How to apply for postgraduate study

Many postgraduate courses can be completed either via full-time, part-time or in some instances via Distance Learning study. Studying via part-time or Distance Learning is ideal for fitting your postgraduate studies around your life and other commitments.

We have three intakes a year for Postgraduate study, these are October, February, and June. Please refer to your specific course information page to see when your programme is due to start.

There are various options to apply for postgraduate courses with us, depending on what and how you would like to study:

If you would like to check the status of your application at any point, please visit our application portal.

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Postgraduate study Application Process

This guidance is informed by the Admission Policy, Admissions Guidance and Special Admissions Policy.

International Applicants should also refer to the How to apply page for International students for specific guidance for International applicants.

  • Initial enquiries should be directed to Course Enquiries team or the Admissions Office, who can provide details on how to apply and Course information.

  • At the University of Northampton, we offer a number of PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) courses. When making your PGCE application, this should be done through UCAS.

  • If you are interested in pursuing a taught postgraduate programme such as a Master’s then a completed application must be made online for all programmes. Additional documentation may be required to accompany the application, these are listed below.

    Entry points are fixed for full programmes: September/October, January/February, and May/June, as stated on the course web pages. It is recommended that applicants apply as early as possible for their chosen programme, and at least one month prior to the course start date, to avoid disappointment in joining their specific programme. In certain circumstances, courses that are particularly popular may close to applications at an earlier stage or have a set closing date, so no guarantee is made that you will be able to join a specific intake. Please refer to your chosen course page for any specific application closing dates.

    You also do not need to wait until you have your undergraduate degree certificate before applying as we are able to make conditional offers to applicants.  However, please make sure you list your qualifications clearly within your application.

    You will need to submit the following documents with your application, so it is advisable that you have these documents ready before making your application:

    • Personal Statement: This is your opportunity to shine and make your case for joining the programme, we recommend including some of the following information:
      • Relevance of their degree
      • Knowledge and awareness of the subject area
      • State your reasons and/or motivation for studying the programme
      • State their reasons and/or motivation for studying at Master’s/ Level 7 study
      • Mention any relevant work or voluntary experience

    Some programmes ask for specific information to be included within your personal statement, please refer to the course page for this information.

    • photocopies or scans of your qualifications, such as your undergraduate degree certificate and transcript and any professional qualifications you may hold, if you have them
    • change of name document, if your application and certificates are in different names
    • Passport (or a Driving Licence is acceptable if you are a UK National)
    • evidence of English language ability (where English is not your first language)
    • References: Some programmes will require one reference, and some may require two or more. It is your responsibility to obtain your references. We cannot accept references from the Admissions tutor of the programme you will joining as that would pose a conflict of interest. Whilst we do recommend that in the first instance your referees should either be academic or from an employer. In some circumstances we do also accept personal references from anyone who is not a family member. Please refer to the course information page for specific Reference requirements. If you require a reference form, they can be found on the additional document page listed below.

    You can find information and the documents to download on the PG and CPD additional documents and interview information page.

  • We’re committed to providing a study and work environment that is led by our values of equality, diversity, and inclusion in higher education. You can read about our commitment to equal opportunities.

    We encourage postgraduate applications from all sections of the community, regardless of:

    • sex
    • marital status
    • age
    • responsibility for dependents
    • socio-economic status
    • race
    • colour
    • ethnic or national origin
    • sexual orientation, or
    • disability.
  • We work hard to ensure that, as far as possible, students with disabilities are able to study successfully with us.

    If you have additional needs for your postgraduate study, we advise that you contact the Additional Student Support and Inclusion Services Team (ASSIST) or course tutor as early as possible. You can discuss your needs and visit the University to assess the facilities if necessary.

  • Our Applicant with Criminal Convictions Policy details how we handle our applicants who have criminal convictions. This includes:

    • Which applicants need to declare criminal conviction(s)
    • What happens if you are applying for a DBS programme and declare a criminal conviction(s)
    • How we assess DBS check outcomes and self-declaration of criminal conviction(s)

    The below also provides additional information on what you may need to consider if you are making a postgraduate application and have a criminal conviction(s).

    Non-DBS Programmes

    If you are applying for a Non-DBS Programme (e.g. the programme does not require you to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check) and have a criminal conviction:

    • You will not need to declare any criminal convictions during the admissions/application process
    • You may be required to declare criminal convictions during other processes (e.g. accommodation application). However, this falls outside of the admissions process
    • You must do your own research to determine whether your criminal conviction may prevent you working in your chosen profession. This might include contacting relevant professional bodies, regulatory authorities or accreditation bodies

    We encourage you to contact us on if there is anything about your conviction/ licence/probation rules etc which we may need to take into account. We won’t need to know the details of your conviction. However, we might need to know the rules or requirements surrounding your conviction/license/probation. This is so we can consider whether we can make reasonable adjustments so that you can study with us. This may include (but is not limited to):

