How to apply

Information for research degree applicants - COVID-19 response

We appreciate there is a lot of uncertainty around how your university research degree application could be affected, and we want to reassure you that your application is very important to us.

We remain committed to processing everything as quickly as possible and are doing all we can to provide you with the answers you need.

If you have any questions that have not been answered below, please do not hesitate to contact our admissions team via email:

I'm interested in studying a research degree at DMU, can I still apply?

We welcome all new applications and are working hard to continue processing everything as normal. The information on this page will provide you with information on how to apply.

I have an unconditional offer from DMU, will this change?

If you have received an unconditional offer to study at DMU then this will remain unchanged and your offer to study with us still stands. While the current circumstances mean things are changing frequently, please rest assured that your unconditional offer is secure and we look forward to welcoming you to DMU when the next academic year starts.

If you do have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our admissions team.

I have a conditional offer from DMU, what happens now?

We’d like to assure you that if you hold a conditional offer to study with us then this still stands, and we continue to think you have a great future with DMU. If you require any support in meeting the conditions of your offer, please do not hesitate to contact our admissions team.

I've been invited to an interview, will this still be going ahead?

Interviews of research degree applicants will take place via video conference (e.g. Skype or Zoom). If you do have any questions, please contact our admissions team.

I have accepted my offer. Will I still be able to start at DMU in October 2020?

As things currently stand, the academic year will run exactly as normal, with a new academic year starting in October 2020. If any changes are proposed, either to the timelines, or to the mode of delivery (e.g. by distance-learning due to COVID-19), we will keep you updated.

I'm an international student, is it still safe to come to the UK to study?

The health, safety and wellbeing of our students is our highest priority, so please rest assured that we are following the government’s advice and guidance to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect anyone who could be at risk.

We are accepting new applications as normal, and will do everything we can to ensure students are still able to register on our programmes this year. If we are required to make any changes to our programmes, deadlines or entry requirements, then we will update you as soon as possible.

I'm an international student needing to evidence my English language to meet entry criteria. However, IELTS centres in my home country have closed. What should I do?

We recommend that you keep up-to-date with the advice provided by test centres on arrangements for exams. You can check on the IELTS website. If the centres do not open in time for our August deadline for an October intake, please note that we do have further intakes in January and April each year as well.

What should I do if I can't get hold of transcripts and certificates?

It might be that you are currently unable to provide all of the documents we have asked for as part of your application, such as transcripts, references or certificates. If this is the case, we recommend you contact our admissions team and apprise them of any difficulties.

I need to apply for an ATAS/CAS/Visa. What should I do?

If you are able to use a super priority service, we recommend choosing this. You can find out more about this here, as well as the opening times, address and contact details for UK visa application centres near you. Please be aware that choosing a priority visa service will incur a cost.

UK Visas and Immigration is continually reviewing requirements and we are monitoring this closely. You can find further details on their website.

For additional queries relating to CAS applications, please contact central admissions via email:

To apply for a research degree (PhD, MSc/MA by Research, DBA) at De Montfort University (DMU), you are required to complete the following documentation via the admissions portal here:

If you have studied at DMU previously, please submit your application documents via email to  not through the admissions portal. You will need to attach completed Application Form and Annexe Form alongside the documents requested below.

The entry requirements for a research degree can be found here.  Please take time to look through the entry requirements before submitting your application.

For your application, you will need to submit a range of documentation.  The list below identifies each document.  Please check that you have the documents readily available, before submitting your application. Please ensure you have funding in place for your research degree before submitting your application, this could be in the form of self-funding, sponsorship or scholarship.

  • Research Proposal - a helpful guide on what your proposal should include can be found here.

  • Certificates and Transcripts  - scanned copies of your most relevant academic certificates and transcripts will need to be provided.  Documents that are not in English must be provided with a certified English translation.

