How to apply for your Postgraduate Research programme

Our On-Track online application form is easy to complete.

By applying online, you can save the form as many times as you like for up to 1 week before you submit it and track the progress of your application once it has been submitted. There are seven sections on the form that you need to complete before you can submit your application to the University. To start your application, please register and create a user name and password. To view your submitted application and track its progress, please log in to your account. Please keep a note of the user name (email address) and password you create in a secure location.

Please contact the Admissions Office by email if you have any problems using the On-Track online application system.

Candidates should only use On-Track if applying as a self-funded or externally funded applicant.

Details of Swansea University funded research programmes and bespoke application processes can be found at:

Self-funded or externally funded applicants should upload your research proposal or research synopsis as appropriate outlining your proposed topic of research and name(s) of proposed supervisor(s). Please note that yo ur application will have a far greater chance of success if you have discussed your proposed topic of research with a proposed supervisor(s) prior to submitting your application. The link below can guide you through how to formulate your proposal/synopsis and how to search for a proposed supervisor(s)

To avoid delay in processing your application, please submit the following (relevant) supporting documents with your application form:

1) Copies of all academic documentation including transcripts and certificates (including English Language qualifications for international students). If your qualification is pending, please upload a copy of your transcript to date or screen print from your University intranet account listing subjects and grades obtained to date.

2) If available, open references/letters of support. Alternatively please provide details of your nominated referees including full and correct email addresses so that the Admissions Office can contact them direct.

3) A copy of your resume/curriculum vitae if relevant to your application. This is compulsory if you are applying for a taught master's degree as a non-graduate candidate.

4) Personal statement. Candidates applying for a postgraduate taught master's programme must also complete a personal statement (maximum size of 1 page of A4). This will give you the opportunity to tell us something about yourself and why you want to study in Swansea and why this particular programme is of interest to you. This will help us decide whether you will be suited to a postgraduate course at Swansea University.

Important Information

The On-Track online application system is open for all* international and postgraduate courses *Please do not use On-Track to apply for a programme listed under our "Non-standard Application Processes"

What is the difference between a taught and research degree?

  • taught postgraduate degree is a structured degree of study consisting of a number of modules in specialist subjects which can prepare a student for a particular professional career.
  • Taught programmes are designed to develop knowledge in specialised subjects previously studied more generally.
  • A few Master's programmes act as "conversion courses", allowing students to change or develop their area of specialisation from that undertaken at undergraduate level.
  • Undertaking a taught receive will often involve attending lectures and seminars or possibly working in the lab if undertaking a science-based course.
  • Assessment is usually exam-based and through written assignments at the end of each module. To gain a Master's degree, students are often expected to complete a dissertation.
  • Taught degrees typically last 1 year full-time, or 3 years if studying part-time.
  • research degree provides students with the opportunity to research a specific area or topic in depth.
  • Research degrees are more focused on independent study.
  • Some research degrees do involve a taught element, particularly Master's by Research (including EngD) degrees.
  • Research students are provided with guidance and support by their supervisor and the facilities to conduct their research. Their research should result in a unique piece of work involving new knowledge in their chosen subject area.
  • Assessment is based upon a student's final thesis and an oral examination (viva-voce).
  • Research degrees vary in duration. MRes and Master's by Research degrees are typically pursued over 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time. PhDs last at least 3 years full-time, or 6 years part-time.

 How can I find out the research interests of academic staff at Swansea? 

  • Please use our Directory of Expertise below to search for academics working in your field. Search by generic keywords or subject areas - browse academic profiles to find the likeliest member of staff to be interested in your idea and then contact them directly.