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Postgraduate Study - PhD and Research Degrees

After you apply

Once you have an offer

If you have been offered a place at Exeter, you will have received an offer email and a formal offer letter. Your offer letter will include information on your programme of study, tuition fees, deposits, your start date and any academic/non-academic conditions you may need to satisfy. Please read the letter carefully, as it will contain all of the information you will need to make your decision regarding your offer.

Your offer will be either Conditional or Unconditional:

  • Conditional means that you have not yet satisfied our academic, English language or any other entry requirements. Details of our offer conditions and how you can satisfy these requirements will be given in your offer letter.
  • Unconditional means that you satisfy all our academic, English language or other conditions.

As Exeter is a popular university, to secure your place you need to respond to your offer in writing either by the deadline specified in your offer letter or within three months of the date on which the offer was sent to you if a deadline is not specified in your offer letter. You can accept your offer using the online gateway. If we have not heard from you within the three month deadline or by the official start date of your programme, whichever is earlier, we reserve the right to withdraw your application.  

To accept and secure your place

If you have an offer for a full-time taught postgraduate programme you will need to pay your deposit to secure your place. You should pay your deposit by the deadline even if you have not yet met all the conditions of your offer.

If you have an offer for a part-time or research degree, you should contact us to confirm acceptance. Remember to include your full name, Exeter Reference Number and programme title in your reply.

Our deadline for meeting all the conditions of your offer is normally 31 August if you are applying for entry in September. (This date is particularly important for international students due to visa application deadlines). This means that you will need to supply the required documentation demonstrating that you have met any outstanding conditions in terms of academic requirements, English language and/or references as detailed in your offer letter or inform us by 31 August what conditions you have still to meet and the date by which you expect to be able to meet them. 

If we do not hear from you by the deadline date for meeting the conditions of your offer we reserve the right to either withdraw or defer your application to the following year.

In order to receive a formal Unconditional offer letter, or, for international students to be allocated with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies which will enable you to apply for a General (Adult) Student Tier 4 visa (if applicable) you will need to:

1. Meet your academic conditions by providing copies of degree certificates, transcripts and references as explained in your Conditional offer letter.

2. Demonstrate that you have reached the required standard of English language competence by providing an English language test certificate of results which meet the scores specified in your Conditional offer letter.

Certificates and transcripts 

Please send scanned or certified copies of certificates, transcripts and/or English language qualifications and not the originals; however, in order to apply for a UK student visa and register at the start of your programme you will need to produce your original certificates and transcripts, including certified translation if they are not in English. If you do post original documents to us you will need to notify the University within three months if you wish them to be returned to you.

Please note that if you require a student visa, you will not automatically be sent an Unconditional offer letter. If you require an Unconditional offer letter please contact the International Admissions team using our online enquiry form to request one (please ensure you quote your full name, Exeter Reference Number and programme of study in any correspondence). 

3. Complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS formerly Criminal Records Bureau) Enhanced check if required. Information will be included in your offer letter if this applies to you. Please note that we will require the original copy of your DBS check certificate before you can be considered to have completed this condition and allowed to register with the University.

If you are posting your documents to the Admissions Office, please complete a cover sheet including your Exeter Reference Number.

We may require you to attend an interview before we issue you with your CAS.   If you are required to attend an interview, we will send you an email with details of the time and date and joining instructions.  The meeting will take place via Microsoft Teams.

Requests for deferral will be considered on a case by case basis.

Applicants wishing to defer will need to put their request in writing to (please ensure you quote your Exeter Reference Number – which can be found on the top of your original offer email). We aim to notify applicants of an outcome within 10 working days (please note, that for research applicants the timeframe may be longer as we will need to check supervisors' availability).

Applicants are only permitted to defer entry once. Subsequent to this, a new application will be required which will be considered in line with others applying for entry in that year.

Deadline for requesting a deferral

Start date Deadline
Programmes commencing in September 30 September
All other start dates Within four weeks of the start date of your programme

Applicants who do not request a deferral within this timeframe will be required to reapply, as your original application and documentation will not be retained.

Frequently asked questions

If your department has informed you that an offer will be made, an offer letter will be sent to you as soon as possible by the Admissions Office. It is not necessary to contact us, as it is likely that the offer will be on its way to you. However, if you have not received your offer within two weeks of being notified by your department, you may wish to contact the Admissions Office. Please include the title of the programme that you have applied for and your Exeter Reference Number in all correspondence with the Admissions Office.

Contact us stating your Exeter Reference Number, programme and full name, and confirm you wish to accept the place that has been offered you.

You must check with the College if they will allow you to change. If they are happy with this they will contact the Admissions Office, and a new offer letter will be sent to you. Please be aware that if you are an International student, due to visa regulations, you will not be permitted to study part-time.

