Applying for a PhD

a PORT for Modern Languages tutorial

1 PhD Application

1.1 Timing your application

Timing the application process

Time plays a key role in all applications, including PhD ones. Places are not assigned on a 'first come first served' basis, but the sooner your application is submitted, the longer the assessors will have to look at it and the longer you will have to address any problems.

Deadlines: The first step is therefore to check all deadlines. Deadlines, I repeat, not deadline, since applications often have different deadlines for their different elements. Different deadlines are, for example, common for registration and for grants aimed at covering the fees of registration themselves. Moreover, many departments ask for documents or official copies which require several days to be issued: this means that your real deadlines are not the ones indicated in your application form, but the deadlines dictated by the collection of all the documents that you have to attach to it. Since the deadlines that you have to meet are so many, and often so different, you may find it useful to draw up a special timetable combining your official deadlines with the deadlines dictated by the offices that issue the documents that you have to produce.

Click here for: Illustrative table [This link will be updated soon]

Remember to pay even more attention to the deadlines if you are not a British passport holder, because sometimes international applicants have to observe special deadlines for enrolments as well as for grants and any other applications.

Dispatching your application:
If you decide to send your application by mail, resort to a registered letter with a receipt for delivery so that, in case of dispute, you can prove that your form was delivered by the deadline. Likewise, if you are given the opportunity to apply online, remember to press 'submit' as soon as you complete your virtual form. After the submission, online applying systems usually offer the possibility to print a 'confirmation page'. If your online application form does not provide this, we suggest you send an e-mail to the postgraduate registrar's division or to the postgraduate secretaries, so that they can reply to your email address and confirm receipt of your application.