Follow our step by step guide below
Whether you'd like to join us through an MPhil or PhD research degree, the process is simple and outlined in the step by step guide below. In both cases we welcome project proposals that indicate a clear and strong alignment with one or more of our Research & Innovation programmes, be it in response to a specific doctoral project brief or as an original idea of your own.
To give you the best chance in your application, whether MPhil or PhD, we've split the process into the following three key stages, with a full breakdown of details in the subsections below.
01. Pre-application preparation
Read through this guidance, prepare your idea and ensure programme alignment:
a. Check entry requirements
b. Choose application route
c. Confirm strategic alignment
02. Expression of Interest submission
Tell us about your idea:
d. Download, complete & submit your Expression of Interest form
e. Meet assigned Director of Studies
f. Start thinking about funding
03. Formal application submission
Use the feedback given post your Expression of Interest submission to strengthen your formal application:
g. Prepare, complete and submit your formal application, in line with guidance below
a. Check entry requirements
Key dates for September 2022 entry
|Expression of Interest deadline||Application deadline||Interview period|
|3 December 2021||28 January 2022||Week commencing 14 March 2022|
Self-funded applications for 2022-23 can be accepted until Friday 27 May 2022.
The normal minimum entry requirement for a place on the Research Degree at Falmouth University is an upper second class honours (2:1) degree of a British university or recognised institution of higher education, or an equivalent qualification from an institution outside of the UK.
However, a master's degree in an appropriate subject is considered to be a particularly valuable preparation for the academic and intellectual demands of an MPhil or PhD. In some instances, applicants without the minimum academic requirement as outlined above may be considered for a place on the Research Degree if they can demonstrate appropriate alternative qualifications, relevant professional experience, or previous research.
If English is not your first language, you will normally need to demonstrate that you are suitably proficient in English before we can enrol you on the Research Degree. You can do this by providing evidence of one of the following:
- A recent Falmouth-approved English Language Test (ELT) score which meets the University's requirements for the Research Degree: either an IELTS minimum overall test result score of 7.0 with a 7.0 in writing and with no other component score lower than 6.0, or an equivalent test score.
- Recent completion of an MA level course of study (Distinction only) in a majority English-speaking country.
By 'recent' we mean that your English Language Test score or MA level qualification needs to have been awarded no more than two years prior to the date that you would first enrol in the Research Degree at Falmouth. We cannot normally accept evidence that is older than this.
You may submit an application for a place on the Research Degree before you have obtained your IELTS or equivalent test score, or before you have received your MA certificate, but if you are offered a place then you would need to provide evidence of having satisfied this condition before we can enrol you.
Each applicant is assessed on an individual basis and if you are offered a place on the Research Degree, then depending on your level of English language proficiency as demonstrated through your application form and interview, we will inform you whether we would require a new IELTS result before you can begin your PhD studies.
Please be aware that we can no longer accept TOEFL test results for this purpose.
Requirements for distance learning overseas online applicants
In addition to meeting the standard academic and language eligibility requirements, applicants to the distance learning overseas online mode need to demonstrate that they:
- Can successfully conduct their research with the resources available to them at their distance learning place of study
- Have access to appropriate IT facilities, so that they can engage in supervision and training from their distance learning place of study
- Have the necessary time, commitment and appropriate attitude toward distance learning online study
Students on this mode do not hold a Student Visa so cannot enter the UK for the purpose of study or access Falmouth University's physical resources or buildings. Distance learning students have access to online resources available to all PGR students.
b. Select route to application
There are two routes for MPhil or PhD application.
Applicants can either apply by:
a. Submitting a project idea of their own; or
b. Responding directly to a Falmouth Doctoral Project brief.
Whilst we've created our Doctoral Project briefs to emphasise our priority areas of research interest, reflecting our Research & Innovation programmes, themes and strategic aims, we welcome and encourage the submission of any original research project ideas that align with our programme objectives.
