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Working at Coventry University

Coventry University is a diverse and exciting place to work and we share the enthusiasm of our staff and students to be the best at whatever they choose to do. As one of the City’s biggest employers, we offer some impressive benefits for our staff and are committed to delivering the very best opportunities. We have a comprehensive training, personal and professional development programme that provides our employees with the skills to enhance their performance in the workplace and grow in their careers. There are pension schemes, a generous holiday allowance and flexible working opportunities as well as lifestyle benefits including childcare vouchers, discounted membership to the £4 million sports and recreation centre and schemes such as Cycle to Work and the CU Car Share initiative.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Applications FAQs

How do I fill in the application form?

The form can be completed electronically via Adobe Acrobat.  If you do not have this software you can download the document and edit it as if it were a Word document. Alternatively you can fill in the form by hand and type your research proposal and personal statement onto separate documents.

Can I attach my proposal separately?

Yes – as long as all the information required is submitted either within or alongside the application form this is fine. If you are submitting your proposal or personal statement separately please make a note of this on the application form. 

How do I return it to the PGRSU office?

You can either email it to us via our shared inbox which is: or you can bring it or post it to our office at the following address:

Postgraduate Research Support Unit – Recruitment and Admissions


Alan Berry Building

Priory Street

Coventry University


Do I need to have studied a Masters?

No, in some cases we do accept applications from students who have only been awarded an undergraduate degree.  In such cases, candidates may be considered for an MRes initially. If you perform well on your MRes you can then be considered to transfer onto a PhD. Alternatively you can complete and accept the award of the Masters by Research.

Please check our entry requirements to check whether you are eligible.

Can I transfer in to Coventry University?

Yes – if you are interested in transferring to Coventry from another institution please see our pages on the process of transferring.

Funding FAQs

What are the fees for postgraduate research degrees?

The fees for Home, EU and International students can all be found on our fees pages.

What funding is available to me at Coventry?

Coventry University offers a £500 discount to graduates who wish to progress onto a full-time postgraduate course. This is towards your tuition fees.

Take a look at our postgraduate research opportunities page to see what projects already exist, as some will be partial or fully funded. 

Where can I learn about external funding available to me?

There are lots of societies which offer funding to those seeking postgraduate research degrees.  The best way to find out about them is to Google it. If you search for [your subject area] learned societies funding, you’ll find lots of organisations which may be willing to help you fund your research studies. 

How do I pay my fees once I have an offer?

There are a number of ways you can pay your fees, please see the how to pay page.

Programme FAQs

What is a PGR degree?

A postgraduate research (PGR) degree involves you undertaking a substantial individual research project which is the main focus of the examination process. You will normally undertake some taught modules to help you prepare to undertake the research, but these are secondary to the research project and preparation of the thesis.

At the end of the programme you will undergo a substantial oral examination which determines the result of your programme of study. A PGR degree will involve you making either a significant and original contribution to knowledge or, at Masters by Research level, applying advanced knowledge.

What is an original and significant contribution to knowledge? Anyone beginning a Masters by Research or PhD should be aware of the specific standards and expectations of the discipline area regarding a significant and original contribution to knowledge. This is usually developed in discussion with an experienced Director of Studies (DoS). However, in general most candidates for a Masters by Research or PhD attempt to base their claim on doing one or more of the following: 

  1. Develop new model, paradigm or conceptual framework and test it in application.
  2. Successfully challenge existing model or paradigm and show how it can be improved or why it should be discarded in certain circumstances.
  3. Show that “taken for granted” truths or assumptions are not substantiated by evidence.
  4. Extend a model or paradigm developed for one field to another and show how its use refines, deepens or changes understanding of the target field.
  5. Open up a new field and map its “topography” for later researchers to do in-depth work.
  6. Develop an existing methodology, form of enquiry or tool set for data collection, analysis, display or interpretation and show how its use in application proved to be superior in some circumstances compared to other tools etc.
  7. Show limitations and errors in existing dominant methodologies, forms of enquiry or use of existing tools or analytical methods and the consequences for interpretation of previous structures.
  8. Add progressively to understanding of an issue, part of a field of a complex problem, multidisciplinary issue, social or natural phenomenon or professional practice by a series of linked in-depth studies or experiments.
  9. Build on and add to an existing theory by providing new insights as a consequence of interrogating original data generated from fieldwork or experiment.
  10. Create novel artefacts in any medium (e.g. photography, painting, textile, sculpture) which answer new research questions in professional practice including the synthesis of the artefact with analytical narrative.

These are not the only ways in which a significant original contribution to knowledge can be made, but they are the most common. 

What support will I get while I’m on my research programme?

Coventry University is dedicated to developing its research students’ skills while completing a research degree. Support will be available to you centrally as well as in your faculty, research centre or school. Throughout your degree you will be able to access skills training and participate in events that will help you to find employment after your studies in all industries. For more information on the support you can access, please see our Life as a research student pages.

What does a typical day look like for a research student?

Let’s ask our current research students. Check out our ‘Day in the life of a research student blog series to find out what it is really like to study a research degree.

International Student FAQs

Do I need Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance to study on a research degree?

If you intend to study for PGR degrees in engineering and science or related disciplines and you are a citizen of a country outside the United Kingdom or the European Union then you will have to apply for clearance through the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) before applying for a visa. Your offer letter will provide you with a JACS code and a brief description of the programme of study with an indication about whether you need to apply through ATAS.

Where can I get advice about my visa application?

Academic and administrative staff are not allowed to give advice on ATAS or visa applications or requirements. The rules are complex and change often. We do, however, have specialist advisers in the International Office. To ask a question, please email