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Apply to study at Essex

Open days

Book a place at one of our open days to see for yourself what we offer. Academic and support staff will be available to answer your questions, while a campus tour with our current students allows you to view our facilities and accommodation.

If you would like more information about any of our courses before making your application, please email us.


If you don't meet the undergraduate entry requirements to study in our Department, our Essex Pathways Department offers pathways with extra language and subject support that will allow entry on to first year courses.


If you don't meet the entry requirements to study in our Department, our Essex Pathways Department offers pre-Masters courses with extra language and subject support.

  • Postgraduate Research (PhD) supporting documents

    If you are applying to study for one of our doctoral research programmes you will need to supply the following documentation:

    • Outline research proposal (2,000-3,000 words);
    • Two academic references on the headed paper of the institution (sealed, stamped and signed envelopes or sent directly from the referee as a scanned PDF using the institutional email account); and
    • Degree transcript and certificate (scanned PDF copies can be sent via email).

    As part of the application process, applicants to whom the department is likely to make an offer will also be interviewed. The purpose of the interview is to further examine the applicant’s qualifications for a postgraduate research degree. If interviewees are unable to attend for a face to face interview, interviews will normally be carried out by telephone or over the Internet (e.g. a voice over Internet service such as Skype or similar), e.g. for home candidates living some distance away and for overseas applicants. The interview will be conducted by the PGR Recruitment Officer of the Department and will last for about 15 minutes.

    Please note that minimum entry requirement is the result of an average of 65 in a Masters degree in the social sciences.

  • Guidance for writing a research proposal

    A research proposal should set out:

    • the question(s) that you intend to ask
    • how you intend to go about answering them
    • how to tell whether an adequate answer has been found
    • the steps you intend to take along the way to the answer

    Your proposal should also mention the principal literatures you will be drawing on. Sources should be mentioned and potential difficulties with obtaining them assessed. The method(s) used should be explained in reasonable detail. A list of chapters with brief outlines of expected content and a timetable for the completion of chapters should be included.

    It is particularly important that you go beyond the identification of a research topic and specify one or more concrete research questions. Over the course of the first year of your PhD, you may find that your research question evolves, as does your research design. The question(s) and theoretical approaches you specify in your proposal are not intended to not bind you; rather they are designed to help you think through your PhD project.

    Likewise it may be that the methods you identify in your proposal need to be supplemented or revised when you undertake your substantive research. Nevertheless, it is important at this point that you think through in some detail a methodological strategy for answering the research question(s) you have specified.

    There are research traditions in which an important centre of attention is reflective questioning of your own research methods and critical appraisal of standards of judgement. Research seldom in practice produces closed answers to questions, and some would say that is should not aim to do so. It is not difficult to accommodate these views within a research plan that focuses on a question, method, epistemology approach.