Before you make your application, we strongly encourage you to make contact with a potential supervisor to discuss your application. You can find a list of academic staff together with details of their research interests on the staff webpages. You should email a potential supervisor directly with details of your proposed project, to ask whether they are able to supervise the project. If you are not sure who to contact, you can email the Director of Graduate Studies for advice. Your potential supervisor will then be able to offer you advice on your research proposal and help with funding applications.
The best method for making contact is by emailing your proposal with an introductory letter and project summary to your potential supervisor(s). Please note that an expression of interest from a supervisor, or even their involvement in refining your proposal, is not a guarantee that your application will be successful—particularly if your submitted proposal is not up to scratch. One of the primary reasons for unsuccessful applications is an inadequately specified research proposal which does not go far enough in convincing potential supervisors that the applicant has it within them to write a successful PhD. In order to get your prospective supervisor(s) to say ‘yes’, you really do have to submit an excellent proposal!
Your potential supervisor will then be able to offer you advice on your research proposal and help with funding applications. Please note that if the department does not have a member of staff in your specialist area, or if all academics in your area are currently at full supervisory capacity, we will not be able to make an offer no matter the quality of your application as a whole.