Master's programmes: how to apply
See our step-by-step guide on how to apply to one of our master's programmes.
1. Check our entry requirementsPlease see our postgraduate subject finder for minimum entry requirements for the programme you are interested in; entry requirements can vary from one programme to another. International students can consult our country-specific pages for information and guidance on alternative qualification equivalencies for master’s study.
If English is not your first language, you will also need to meet our English language requirements. You can find the IELTS requirements on each course page. We also accept a range of alternative English language qualifications.
If your English ability is not at the required standard, you can choose to apply for one of our Pre-sessional English programmes. The programmes will equip you with the study skills and preparation needed for academic study in English. The length of your Pre-sessional English programme is determined by your current level of English against the English language requirements of your chosen master’s programme.
2. Application and funding deadlines
Although most master’s programmes do not formally close for applications, some programmes do have application deadlines; if your programme has a deadline it will be specified on the course page under the ‘Entry requirements’ section. For programmes that do not have a specific application deadline, places may be limited and programmes may become full. We recommend that you apply as early as possible (particularly if you are an international student) to allow time not only for us to process your application, but for you to ensure that you can meet any offer conditions, arrange your accommodation and, importantly, funding for your studies. For admission in September, we do recommend that you apply by 1 August (if you are a UK applicant) and 1 July (if you are an international applicant requiring a visa to come to the UK) however, we are happy to still consider applications after these dates.
International applicants should also see our advice and guidance on visas and immigration.
We require an offer of study for many of our master’s scholarships and bursaries. You should check deadlines for applications carefully, and each scholarship or bursary will have specific application instructions. We may add scholarships throughout the year, so it is a good idea to re-visit our scholarships and bursaries page.
3. Submit your application
You can apply for master’s programmes directly through our online application system, RISIS. For our PGCE/Teacher Training programmes, applications must be made via the Department of Education's Find Postgraduate Teacher Training portal. Once you have submitted your application, you will receive an automatic confirmation.
Various documents are needed to make your application. You should electronically upload:
- full transcripts of all degree programmes taken. If these are not in English, a certified translation into English is required. Please do not mail original copies; we only require PDF copies via electronic upload,
- an English language certificate (for example IELTS or TOEFL), if English is not your first language (this can also be provided after you submit your application),
- contact details for two academic/professional references. Your references will automatically be invited via email to upload their reference directly once you have submitted your application. Please remind your references to check their junk/spam filters for the email and let them know that the link to the form is only valid for 20 days,
- statement of purpose. Your personal statement should outline your academic performance, interest in applying to master’s study, any relevant work experience and skills gained,
- a copy of your passport (for international students).
We do not charge an application fee to apply for our master’s programmes.
4. Track your application
You can track the progress of your application using our applicant portal, Me@Reading, a personalised resource including information about your programme of study, student stories and what's happening here at Reading. It has everything you need to know, all in one place. When we have made a decision on your application, we will contact you via email. If we are able to make you an offer for a place to study, your offer will contain information about what to do next, including how to accept your offer, pay a deposit (if applicable), and any conditions you must meet to study with us.