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The PhD and MD(Res) application process is the same for all programmes at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience. Please read the following information and guidance to find out how the process works and what you need to do. 

Please note that applications to studentships may differ - you should read the advert carefully and follow the instructions on the advert. 

Key people to remember

The Postgraduate Research Education Support Team manages all PhD and MD(Res) applications to the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience. They will be your key contact prior to making an application, once you have submitted your project approval form (PAF) and for any other ad hoc queries. Please use this email address to contact the Education Support Team.

The Central Admissions Team manage all online applications and can answer any queries relating to your PhD/MD(Res) application, eligibility criteria, references, English language requirements and the Visa/CAS process. Once you have made an application via the Kings Apply portal, you will be able to contact Admissions directly through the messaging function.

Each department has their own Admissions Tutor who will asses your online application and arrange interviews for prospective students. Admissions Tutors can offer advice and guidance on eligibility, funding and finding suitable supervisors.


How to apply

Before you make any application, you need to find 2 academics willing to supervise you. You can look for supervisors by:

  • Searching for academics via our Research Portal. You can search by name, area of interest or key words. Browsing the departmental webpages and contact information.
  • Speaking to the relevant admissions tutor for suitable academics that may be worth approaching.
  • You will need to make sure that your chosen academics meet the supervisor eligibility criteria, before they agree to supervise you.
When completing your online application, you will also need to provide a letter of support from your supervisors, which should be uploaded as an attachment. Applications without this letter will not be considered. A formal letter (with supervisor signatures) or email confirmation is acceptable.

Unless you are applying for a studentship or can self fund your studies, you will need to find funding before you make your application.

Please see the PhD and MD(Res) information pages for funding links. The admissions tutors may also be able to advise you on possible sources of funding, specific to their department or your area of interest.

Please note you must either have funding in place or be making an application for funding at the time you make your online application, or your application will not be considered.

You can make your online application via Kings Apply. The online application is used by the Central Admissions Team to assess your eligibility against the general King's College London criteria. It is also used to check your references and to assess your fee status.

Your application is also considered by the admissions tutor, to assess your eligibility in terms of education and experience in accordance to departmental eligibility guidance.

When choosing which programme to apply for on the admissions portal, you must select the programme that relates to the department that your first supervisor is based in. If you are unsure, please check with either your supervisor the Education Support Team.

It is essential that the following information is provided before a decision can be made in regards to your general eligibility:

  1. One academic reference
  2. Degree transcripts
  3. English Language test certificates (if appropriate)
  4. Personal statement and supporting information
  5. Letter of support from your supervisors
Other tips for your application:
  • In the Project Proposal section, write a short description of your proposed work. There is no need to attach your project approval form
  • It is worth at this point contacting the Education Support Team, to inform them that you will be submitting your project approval form in due course.
Once your application has been received, an acknowledgement email will be sent to you. If you do not meet the basic King's eligibility criteria, you will be contacted by the Central Admissions Team. If you are not contacted, you can assume that you are eligible.

You need to download the project approval form and complete with your supervisors.

The project approval form (PAF) is used to assess your project, in terms of planning, feasibility and appropriateness for a PhD/MD(Res). It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the form is completed but it is recommended that applicants work closely with the supervisors.

Make sure you complete all sections, answering all questions fully, and signatures from all supervisors and student are included. There is no need to collect the signatures from the Sub-committee Chair, Head of Department or Business Manager as the Education Support Team will collect these.

Submit an electronic version to the Education Support Team who will review the document and circulate it for approval from the relevant department.



Start dates and deadlines

We have three intakes a year; the online application and project approval form (PAF) should be submitted by the following deadlines. Please note that these deadlines are earlier than those shown on the King's Apply portal to allow sufficient time for your application to be considered.

Registration Date

Application and PAF Deadline

1st October 

1st June 

1st February 

1st October

1st June 

1st February






I have submitted my application, what happens next?

Your online application is assessed by the Central Admissions Team against the King's eligibility criteria. If you meet the standard required, they notify the relevant departmental admissions tutor. If you meet the criteria, the next person to contact you should be the admissions tutor. If you do not meet the criteria, the admissions team will notify you.