  • Two Academic References - the references must be dated within the last two years and provided via one of the formats listed.  The below guidance can be forwarded on to your referees:
    • Complete our Reference Form and send it to from a valid institutional address; or
    • Complete our Reference Form and provide to you for uploading on to the admissions portal; or
    • Complete our Reference Form and send by post to the Doctoral College with an original signature; or
    • Submit a reference on headed paper from the referee's institution / organisation, signed and dated by the referee.
    • We welcome references in other accessible formats such as audio files, braille and captured videos.
    • Reference must contain full contact details of the referee.

  • English Language - applicants who require to evidence their English language will need to produce an IELTS certificate (no older that 2 years) OR a copy of a degree from a majority English speaking country (dated within the last 5 years).  If using an IELTS certificate, you must evidence a minimum overall score of 6.5 with no less than 5.5 in each component.  We no longer accept TOEFL or TOEIC as proof of English language proficiency.  We do provide a free English examination for applicants and offer holders which can be used in place of an IELTS.  More information about the DMU Academic Test of English (DATE) can be found here.

  • Passport - scanned copy of your passport will need to be provided.  The copy will be of the picture page that shows your passport number and information of your nationality.

You will need to select a programme code when applying, a list of research degree programme codes can be found here. Please select the programme code closest to your research proposal.

Intake Dates

Intake                       Application Deadline
1 October 2020       3 August 2020
1 January 2021        3 November 2020
1 April 2021            1 February 2021

Please note: the DBA and MSc/MA by Research are only considered in line with our October intake.

Whilst we will endeavour to process applications received by the deadline in time for the entry point you have selected, this may not always be possible.

Applicants requiring a visa

To find out if you need a visa to study in the UK, please read the following advice and guidance here.

Please do not book any non-refundable travel until you have obtained a visa. Full-time overseas applicants must also make a pre-payment of 50% of the first year's programme fees in order to receive a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).

Applicants requiring an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

Students studying certain research programmes in the UK must gain ATAS clearance before applying for a visit to study the programme.  ATAS clearance is a scheme operated by the Foreign ad Commonwealth Office (FCO) to help stop the spread of knowledge and skills that could be used in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery.  Applications for ATAS clearance usually take around 20 working days to be processed.  This can be longer during busy periods, and you are encouraged to apply as soon as you have been issued your offer from DMU.

You will also need ATAS clearance if you are studying on the below programme codes: 



Programme Name


Programme   Name




Engineering and Industrial Mathematics


Biological Sciences


Electrical and Electronic Eng




Mechanical Engineering


Statistics and Operational Research


Energy and Sustainable Dev


Computer Science


Materials Science


Information Systems


Environmental Impact Assessment  


Textile Technology


Health Studies

To find out more about ATAS and how to apply, visit the FCO website. 

Please note: should you be made an unconditional offer, we are unable to enrol you until you have obtained a valid UK visa.  The process to obtain a visa can be lengthy.  Please bear this in mind when considering your proposed start date as any delay in obtaining a visa may mean a dealy or deferral of your registration.

What happens next?

  1. The Doctoral College will process your application which includes determining if a qualification check is required, and will then forward the form on to the relevant Faculty or International Admissions Office (IAO).
  2. The Doctoral College and International Admissions Office are responsible for sending out all correspondence relating to formal offers and acceptance, as well as sending information on accommodation, visa requirements and other important issues.
  3. If you are unconditionally accepted, an unconditional offer letter and information pack will be sent to you.
  4. If you are conditionally accepted, a conditional offer letter and information pack will be sent to you outlining the conditions you must fulfil before your offer of a place is confirmed.
  5. Once you have been unconditionally accepted you should contact the Doctoral College to arrange your registration.

If your application is not accepted, you will receive a letter from the university informing you of our decision.

For any queries regarding how to apply please contact us at the Doctoral College via:


Telephone: 0116 250 6309

In person: Room 3.30, Gateway House, Leicester, LE1 9BH


Events at DMU

At DMU there is always something to do or see, check out our events for yourself.

News target area image

DMU is a dynamic university, read about what we have been up to in our latest news section.

Mission and vision target area image
Mission and vision

Read about our mission and vision and how these create a supportive and exciting learning environment.