Careers Service

Applications and CVs for further study

Information and advice specifically for further study, including examples of CVs, personal statements, and how to write a good research proposal.

How do I write an application for a postgraduate course?

Writing applications for further study is very similar to completing job applications. You need to provide evidence that you have the required qualifications, skills, experience and relevant knowledge. You also need to explain why you have chosen the course, e.g. how will the course help you advance your career goals. Your application will usually include a personal statement.

If you’re applying for a research degree (Masters, MPhil, PhD), especially in the Arts and Humanities, you’ll be required to submit a research proposal. This should demonstrate your knowledge of your chosen field and provide specific details about your research interests. Your proposal will also explain what you want to achieve, and methods you will use to carry out the research.

Where can I find more information and examples?

The following guides provide clear step-by-step guidance for postgraduate applications to professional, masters and PhD courses, covering the application process, how to write successful personal statements and research proposals, and examples of personal statements.

Making applications

Quick guide to personal statements for PG courses

Prospects: personal statements for postgraduate applications

TARGETpostgrad: applying for postgraduate study

Findamasters.com: applying for a Masters degree

FindaPhD.com: Writing a good PhD Research Proposal

Moving on to a PhD

University of Edinburgh: How to write a good research proposal

Will I have to submit a CV?

For most courses you’ll have to complete an application form and write a personal statement or research proposal, but for some you may also have to submit a CV. Your CV should focus on your education and academic achievements, as well as your work experience, extra-curricular activities and relevant interests.

Use our concise guide for top tips on targetting your CV, and what to include:

Applying for PhD study: preparing your CV

Where can I find examples?

You’ll find examples of successful CVs and covering letters kindly shared by University of Edinburgh students and graduates.

Further study example CVs

What about references?

How many references do I need? Who should I ask?  What if I don't have any work experience? What references do I need for a postgraduate course? Find the answers to these questions and more in our guide to Referees and References.

Referees and References

How can I get feedback on my application?

Make an appointment on MyCareerHub for one-to-one feedback from one of our Careers Consultants or Careers Information Advisers.

MyCareerHub - Appointments

Related information

Applications and CVs for academic jobs

Applying for medicine as a second degree

Applying for teacher training

Further Study

FindaPhD.com - PhD Study Abroad

Fulbright Commission - PG study in the USA