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Applying to UEL

When you apply for postgraduate study at UEL, we’ll give you all the support you need – from advice about fees and funding to guidance from tutors on specific course requirements. Whether you’re a recent graduate, a mature student or an international student, we’ll make your journey as smooth as possible.

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Congratulations for choosing for the University of East London for your postgraduate study.

Our knowledgeable advisors can you take you through every step of your application – including advice on qualifications, portfolio requirements, interviews and tests.

They can also advise you on postgraduate fees, and how our offer process works.

Choose the right postgraduate course

Contact our Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) team to discuss your options

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Applying for a postgraduate course

Find out what qualifications or experience your course requires and how to apply.

    Before you apply, take a look at our website for information on the courses or research areas you’re interested in.

    Postgraduate applicants should usually have either a first or second-class bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree from a UK university.

    You can still be considered if you have other qualifications, or relevant research or work experience, but you must supply two academic referees.

    If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence of your competence – for example, IELTS Academic English.

    Qualifications and experience

    Applications for postgraduate courses or research should be made online through the relevant UEL course page.

    You will need a valid email address and a username of your choosing to access our system. You can use these details to return to your application as many times as you want until you’re sure it’s ready to submit.

    You can also track the progress of your application, once submitted. If you are unable to apply online, contact our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0)20 8223 3333 or email study@uel.ac.uk

    If your application included a postal address, check your post regularly and be sure to respond on time, otherwise your application may be cancelled.

    Apply online

    If you are already a UEL student, you can use our UEL Direct web portal to apply for a postgraduate course at certain times of year – normally outside peak periods for enrolment. You'll be able to apply when a course link button appears on the portal.

    Use your unique UEL Direct account to check or update personal data, access study information or enrol for a course.

    Once enrolled, you can keep track of your application and other details such as records of fee payments.

    UEL Direct is also a communications service. By using the notice board, you can access important messages from us such as information requests connected with your application.

    Using UEL Direct

    Interviews, tests, portfolios and auditions

    Certain postgraduate courses may require you to attend an interview with academic staff. Some course tutors interview all applicants while others ask candidates to attend if they feel their application form did not provide enough information to make a decision.

    Interviews may also form part of a portfolio or audition-based assessment, or for courses where we wish to consider your previous career or life experiences as well as formal qualifications.

    At interview, you will be asked questions about the subject you are applying for, but it is also a chance to discuss your work experience and other interests. We’re looking for evidence of real interest in your chosen subject and we want to be certain that you have the ability and enthusiasm to complete the course successfully.

    Postgraduate courses which always involve interviews include architecture, psychology and fine art. Check the course entry requirements carefully to see if an interview is needed.

    You may be asked to take a test as part of your application. Details of these will vary depending on the course you have applied for, so you should check the course entry requirements in each case.

    You should keep checking your email account – including bulk and junk folders – for any invitations or messages concerning tests. If you don’t respond within the specified time, we will cancel your application. Due to high demand, it may not always be possible to reinstate it at a later date.

    International students may be asked to provide evidence of postgraduate or professional-level proficiency in English such as the International English Language Testing Scheme (IELTS) or equivalent.

    For some of our courses, we’ll ask you to provide a portfolio so we can assess your suitability to join the course. You should check the requirements carefully for each course before applying to see if a portfolio forms part of the application process, and what it should contain.

    Examples of postgraduate courses needing portfolios include architecture and fine art. Once you have submitted your portfolio, you'll usually be asked to attend an interview with course tutors to discuss it.

    You may need to do an audition as part of your application for postgraduate courses in the performing arts.

    Auditions can include prepared individual performances, practical workshop sessions with other candidates, readings, group discussions and an individual interview. Check the relevant course page for more information.

    Accepting your offer


      As soon as we receive your application, we will:
      • send you an acknowledgement 
      • make a decision within ten working days for postgraduate courses where entry is based on standard qualifications, rather than interviews or portfolios.
      Check your email inbox regularly for any updates. If you do not respond by the date we give you, we’ll assume you’re not interested in studying at UEL and will cancel your application.

      Contact our Applicant Enquiries team at +44 (0)20 8223 3333 or by emailing study@uel.ac.uk.

      Processing your application

      You can accept your offer from UEL by replying to our offer email.

      As soon as you have paid us 50 per cent of your course tuition fees, we’ll send you an offer email, including an online Student Reply Form (SRF).

      The email will explain how to fill in the form and return it to us. Once you have done this, you have officially accepted your offer to study at UEL.

      How to accept your offer

      Understanding our decision

      There are five possible outcomes to your postgraduate application. If you receive an offer, you will need to accept your place before the specificied deadline.

      This means that, based on the information you provided in your application and/or interview, we believe you’re already academically qualified or have proved your academic and personal suitability for the course. Please note that you’ll be required to provide evidence of qualifications detailed in your application before you enrol.

      If you have declared a relevant criminal conviction, or applied to a course involving contact with children or vulnerable adults, we will ask for further information to assess your suitability for enrolment.

      Based on the information you provided in your application and/or interview, you will be academically qualified for the course providing you satisfy the conditions set out in the offer. Your offer conditions may include:

      • achieving minimum specified grades in qualifications you’re taking or for which you have not yet received results;
      • meeting our minimum English language requirements;
      • completing a minimum period of relevant work experience.

      Once you have provided evidence that you have met the conditions, your offer will become unconditional.

      If you have declared a relevant criminal conviction, or applied to a course involving contact with children or vulnerable adults, we will ask for further information to assess your suitability for enrolment.

      We may make you a conditional or unconditional offer for a different course to the one you applied for. This may be because the one you applied for is full or because you were not eligible for your original choice on the grounds of entry requirements.

      If you have applied for a research degree, we may offer you a place on our Master’s in Research course to ensure you have the right skills to complete the degree.

      If you don’t respond to a request for an interview/test/portfolio or fail to attend an interview or test without prior notification, we will assume that you have decided not to study at the University of East London.

      In such a situation, we’ll withdraw your application without making a decision on your academic suitability for the course.

      To avoid this, please let us know if you’re unable to fulfil an application requirement and we will do our best to accommodate this.

      If we feel that you are unsuitable for study at the University of East London and unlikely to complete a postgraduate qualification with us successfully, we will record your application as unsuccessful.

      We will already have considered you for other degrees or a foundation year but believe you need additional qualifications or skills not provided by UEL to successfully complete a degree.

      This is not to say that we would not welcome an application from you in the future. To find out more about possible ways into degree study, please contact our Information Advice and Guidance team. One of our advisors will be happy to advise you on study outside UEL.

      Further checks for course applications

      You should check your course requirements to see if you need to provide any extra information – such as a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

      Marie Braithwaite
      BSc (Hons) Architecture

      I chose UEL for my postgraduate course because I responded to a call for applications from the university’s Centre on Human Rights in Conflict - an area in which I had a keen interest.

      I applied for an MPhil/PhD by research. I received support from the Administrator of the School of Business and Law, who ensured all my documentation was in order and that I had followed all necessary procedures for enrolment. I received a partial scholarship for tuition, and an annual stipend for maintenance.

      You may also be interested in

      • Studying at UEL

      • Fees and funding

      • Applying to UEL