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 (ku.ca1585661709.notl1585661709ob@sn1585661709oitac1585661709ilppa1585661709) 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 ku.ca1585661709.notl1585661709ob@ni1585661709mdA-h1585661709craes1585661709eR1585661709 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 Tel Email
Bolton School of the Arts Art & Design Dr Jill Marsden + 44 (0)1204 903 238 ku.ca1585661709.notl1585661709ob@ne1585661709dsraM1585661709.J1585661709
English & Creative Writing
Theatre & Performance
Centre for Islamic Finance Islamic Finance Dr Sabri Mohammad +44(0)1204 903 162 ku.ca1585661709.notl1585661709ob@da1585661709mmaho1585661709M.irb1585661709aS1585661709
Centre for Research for Health & Wellbeing Community Studies Joanne Smith +44 (0)1204 903 784 ku.ca1585661709.notl1585661709ob@ht1585661709imS.e1585661709nnaoJ1585661709
Health & WellBeing Professor Romesh Gupta +44 (0)1204 903 609 ku.ca1585661709.notl1585661709ob@at1585661709puG.R1585661709
Centre for Worktown Studies Mass Observation & Worktown Studies Dr Robert Snape +44 (0)1204 903 609 ku.ca1585661709.notl1585661709ob@ep1585661709anS.R1585661709
Faculty of Health & Wellbeing Medical, Biomedical & Life Sciences Dr Ianis G. Matsoukas +44 (0)1204 903 409 ku.ca1585661709.notl1585661709ob@sa1585661709kuost1585661709aM.I1585661709
Sport, Performance, Recovery & Rehab Dr Colin Robertson +44 (0)1204 903 789 ku.ca1585661709.notl1585661709ob@no1585661709streb1585661709oR.C1585661709
Sport Sociology & Policy Dr Bob Snape +44 (0)1204 903 609 ku.ca1585661709.notl1585661709ob@ep1585661709anS.R1585661709
Institute for Materials Research & Innovation Materials Research & Innovation Professor Baljinder Kandola +44 (0)1204 903 517 ku.ca1585661709.notl1585661709ob@al1585661709odnaK1585661709.B1585661709
Institute of Management Greater Manchester Accounting & Business Dr Denis Hyams-Ssekasi +44 (0)1204 903 693 ku.ca1585661709.notl1585661709ob@is1585661709akesS1585661709-smay1585661709H.D1585661709
Centre for Contemporary Coronial Law Law Dr John McGarry +44 (0)1204 903 655 ku.ca1585661709.notl1585661709ob@yr1585661709raGcM1585661709.J1585661709
School of Creative Technologies Computer Science Dr Thaier Hamid +44 (0)1204 903 558 ku.ca1585661709.notl1585661709ob@di1585661709maH.T1585661709
School of Education & Psychology Education Professor Dai Griffiths +44 (0)1204 903 598 ku.ca1585661709.notl1585661709ob@sh1585661709tiffi1585661709rG.E.1585661709D1585661709
Psychology Dr Michelle Lowe +44 (0)1204 903 760 ku.ca1585661709.notl1585661709ob@ew1585661709oL.el1585661709lehci1585661709M1585661709
School of Engineering Built Environment & Civil Engineering Dr Peter Farrell +44 (0)1204 903 426 ku.ca1585661709.notl1585661709ob@ll1585661709erraF1585661709.P1585661709
Engineering Professor Peter Myler +44 (0)1204 903 661 ku.ca1585661709.notl1585661709ob@re1585661709lyM.P1585661709

For Off-campus enquiries please contact Professor Danny Morton tel: +44 (0)1204 903 040 or email: ku.ca1585661709.notl1585661709ob@no1585661709trom.1585661709d1585661709.

Please note: if you are unable to see your subject specialism or require any guidance please contact the Research team on ku.ca1585661709.notl1585661709ob@ni1585661709mdA-h1585661709craes1585661709eR1585661709 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
 29 January 2020  1 November 2019
 13 May 2020  6 March 2020
 16 September 2020 18 June 2020

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