Whether you'd like to join us to 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. Chose 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
The application deadline for a September 2020 entry has now passed. However you may complete and submit an Expression of Interest at any time of the year for our consideration, and in preparation for entry in September 2021.
Further details for September 2021 application deadlines will be announced in autumn 2020.
Key dates for September 2020 entry
|Expression of Interest deadline||Application deadline||Interview period|
|21 February 2020||23 March 2020 (by 17:00 GTM)||13 - 15 May 2020|
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.
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. Explore our ten Research & Innovation programmes to identify the programme which most strongly aligns with your proposal idea, then familiarise yourself with the programme's purpose and objectives so that you can demonstrate a clear alignment within 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
Creative Industries FuturesLead: Dr Laura Hodsdon
Our projects explore dynamic and innovative routes to social, cultural and economic impact through the future creative industries.
Dark EconomiesLead: Dr Ruth Heholt
This programme explores the story-worlds we create to express our fears and anxieties through representations and fictions about death,...
Design for Health and WellbeingLead: Anna Mankee-Williams
The Design for Health and Wellbeing programme is seeking to stimulate research and innovation that can contribute to addressing the global...
Digital CreativityLead: Professor Tanya Krzywinska
We explore innovative applications of game and interface design innovations within sectors spanning health and heritage.
Digital Entrepreneurship and Financial InnovationLead: Adrian Bossey
Working with a wide range of industry and business partners, our projects explore the role of creativity in driving both entrepreneurship...
Inequality & StorytellingLead: Professor Chris Morris
Our researchers and practitioners assault bias, discrimination, indifference, injustice and marginalisation through the power of...
Environmental FuturesLead: Dr Danielle Barrios-O'Neill
Research in this programme has produced exciting applications in areas such as agri-tech, aquaculture, tourism and mental health, suited to...
MetamakersLead: Professor Tanya Krzywinska
The Metamakers Institute undertakes computational creativity research with the aim of stimulating economic development by making software a...
Multigenerational Living & LearningLead: Professor Paul Springer
This programme investigates multigenerational living and care models, technologies for adult social care and resultant learning...
Pedagogy FuturesLead: Dr Neil Fox
This programme addresses themes from staff wellbeing and industry engagement to the future of teaching and learning in higher education.
d. Submit an Expression of Interest
Please note that we advise you submit your Expressions of Interest at least 5 weeks before the Formal Application deadline, for the year you'd like to attend, so that we may provide you with a response and feedback in time for your Formal Application to be submitted, where applicable.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
|Expression of Interest for a Research Degree (51.75 KB)|
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 the Research Degrees Committee, where it is assessed for appropriate alignment to the research themes and programmes, potential supervision availability, potential resource needs, and funding requirements. The outcome of the expression of interest is then communicated to the candidate following the meeting. If it is a positive outcome, then the committee will also nominate an appropriate academic member of staff as a point of contact to provide feedback on the proposal.
An expression of interest can be submitted at any point during the academic year, however, where candidates are hoping to start their studies in the September of the year they are submitting an expression of interest, we advise submitting no later than February of that same year. Expressions of interest submitted any later than February cannot be guaranteed to receive feedback ahead of that year's formal 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
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
Details of how to apply for September 2021 entry will be added to the website in autumn 2020. Expressions of Interest are welcomed at any time.