It will be likely you are going to be working with vulnerable adults or children whilst studying on your programme. If you have lived within the UK during the last five years we will ask you to undertake a UK CRB check. If you have lived outside the UK for more than six months within the last 5 years you will need to provide a police check or certificate of good conduct from that country. These checks are independent of each other and it is your responsibility to provide the non-UK police check. Full details will be sent you with your offer. For further information is given on our Disclosure and Barring Service page.

All students must use a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) to apply for a Tier 4 General Student visa. Visa letters are no longer valid. The University will generate a CAS number for appropriate applicants once their offer is unconditional and has been firmly accepted. the CAS number will be included in a longer document known as The CAS Statement which will be sent to UF offer holders by email. Applicants must ensure all details in the CAS are correct before submitting a visa application. For further information see the Entry Clearance page on the International Student Support site.

No - for postgraduate research degrees no deposit is required.

No. When you accept your place on a programme you are committing to that programme. If you hold offers for more than one programme you will need to specify clearly which you wish to accept. We will then class your decisions for the remaining programmes for which you hold offers as declined.

You may be allowed to defer your application for one academic year. If you wish to defer again after this, you will need to reapply via the normal route.

You must check with the College if they will allow you to change. If they are happy with this they will contact the Admissions Office, and a new offer letter will be sent to you. Please be aware that if you are an International student, due to visa regulations, you will not be permitted to study part-time.

It is possible to change programmes. If the programme you wish to change to is within the same College you will need to provide a new personal statement clearly outlining your reasons. If the programme is not within the same College you will be required to reapply, via the normal route.

You can apply for accommodation once you have firmly accepted your offer of a place at Exeter and paid your deposit. Please see After accepting your offer below for further information.

After accepting your offer

After accepting your offer the two most important things you will need to do are apply for accommodation and register as a student.

We guarantee University accommodation to all new unaccompanied international postgraduates from outside the EU.* Once you have firmly accepted your place, you are eligible to apply for University accommodation.

*Study must be for a minimum one full-year; no such guarantee exists for further years of study. University accommodation is owned, managed or approved by the University. You are defined as an international student only if you pay international student fees. Please apply by the 31 July.

Exeter Accommodation Office 
Phone: +44 (0) 1392 722524

Cornwall Accommodation Office
+44 (0) 1326 253639

Details of registration, including collecting your Unicard and registering for an IT account, are sent out to new students from August onwards.

If you are a UK/EU student and have not sent copies of your documents to the University previously, you will be required to present your passport, transcripts, degree certificate and (if required) English language certificate.

If you are an international student, even if you have presented these documents previously, you are required to present your visa or entry clearance form, along with your passport, original or certified copies of your transcripts, degree certificate and (if required) English language certificate.

All certificates, transcripts or Certificates of Qualification submitted must give the final degree classification, grade, percentage or CGPA awarded. Where a certificate/transcript is not in English an official translation must be provided.

All your documents need to be seen and verified before you will be permitted to register.

If you are a graduate of the University of Exeter**, you are not required to submit evidence of your qualification since we hold a record of your degree.

** Please note this does not apply to degrees taken at another institution but validated by the University.

Original certificates and transcripts

Original certificates (not copies) must meet the following criteria to be accepted:

1. University certificates/transcripts need to be on official headed and stamped paper.
2. Original certificate(s) of qualification. Must clearly show;

  • the students name; and
  • the title of the award; and
  • the date of the award; and
  • the name of the awarding institution

3. Transcript of results. Must clearly show:

  • the students name; and
  • the name of the academic institution; and
  • your course title; and
  • the confirmation of the award

The University of Exeter requests that applicants do not send original documents in advance of arrival at the University as we cannot guarantee their return.

Certified copies

Certified copies will only be accepted if they meet the following criteria:

The document must be certified by professional person or someone well-respected in your community. The University of Exeter will accept the following:

  • bank or building society official
  • councillor
  • dentist
  • police officer
  • solicitor
  • teacher or lecturer
  • official authorised Agent of the University of Exeter

The person you ask must not be:

  • related to you
  • living at the same address
  • in a relationship with you

The person will need to certify the copy by:

  • writing ‘certified to be a true copy of the original seen by me’ on the document
  • signing and dating it
  • printing their name under the signature
  • adding their occupation, address and telephone number

The person certifying the document may charge you a fee.

Official translations

Where a document is not in English or Welsh, the original must be accompanied by a fully certified translation provided by a professional translator/translation company. 

This translation must include:

  • details of the translator/translation company’s credentials; and
  • confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the original document; and
  • the translator/translation company’s contact details.

It must also be dated and include the original signature of the translator or an authorised official of the translation company.

Translation companies will charge you a fee.