Check out our doctoral project briefs to find a project that you'd be passionate to explore, our browse through our Research & Innovation programmes to identify which best aligns with your original idea, in preparation for the submission of your Expression of Interest form.
c. Confirm strategic alignment
Successful project proposals must emphasise clear and explicit alignment with one or more of our Research & Innovation programmes. If you're responding to a Doctoral Project Brief an alignment to a research programme will already have been identified, but you'll need to make explicit your proposals alignment with that chosen programme. If you're proposing your own research project, you'll need to explore our Research & Innovation programmes to identify the programme which most strongly aligns with your proposal idea. In both cases, you'll need to familiarise yourself with the programme's purpose and objectives so that you can demonstrate a clear alignment with your expression of interest and formal application.
About our Research & Innovation programmes
Research & Innovation at Falmouth is guided by three overarching strategic themes which are then reflected, explored and focused by ten transdisciplinary programmes. All of our projects, including postgraduate research theses, must align with one or more of our strategic programmes so that, together, we may build knowledge, add value and drive impact through open innovation and real world solutions, in line with our strategic aims. More information about our overarching strategy can be found in our 2030 Strategy.
Explore our Research & Innovation programmes
d. Submit an Expression of Interest
What's an Expression of Interest?
Falmouth's expression of interest is a pre-application process where candidates who are interested in pursuing a research degree with us can introduce their ideas, and receive preliminary feedback, on a research proposal.
Download the form from the link below and send your completed expression of interest form to PGR@falmouth.ac.uk
Whilst the expression of interest process isn't compulsory, and candidates can choose to submit a formal application without completing an expression of interest first, we strongly recommend prospective applicants take advantage of the opportunity to submit their proposal for preliminary review so that they may have the opportunity to strengthen their proposal, where relevant, ahead of the formal application.
Post Submission Review
Once received, the completed expression of interest form is reviewed by subject specialist academics, where it is assessed for appropriate alignment to the research themes and programmes, potential supervision availability, potential resource needs and funding requirements. Feedback on the expression of interest is then communicated to the candidate via one meeting, phone call, or video call with the reviewer, who could be a potential Director of Studies or Co-Supervisor.
Each year there's an expression of interest deadline for applicants responding to Doctoral Project Briefs and applying for funded opportunities. This deadline is given as one of the key dates above in section a. Check entry requirements. Expressions of interest submitted later than the published deadline date cannot be guaranteed feedback ahead of the formal application deadline.
It's possible to submit an expression of interest after the published deadline if you're not applying for a funded opportunity and instead are working towards the later self-funded application deadline.
e. Speak to your potential Director of Studies
Following a successful expression of interest, an appropriate academic member of staff, who could be a potential Director of Studies (DoS), will be assigned to you as a point of contact. You'll then have the opportunity to arrange a telephone call, Skype, or face-to-face meeting to discuss your proposal. To be fair, in response to demand, this point of contact will be able to offer you one meeting at this stage.
f. Search for funding
Fund your research degree
We offer a range of options to help you fund your PhD or MPhil, including Falmouth Doctoral Studentships, discounted fees for Falmouth University alumni and an international and EU fee reduction scheme. Visit our Fund your research degree page to find information about different funding option.
Studentships are available to both UK and International students.
Applicants wishing to be considered for a Falmouth Doctoral Studentship may apply by submitting a project idea of their own or by responding to one of our Falmouth Doctoral Project briefs but should be advised that strong alignment with one or more of our research and innovation programmes is essential.
Whether responding to a project brief or submitting an idea of their own, applicants can compete for one of up to four fully-funded Falmouth Doctoral Studentships. Applicants should be aware that the doctoral briefs provided indicate our priority areas.
Studentships will be awarded on the basis of overall quality, as well as strategic alignment to our research themes / programmes.
Applicants may also be eligible for a Doctoral Loan, details of which can be found on our Doctoral Loans information page.
g. Submit formal application
Please ensure you read the Research Degree Proposal and Application Guidance Notes 2022-23 carefully when preparing your online application.
Formal applications are submitted via our online application form. Links to the online application forms are listed below by course mode of study.
If you'd like to join our Research Degree Opportunities mailing list for 2023 please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.