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Advice and Resources

Gain expert help and advice in preparing you to apply for a course at Newcastle University.

Personal statement

You'll have to provide a personal statement if you apply for a postgraduate taught course or research programme.

It's your chance to convey your motivation and enthusiasm for your chosen course and show your suitability for postgraduate study.

Your statement should include examples that draw on relevant work, voluntary or study experiences and illustrate your skills, for example:

  • time management
  • project management
  • communication skills
  • team working
  • problem solving

Successes and achievements:

You should also cover your successes and achievements relevant to the course to show your aptitude for postgraduate study.

Outline why you have:

  • chosen the course
  • chosen Newcastle University
  • how you will apply your current skills, knowledge and experience.

You may also consider showing how the course fits into your career plans and ambitions.


  • write your personal statement in a word processor before adding it to your application
  • save at regular intervals
  • ask a friend or family member to proof read it before you submit

See our Careers Service website for more advice and useful tips on writing your postgraduate personal statement.

Preparing to apply

The application preparation for MPhil, PhD, MLitt, MMus and MRes programmes varies considerably.

Research supervisors

For some of our research programmes, you will be asked to find a research supervisor before submitting your application. However, other programmes do not require you to identify a supervisor.

This information will be specified on the 'How to Apply' tab on your course page.

Research proposal

Some programmes require you to provide a detailed research proposal when you apply. Alternatively, other programmes will ask you to supply a short (non-binding) research proposal to indicate your broad area of interest. There are also programmes that do not require any research proposal.

This information will be specified on the 'How to Apply' tab on your course page.

If you are applying for an advertised PhD studentship, please refer to the funding advert for guidance on your research proposal.

Studentship information can be found on our central funding pages

Interview preparations

Congratulations, you've been invited to an interview.

This means that you’ve convinced the employer that you meet the basic requirements for the position. You now have the chance to demonstrate to the selectors that:

  • you can do the job (skills)
  • you want the job (motivation)
  • you will fit into the organisation (values)

During the interview, your knowledge of the position and organisation will be explored, along with the skills and experience you have gained and whether these mean you would be able to do the job.

Preparation is key. Read some of our advice and resources on how to prepare for your interview.

Use our practice video interview tools to practise your interview and find advice and tips for what you should do during and after the interview.