This page covers some of the most frequently asked questions about our
modules. Please do not hesitate to contact
Marisa Bostock, the Postgraduate Research Administrator,
or a member of the academic staff in your proposed
A satisfactory level of competence in the English language - speaking,
listening, reading and writing - is essential for international students who
wish to undertake postgraduate studies in the UK.
Non-native speakers of English must provide proof of
ability in order to be accepted on a postgraduate module.
We accept the following qualifications:
TOEFL - 220 computer-based, 83 internet-based or higher
IELTS - 6.0 or higher Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English -
Grade C or higher
Certificate of Proficiency in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) awarded by
the University of Essex with an overall mark of 60% or higher
Please note that this is the absolute minimum requirement and students will
not be permitted to register for a postgraduate degree in the School of Computer
Science and Electronic Engineering without one of these English language
qualifications at or higher than the stated level.
Exceptions may be made only in a small number of cases, for example where a
student from overseas has obtained a Bachelor degree in the UK.
An offer of admission may be made to an international student who does not
have one of the required English qualifications, in which case the offer will be
conditional on obtaining one or on successful completion of a suitable pre-sessional
We cannot over-emphasise the importance of a
satisfactory command of English if students are to succeed in their postgraduate
studies and we therefore strongly recommend that all international students
consider enrolling for a pre-sessional English course run by the
University Skills Centre. We recommend the 15 or 10 week course for students
who have reached the minimum requirement, and the 10 or 5 week course for those
who have obtained a higher level.
You can find details of tuition fees for our courses on
living expenses per year for postgraduate students are between £8,500
The easiest way to apply is by submitting an
online application form and then mailing us your supporting documents.
All of the information you require at the application stage is available on
the University of Essex and School of Computer Science and Electronic
Engineering web pages which are regularly updated. However, should you wish to
be sent a postal application pack, you may request one via email using the
online enquiry form.
Please allow time for your request to be processed and your pack to reach you
(up to 10 working days for UK destinations, 2 - 3 weeks for overseas).
A range of options are available to provide either full or partial financial
support for students who are keen to pursue a research degree. For applicants
who qualify under EPSRC rules full Doctoral Training Account funding is
available to cover fees and stipend. For those who do not qualify i.e. overseas
applicants, support in the form of scholarships are offered both by the
University of Essex itself, and by the School of Computer Science and Electronic
Engineering. Scholarships will vary in amount depending upon circumstances
ranging from a few thousand pounds up to the full annual cost of fees and living
expenses. Candidates should be aware that all these forms of funding are
competitive. See also Funding.
We would be pleased to discuss research opportunities with students who are
studying an MSc with us at any time during their course. In the first instance,
you may wish to discuss this with your MSc project supervisor. We generally
require at least 60% in both your MSc project and the taught course aggregate in
order to offer you a place on our combined PhD/MPhil pathway.
To be eligible for postgraduate research you need to have a good UK Honours
degree (First or Upper Second) or overseas equivalent. A taught Master’s degree
is highly desirable. Non-native English speakers will also need an English
For full details please see the entry requirements for individual courses.
Please note that the Admissions Directors can only determine the eligibility
of international students by seeing a full academic transcript and academic
references. Regretfully, we are unable to comment on qualifications via email.
You will be sent an acknowledgement via email as soon as an online
application or a postal application has been received. Please allow enough time
for postal applications to arrive before contacting us as mail from outside the
UK can take several weeks to reach us.
Once all relevant supporting documents have been received, the papers are
passed to a Research Admissions Director who will determine eligibility and, if
necessary, request further information or documentation. They are then
circulated amongst academic staff who may be able to supervise the student in
his or her preferred research area. We aim to process research applications
within two weeks, although at certain peak periods it may take a little longer.
The Research Admissions Directors make recommendations to the Dean of the
Graduate School. Applicant files are then forwarded to the Graduate Admissions
Office which sends out formal offer letters. In addition, you should allow a
reasonable time for the postal service, in the UK and abroad, but if you have
not heard from us within 4 weeks of sending all requested documents, please
contact the Postgraduate Research Administrator.
In order to consider making an admissions offer, the Research Admissions
Directors need information about your background and previous qualifications and
experience. We therefore ask you to send us a CV, copies of degree transcripts
and two academic references from former tutors. You may also supply an
employer’s reference if relevant.
References should be sealed in an envelope which should then be signed on the
back by the referee. The referees may then pass the references to the applicant,
or alternatively mail them direct to us.
As well as determining whether you are suitably qualified to undertake a
research degree, the Research Admissions Director will need to "match" your
research interests with those of a member (or members) of staff in order to fine
a potential supervisor.
We therefore ask you to look at our Research web pages and let us know on the
application form which research group or project(s) reflect your own research
interests or which member or members of staff you are most interested in working
with and why. A brief description of your own proposed research topic is also
welcome. Applicants from outside the European Economic Area – please note that,
in order to comply with the Academic
Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS), a paragraph describing the project topic
must be included in an admissions offer letter. You are therefore requested to
provide a draft research proposal which the prospective supervisor will help
revise and refine for this purpose.
You may also send us anything else you think may be relevant to your
application (for example, professional or prize certificates), and in the case
of non-native English speakers an English language test score if you have one.
Occasionally mature students may have difficulty in finding a former lecturer
or tutor to write a reference for them. If this happens, you should ask your
former academic department to send a letter to the Postgraduate Research
Administrator confirming your attendance and the qualification you obtained, and
you should obtain two employers' references to submit with your application.
If you have a Master's Degree, you should normally supply one reference from
someone who taught you on your Bachelor Degree Studies and one from someone who
taught you on your Master's Degree Studies. Occasionally, we may ask for an
additional academic or an employer's reference.
The academic year for taught postgraduate students runs from October to
September; students on the Integrated PhD Programme may therefore commence their
studies in October only. Students on the MSc, MPhil and PhD by Research courses
may start at the beginning of any term, i.e. October (Autumn term), January
(Spring term) or April (Summer term).
See theTerm dates
Most of our Research students live in University-owned accommodation, mostly
on campus, a few close to the campus. There is also a lot of private
accommodation available within a reasonable distance of the University.
Overseas students who have accepted an offer of admission and have submitted
an accommodation application form together with a deposit by the deadline are
guaranteed University-owned accommodation for the for the first year of study.
Home and EU students are treated on a "first come, first served" basis and
should make sure that they apply in good time. University-owned accommodation
for students in subsequent study years is subject to availability. For more
information see the
Accommodation Web Pages.
The Graduate Admissions Office will send to all prospective students who have
provisionally accepted an offer of admission a “welcome pack” containing
registration papers, an accommodation application form and booklets which
provide all the information that you are likely to need before you come to
If you hold an unconditional offer, you will be asked to confirm acceptance
of your place by completing and returning the "confirmation of status/financial
guarantee form". Graduate Admissions will then confirm your place and send you a
confirmation letter (which overseas students may need to show to the UK visa
If you hold a conditional offer, you are asked to return the form together
with proof that you have fulfilled the condition, or conditions, as soon as this
Students registering for PhD via the Integrated Programme are strongly
encouraged to do some preparatory study before commencing the degree.
Recommended reading can be found in the description of the relevant
MSc degree course.
Students registering for MSc, MPhil or PhD by Research may wish to ask their
prospective supervisor to suggest some suitable reading material.