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This is what happens when you apply for a postgraduate degree

This is what happens when you apply for a postgraduate degree

by Anna Brown

The postgraduate application process differs a lot from the undergraduate one. So it's normal to feel uncertain about how to secure a place on a postgraduate degree. 

From making your application all the way to your induction, read our complete, step-by-step guide to applying for postgraduate study.


How do I apply for a Master's degree? 

Applying for a postgraduate degree is slightly different to an undergraduate one, in that you'll usually apply directly to your university of choice. 

Most institutions will have their own application system that lets you create an account, and work through your application online. Alternatively, you'll usually be able to download an application pack or request one by phone, which you can then use to apply via post.

In order to complete your application, you will need: 

  • a personal statement 
  • academic transcripts 
  • two or more references 
  • your CV

And, if required, you'll need to provide a portfolio for creative courses and/or a research proposal. If you're worried about meeting the entry requirements for your chosen postgraduate course, read our blog on whether you can do a Master's with a 2:2.

Each university will have its own deadlines to respond to applications, but it'll usually take between two weeks and two months to discover whether you've got a place. 

Read our blog on how to write a Master's personal statement.


What happens once I've applied for my Master's? 

Accepting your offer

Once you’ve submitted your application it’ll be considered by the Postgraduate Admissions Service. At Newcastle, we aim to get back to you about your application within 15 working days, but it can be longer, so don’t worry.

We’ll send you a formal letter by email outlining our admissions decision and if you secure an offer – whether it’s conditional or unconditional – and want to accept it, you’ll need to do this officially by logging on to our Applicant Portal.

You can accept your offer as soon as you decide to study with us, even if you haven’t got your funding in place, or still need to meet your offer conditions. You’ll also have to accept by any deadline shown in your offer letter.


Paying your deposit

If your course requires a deposit, you’ll need to pay this to secure your place. Although your deposit is usually non-refundable, it is deducted from your tuition fees when you register.

If you’re being sponsored, you should upload your formal sponsorship letter as soon as you receive it to your applicant portal account. You don’t need to pay a deposit if you’re able to provide proof of financial guarantee from a recognised sponsor.


Confirming your place

You’ll receive a ‘Confirmation of Place’ email once you’ve met the conditions of your offer and paid the deposit if this is required. You’ll also receive a ‘Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies’ (CAS) number if you need to apply for a visa to study in the UK.

You should receive your CAS statement about three months before your course starts, giving you plenty of time to apply for your visa.

Further guidance on accepting offers is available here, and if you’re an international student and need advice on applying for your visa, our Visa Support Team can help.


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Funding your studies

There are lots of different funding sources available for postgraduate students, depending on the degree you’re taking and whether you’re a UK or international student.

As well as bursaries, awards and sponsorships, eligible UK Master’s students can apply to the Student Loans Company for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan to help with course fees and living costs.

International students can also access full and partial tuition fee scholarships, as well as external funding from international loan schemes.

Our dedicated postgraduate funding website lists all of the funding sources in one place and is updated weekly. It’s also easy to use – simply enter some basic details about where you’re from and what subject you’re hoping to study, and the search will return the relevant funding sources.


Your new home

Finding the right accommodation is an important part of settling in to your new life as a postgraduate student. So, whether you’re looking for University managed or privately owned accommodation, we can help you find the perfect place for you.

As soon as you have an offer to study with us you can apply for our postgraduate accommodation. Our sites include beautiful converted Victorian terraces – right next door to our main library – welcoming halls, and stylish, contemporary flats. They’re also in great locations on campus or just minutes away and cater for a range of budgets.


Before you arrive

Most Master’s courses are full time, and take place from September to September. About six weeks before your course starts you should receive registration instructions by email, so you can register on line, saving you time when you get to University.

You’ll also need to pay your tuition fees as part of the registration process and you can find out more about our fees and how to pay them here.


Your arrival and induction

Once you’ve registered as a student and arrived at your accommodation, there’ll be time to explore the campus and meet your academic colleagues and fellow students before term begins.

You’ll complete an induction programme to help you settle in and find out more about the University, including our facilities, libraries, wellbeing services and IT support. And you’ll get the chance to attend your academic school and subject inductions, to get a feel for your new learning environment.

If you’re an international or EU student, you’ll be invited to take part in our International Welcome. This programme has been designed to help you adjust to your new life with us, meet new people and learn a bit more about your new home.

And if this is your first time in Newcastle, or even if you’ve lived here before, there’ll be time to explore the city, too, get involved in the Freshers’ and Welcome Week activities organised by our Students’ Union, have fun and make new friends.

We hope you’ve found this blog post useful. If you want to know more about studying for a Master's with us, why not chat to our current postgraduate students? And if you want more help and advice on applying for a Master's, check out our blog.

Discover Postgraduate Study at Newcastle