How to apply

If you have any queries, please see the FAQs in the first instance. If these do not answer your question, please email

The admissions process

The North of England Consortium uses a simple single applications process, using the same form and selection process for both the funded studentships and places on the doctoral programme. The subsequent allocation of successful candidates to individual institutions is decided on the basis of appropriate match of the student’s research proposal to the institution and lead supervisor.

Stage 1: Application

Applicants apply by the advertised deadline by completing the form and sending it together with scanned copies of their relevant qualifications to Applicants must also contact two referees who should send their references direct to by the same deadline as the application form.

Stage 2: Selection

Applications are graded by the Consortium’s Admissions Board according to its criteria and shortlisted candidates are invited for interview by a panel of academic staff from Consortium member institutions.

Stage 3 Outcome

Applicants will be notified by Hull Graduate School, on behalf of the Consortium, with one of three possible decisions:

  1. An applicant is offered a place on the doctoral programme and a NECAH studentship
  1. An applicant is offered a place on the doctoral programme
  1. Application rejected

Owing to the volume of applications received, it is not possible to provide feedback on applications that are not shortlisted.  Candidates who are unsuccessful at interview will be provided with written feedback.


NECAH studentships are open to Home and EU applicants only, and can be held for either full time or part time study. Other applicants are welcome to apply for places on the programme on a self-funded basis. Please see the FAQs for further information on eligibility.

Assessment criteria

1. Academic Quality

The Admissions Board is looking for evidence of applicants’ potential to complete a doctoral programme successfully. They will consider applicants’ past academic achievements in terms of quality and appropriateness as preparation for the proposed field of research, as well as applicants’ research and presentation skills as evidenced by the application and interview. They will also consider referees’ evaluations of applicants’ abilities and their prediction of likely grades where these are still pending.

2. Research Proposal

Applicants will be assessed according to their ability to articulate a clear and concise research proposal. The Admissions Board is looking for awareness of the topic’s potential and significance both within and outside academia, evidence of a coherent plan for completing the project within the timeframe of the programme (full or part-time), and an awareness of how the topic relates to wider research in the field. In particular, the Board will look for evidence that the proposed research has the potential to constitute an original contribution to knowledge.  Please stick closely to the word limits set out on the application form.  You are welcome to provide samples of prior work in support of an application.  Please indicate this in the appropriate box on the application form. Ideally supporting documentation should be provided as a link to content available online, but if this is not possible please email it along with your application form.  Please do not, however, use this box to append additional material to the research proposal, which should be confined within the box provided on the application form.

3. Professional Development

The Admissions Board is looking for evidence that applicants are equipped to develop as researchers and that they are able to relate their research to professional and career goals. Their assessment will consider how applicants’ educational and (where appropriate) professional development has prepared them for doctoral study, as well as their ability to relate their qualifications, expertise and proposed research to their career plans. Where appropriate, referees’ comments on past professional development will be considered.

4. Fit with Support and Resources

The Admissions Board will need to judge how far the proposed research fits within the Consortium’s strategic remit, as well as determining that the student can be supported and supervised by the Consortium members.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to make full use of the information provided by the Consortium and its members on their websites and other material, and to contact relevant staff for advice before completing their application.


Applications should be supported by two references. Referees are asked to comment on applicants’ potential to complete the proposed programme successfully, on research and writing skills, on ability to work independently, and on any relevant professional experience the applicant may have.

Please note, referees should email their references to by the same deadline as for the application itself.


Copies of degree certificates and other qualifications may be submitted in pdf or any image format (e.g. jpeg, gif, tiff).  Please resize images so that no file is larger than 1mb.


  • Complete all sections of the application form
  • Save the form in the format: surname-initial.application.doc (or pdf, or docx)
  • Scan certificates, resize if necessary and save as: surname-initial.cert.pdf (or jpeg)
  • Email form and certificates to
  • Contact two referees to send references direct to

Download the application form

NECAH app form August 2015

[note: the date refers to the last revision of the form]