to knowledge in given field. A postgraduate research degree is a specialised set of work, which you undertake in collaboration with the University of Bolton. Applying for a research degree is in some sense rather like applying for a job, unlike applying for a postgraduate taught programme.

How To Apply

When you start a research degree you will become a valued researcher in an academic department; we welcome passionate, inquisitive students who are ready to progress their academic careers with a PhD or MPhil. The application involves:

  • Meeting the academic entry requirements
  • Contacting the appropriate Research Coordinator for your subject specialism
  • Writing a comprehensive research proposal alongside completing your application form
  • Passing your interview (only successfully shortlisted candidates are required to attend an interview)

    See our handy guide below or visit the Admissions page  for more information, including the university Admissions Policy.

    After you have read the description of the relevant research environment available below, and have contacted the appropriate Research Coordinator to discuss your research proposal, you may apply directly by submitting a completed application form. Download the application form here.

    PLEASE NOTE: all completed research degree application forms and research proposals MUST be submitted to university admissions ( and not to the Research Coordinator.


Academic Entry Requirements

To apply for a research degree you should have the following as a minimum:

  • Upper second class honours degree (2:1) in a relevant subject; we welcome equivalent qualifications from overseas and the EU (see UK NARIC for information on recognised equivalencies)

  • If English is not your first language you will also normally need to obtain an IELTS certificate having a minimum overall score of 6.5 within the last 2 years and with no individual component score below 6.0. This must be completed at an IELTS test centre authorised by UKVI to run IELTS tests for UK visa and immigration purposes.

  • For PhD programmes, a postgraduate qualification and/or some research training or relevant professional development is desirable

For more information and subject specific requirements, please contact or +44 (0)1204 903 883.

Research Coordinators

To be sure that we can support your specialism, you must first contact the Research Coordinator for the academic area that covers your subject. The Research Coordinator will advise on whether or not your subject specialism and the nature of your intended research fits within the university’s research activity. Here is a list of our research coordinators:

Research Centre

Subject Area

Research Coordinator



Bolton School of the Arts

Art & Design

Prof Jill Marsden

+ 44 (0)1204 903 238

English & Creative Writing


Theatre & Performance

Centre for Islamic Finance

Islamic Finance

Dr Emir Camdzic

+44 (0)1204 903 162

Centre for Research for Health & Wellbeing

Health & Wellbeing

Dr Joanne Smith

+44 (0)1204 903 784



Professor Russell Gurbutt

+44 (0)1204 903 707

Centre for Worktown Studies

Mass Observation & Worktown Studies

Prof Jill Marsden

+44 (0)1204 903 238

Faculty of Health & Wellbeing

Medical, Biomedical & Life Sciences

Dr Andy Baldwin

+44 (0)01204 903470

Sport, Performance, Recovery & Rehab  

Dr Sean Sankey

+44 (0)1204 903871

Advanced Clinical Practice, Research Coordinator

Dr Carole Farrell

+44 (0)1204 903 978

Physician Associate and Medical Practice

Dr Mark Holland

+44 (0)1204 903 277

Institute for Materials Research & Innovation

Materials Research & Innovation

Professor Baljinder Kandola

+44 (0)1204 903 517

Institute of Management Greater Manchester

Accounting & Business

Dr Imran Akhtar

+44 (0)1204 903 407

Centre for Contemporary Coronial Law


Dr Ike Uhumuavbi

+44 (0)01204 903942

School of Creative Technologies

Computer Science

Dr Celestine Iwendi

+44 (0)1204 903

School of Education & Psychology


Dr Daniela Bacova

+44 (0)1204 903 219


Dr Tara Chandler

+44 (0)1204 903142

Psychology, Research Coordinator

Dr Chathurika Kannangara

+44 (0)1204 903 306

School of Engineering

Built Environment & Civil Engineering

Dr Peter Farrell

+44 (0)1204 903 426


Professor Peter Myler

+44 (0)1204 903 661

For Off-campus enquiries please contact Dr Zahra Salimi tel: +44 (0)01204 903772 or email:

Please note: if you are unable to see your subject specialism or require any guidance please contact the Research team on or +44 (0)1204 903 883.

Research Proposal

Your research proposal is an integral part of the application process, so it is certainly worth investing time and energy into. It needs to outline the nature of your proposed study and give some indication of how you will conduct your research. Through your research proposal your colleagues want to know whether they can work with you and whether your ideas are focused, interesting and realistic. Try to impress them!A successful research proposal should include the following:

  • A clear working title for your research project

  • A clear statement about what you want to work on and why

  • Examples of key literature, key people, key research findings that will support your research

  • An outline of your intended research methodology and approach

  • An indication of your strategy and timetable for the project

  • A list of key references which support your proposal

A more detailed guide on writing your research proposal can be downloaded here.   


As part of the application process for all research degrees, there will be an interview with the Research Coordinator from an Academic School or the proposed Director of Studies. If you are not based in the UK the interview may be on the phone or online.Invitation to interview does not guarantee you will be offered a place. The university also reserves the right to request a portfolio of appropriate work or administer any other test to determine an applicant’s suitability for study prior to their enrolment with the university.

Start Dates & Application Deadlines

Please note: we are unable to offer start dates that are different from the ones listed below.

Start Date  

Apply By Date

 25th May 2023

1st March 2023

21st September 2023

23rd June 2023

22nd January 2024

20th November 2023


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Help Centre

We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
QQA Scheme Participant