The admissions tutor will assess your online application and if they think you have the relevant experience and qualifications to study for a PhD or MD(Res), they will contact you to arrange an interview. Even if you have already been interviewed by your supervisors, it is likely that the admissions tutor will want to meet with you. Interviews differ between departments in terms of format and interviewers so any specific questions should be directed to the admissions tutor. We aim for admissions tutors to interview applicants approximately 2-4 weeks after the online application is made. If you have not heard from anyone 6 weeks after making your application, please contact the Education Support Team. Please see the application pages for contact details of all admissions tutors.

After you have been interviewed, the admissions tutor will make a recommendation to either accept or reject the application. If your application is rejected at this stage, you will be notified by the Central Admissions Team. If you are successful at interview, your project approval form will now be reviewed. In some departments, the project approval form is reviewed in conjunction with the organisation of the interview and you may discuss your project form at the interview. Any comments or requests for amendments will usually come to you via the Education Support Team and you should amend your project form and return it for further review as soon as possible. The review process can take anything from a few days to 6 weeks, depending on the nature of the research project and the availability of suitable academics to review the project.

Only once your project approval form has been approved by the Chair of the relevant Sub-committee, the Business Manager and the Head of Department, can an offer of a place be made. You will be notified by email to check your online application, where you will then be able to view and download your offer letter. You will also be sent a hard copy of the offer letter through the post.

Non UK students

Once you have been given an unconditional offer, the admissions team will process a CAS number for you to make a visa application. This CAS number will be stored in your application area of King's Apply, but you should also receive an email notifying you of this. Please be aware that visa applications can take anything from 2 days to 4 weeks to process, on average. It is therefore important that you complete your application in plenty of time, so that you are able to attend the enrolment, registration and induction events. You can contact the admissions team at any time to check on the progress of your CAS number. If you have any problems with your visa application, please let the Education Support Team know as soon as possible.

There are a number of accommodation options for Postgraduate students, whether it be a King's residence, intercollegiate halls or private residences. There are no King's residence halls on the Denmark Hill campus, but all campuses are a bus ride away from each other. For more information on accommodation options and help in finding something suitable, whether that be for you alone or for you and your family, please see the King's Accommodation webpage.


Other information

Applicants from outside the UK must satisfy the Kings English Language requirements before an unconditional offer can be made.

Candidates should possess an adequate level of English competence. Candidates for whom English is not the first language will be required to provide proof that they possess an adequate level of English competence. The minimum entry requirements can be found on the Admissions webpages.

It is possible for a conditional offer to be made after the approval of a project approval form, but we cannot give an unconditional offer before we have confirmation of your English Language. Please bare this in mind when making funding applications and book your English Language tests in plenty of time.

In some cases, English Language may be waived, however this is only in exceptional circumstances and requires support from your supervisors, your last place of study and written proof of your English Language competency. For any queries, please contact the Central Admissions Team.

You may also want to have a look at our Academic Preparation Courses which offers courses to non UK citizens.

It may be that you wish to spend some of your time abroad during the course of your PhD, for example, during data collection. If this is the case for you, then you must complete the Off Campus Study Form and submit this to the Education Support Team with your project approval form.

This forms asks you to outline when you will be abroad, what you will doing and how you will be supervised during this time.

All students are required to spend at least 1 year full-time equivalent at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience during their studies. Usually this includes 6 months at the beginning and 6 months at the end of your studies.

For any queries, please contact the Education Support Team.

Please note that Visa applications can take anything from 2 weeks to 2 months to be processed and you will need an unconditional offer to go with your visa application. Please bear this in mind when applying for a PhD or MD(Res).

The application process differs slightly when you are applying for a studentship. You will still need to make an online application (unless otherwise stated in the advert) but it is likely that a project approval form would have already been completed by the supervisors. If you are successful, all you will need to do is sign the project approval form to confirm you are happy with the project.

When applying for a studentship, make sure you follow the studentship advert carefully, so you apply to the correct department and with the correct funding code. You do not need to complete the Project Proposal section of the application, other than making a note of which studentship/project you are applying to.

For more information and for a list of our current opportunities, please see our studentship webpage.

The IoPPN offers visiting research placements aimed at postgraduate research students registered at a recognised higher education institution (HEI) or overseas institution, coming to undertake a period of supervised research at King's. For more information please see the Visiting Research Students webpage.


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