    • You can only attend on certain days/times due to release or probation requirements/rules
    • You are not permitted to access certain resources or the internet
    DBS Programmes

    If you are applying for a DBS course (e.g. the programme requires you to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check) and you have a criminal conviction:

    • You will need to declare yes on your application (UCAS or Direct Application) if you have a criminal conviction which would appear on an enhanced DBS check. If you answer yes, we will send you a letter detailing how we will handle your declaration
    • If you receive an offer from us and make us your FIRM choice, we will contact you to complete a DBS check prior to enrolment. Upon receipt of your DBS outcome (or if we ask you to self-declare e.g. due to a late application), a Criminal Convictions Panel will make an assessment of your criminal conviction(s) and whether you can study with us

    We also advise that:

    • You must do your own research to determine whether your criminal conviction may prevent you working in your chosen profession. This might include contacting relevant professional bodies, regulatory authorities or accreditation bodies
    • You may be required to declare criminal convictions during other processes (e.g. accommodation application) however this falls outside of the admissions process
    Additional information about your university application

    If you need additional support or information then you may wish to consider contacting Unlock or Nacro. They will provide support and information for individuals with criminal convictions.

  • Once an application is received, the Admissions team will make necessary registry checks including checking whether minimum entry requirements have been met. The postgraduate entry requirements vary so please check individual courses for details.

    Where the candidate’s first language is not English, evidence of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) must be presented.

    Generally for Master’s degrees (Level 7) study we require the following: IELTS 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in each other band (or equivalent)

    Please be aware that some courses, such as, MSc Advance Occupational Therapy etc, have specific English language requirements (normally IELTS). Where this is the case, it will be shown under the English language requirements on our course pages.

    English Language requirements must be met prior to joining the programme.

    In addition to Qualification checks, there may be additional non-academic based entry requirements you will be asked to adhere to depending on the programme you wish to join.

    Any subsequent offer of a place on a Postgraduate programme is subject to provision of evidence of qualifications, English language scores, NMC/ HCPC PIN proof (if relevant) and any outstanding conditions of offer. These must be provided to the Admissions Office prior to enrolment.

    If you do not meet the Postgraduate entry requirements

    We would still welcome an application from you. We welcome postgraduate applications from everyone, and we know that relevant experience is just as valuable as qualifications. Whether experience is from your work, voluntary activities, or independent study we still want to hear from you.

  • Some of our postgraduate programmes require applicants to attend an interview as part of the application process. If your programme requires you to attend an interview, then this will be specified in the entry requirement section of your course page.

    Interviews may be group or individual based. Some programmes require applicants to carry out interview tasks or submit portfolios of work prior to the interview day. Depending on your programme, your interview will either be carried out virtually or face-to-face on our Waterside Campus.

    You can find information and the documents to download on the PG and CPD additional documents and interview information page.

  • If all entry requirements have been met, the Admissions Office will make a formal offer to the student in writing, including links to the relevant Admissions policies. Candidates will be asked to confirm their understanding and acceptance of their place. Failing to accept your offer may result in you missing out on further information from the University.

    If the candidate has been unsuccessful at this stage, the Admissions Office will formally advise the student that they have been unsuccessful in writing.

  • The University’s APL Policy shall apply to students wishing to use relevant previous study to allow for possible Module exemption.

  • Once an applicant has accepted their offer and provided proof of qualifications, English language scores and met any other conditions, they will be eligible to enrol. At this stage, fees will become payable. Please contact our Finance Office at, regarding any fee related enquiries.

    The Admissions Office is responsible for inviting students to complete Pre-enrolment. This must be completed for a student to enrol at the University.

    Applicants will also be invited to book onto a relevant enrolment session and will be sent webpage links setting out the induction programme. It is worth noting that some programmes to do not allow students to enrol late, therefore you should always try to make your specific enrolment session or enrol at Welcome Weekend.  Courses which do not allow late enrolment will state this within the entry requirements of their course information page.

    Applicants who are Unconditional or Unconditional Firm are eligible to attend enrolment. Applicants at other stages of the application process or Enquirers who are yet to make an application may be turned away from Enrolment and Induction.

    Enrolment is overseen by the Student Information Team. Induction programmes are the responsibility of the Programme Leader and the Faculty Manager, these can be found on the New Student pages.

Further information about your postgraduate application

We recommend that all applicants submit their applications as soon as possible and ideally at least a month prior to joining their chosen programme to avoid disappointment in starting your course. Please note that some popular courses may fill up earlier than this so we cannot guarantee you will be able to start on any given intake.

After you have applied, you can use the Applicant Portal to review the status of your application, update your contact Information, complete and review Admissions tasks sent to you by the Admissions office, and accept offers and Interview invites, if applicable.

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For more information on postgraduate study, please email: If you would like more information about applying for a course at the University of Northampton, please email the enquiries team: Alternatively, you can phone them on 0300 303 2772.

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