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How to apply for a postgraduate degree

Applying for a postgraduate

Applying for a postgraduate is a big step for your future – so congratulations on making the decision. The application process is fairly straightforward, though it varies depending on whether you’re applying for a Taught Programme or a Research Degree Programme.

Click the box below that fits you best to find out how to apply for your postgraduate course.

Taught Programmes – How to apply

By now, you’ll likely know which faculty you’re applying to and the course you want to study. All applicants are invited to apply through our online application portal.

To start your application, navigate to the course page for the postgraduate degree you’re interested in or click here to go to our Taught Programmes page where you can choose the course you want to apply for and hit ‘apply now’.

You’ll then need to register as a new user or to login if you’ve already set up an account on our application platform.

You’ll be asked to fill in your details, such as your name and address, and then you’ll be prompted to create a username and password.

From there, you’ll be brought in to the portal and asked to provide more information, such as your country of residence, your education history, and your employment history.

Once that’s done, you’ll be asked to explain why you’re interested in studying in UL and how this relates to your career goals. This is your chance to tell us about your interest in your course and why UL is right for you – so give it your all!

Documents you need to upload with your application

As well as filling in your application form, you’ll also need to submit certain documents with your application:

  • Certified results for all examinations mentioned on your application form and/or confirmation of the award of your qualification(s).
  • Evidence of English language proficiency, if English is your second language.
  • Certified translations of your award and transcripts if they are not in English.
  • A copy of your birth certificate or passport.

Bear in mind that some programme applications will ask for additional documents, for example a personal statement or reference. Check the programme entry requirements on its course page to make sure you have included everything you need before you submit your application.

You’ll also need to submit your application fee of €35 electronically or €40 by bank draft/cheque.

Research Degree Programmes – How to apply

The first step in applying for your research postgraduate is to try to identify a potential supervisor and project. You can find more information on each faculty here:

Lastly, if you’re looking for a funded postgraduate research position, check out the Graduate School webpage here for info on funded PhD positions. There may also be information available on funding on individual faculty pages.

How you apply for your PhD will depend on whether or not you have agreed on a research proposal with your proposed supervisor.

1. Applying if you have a project and supervisor

You’ll need to follow these steps:

  • Fill in your Application Form. Please return it and your research proposal to the Graduate School, Foundation Building (F2-020) or email it to: postgradadmissions@ul.ie.
  • Provide a detailed proposal of the research to be undertaken (on separate sheets if necessary). This should include sections on 1) Description of the topic including the aims of the research; 2) Objectives and/or hypotheses; 3) Research Methodology, including how the data will be collected; and 4) Bibliography and references.
    • For Science & Engineering proposals please use the following headings: 1) Background; 2) Objectives; 3) Work to be done; 4) Methods to be used; 5) Novel aspects; 6) Scientific or Engineering theoretical issue(s) addressed; proposal to be a maximum of 2 pages.
  • Please note that funded applicants (IRC, PRTLI, SFI...) should ensure that a Financial Aid form is completed, signed and submitted to the finance office.
  • Further information on the schedule of fees for research postgraduate students is available from the fees office. If you have any questions, please get in touch with the Graduate School.

Bear in mind that if you’re using a browser-based PDF reader, it may not be fully compatible with the application form. If you’re using Adobe Reader, please ensure that it’s up to date. (You can check by going here: https://get.adobe.com/reader/)

2. Applying if you don’t have a potential supervisor

If you don’t yet have a potential supervisor, you’ll need to complete an Expression of Interest form and a research proposal.

The research proposal will help place you with the right supervisor. If you need more information on completing a research proposal, go to page 3 on the Expression of Interest Form.

Once you’ve completed your proposal and the Expression of Interest form, submit them in PDF format to the Graduate School, Foundation Building (F2-020) or email: postgradadmissions@ul.ie.
The Expression of Interest form and the proposal will then be sent to the relevant faculty and department who will endeavour to identify an appropriate supervisor for you.

If you need more information on applying, click here to read our comprehensive step-by-step guide.

Applications for postgraduate research are accepted on an ongoing basis. Please be sure to submit your certified results for all examinations mentioned on your application form and/or confirmation of the award of your qualification(s) along with your application.

International students can go here and here to learn more about applying to study at UL.

English Language Requirements 

Candidates may be required to demonstrate their competence in the English language by interview.

In addition, candidates must either provide certified confirmation that they have completed a primary or a master’s degree through the medium of English or submit the official results of English proficiency tests as per the requirements specified by the University, who may consider English proficiency tests other than those listed  as meeting the English language requirements for pursuing a higher degree at UL.

Equal Opportunities

The University of Limerick is fully committed to the provision of equality of opportunity and is opposed to all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination.  

University policies and procedures do not discriminate against individuals on grounds such as gender, marital or family status, sexual orientation, religious belief, age, disability, race or membership of the Traveller community.

Applying for a postgrad FAQ

Click below to find answers to any questions you may have about applying for your course. If you don’t see your question or answer below, contact the Postgraduate Admissions Office and we’ll be happy to help.

The application process

How many taught postgraduate programmes can I apply for?

You can apply for two programmes in your application, but you’ll need to order them in terms of your preference. The University processes your application sequentially based on the order of your preference.

If I apply for two programmes, will both programmes be considered at the same time?

No. Your first preference programme will be considered by the Course Director first and if you’re unsuccessful in your application, your second preference will be considered.

However, there is an exception to this rule with the MSc in Occupational Therapy and the MSc in Speech & Language Therapy. If applying for both the MSc in Occupational Therapy and the MSc in Speech and Language Therapy, it is recommended that you submit two first preference applications.

As both programmes are highly competitive, only first preference applications will be considered for offer.

How will I know that the University has received my application?

Once you have submitted your application online, you’ll automatically receive an email from the University of Limerick confirming that your application has been received.

I haven’t received any emails from the Postgraduate Admissions Office in relation to my application. What should I do?

Please check that you’ve given us the right email address. Likewise, is the email definitely working?

If you changed your email address or are still having problems, please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Office by email, postgradadmissions@ul.ie or phone +353-61-234377. If you are a non-EU applicant please contact international@ul.ie or phone + 353 61 202414.

What is the deadline for applying?

Taught programme deadlines vary. Non-EU applicants should note that the closing date for receipt of completed application forms for the majority of programmes is the 1st of July. Some programmes have earlier deadlines. Please refer to the Graduate School webpage (www.graduateschool.ul.ie) for details on deadlines.

Postgraduate research applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

Are late applications accepted?

Late applications will be considered after the closing date for certain programmes, provided that there are places available on the programme. However, programmes that have scheduled interviews may not accept late applications.

Is there an application fee and is it refundable?

An application fee of €35 (online) or €40 by cheque/bank draft will apply. 

The fee covers two programme choices made in one submission. Further submissions will require another application fee. 

Bank draft/cheques should be made payable to the University of Limerick and posted to the Postgraduate Admissions Office. Applications will be processed once the application fee has been received. The application fee is non-refundable.

I haven’t finished my degree yet; can I still apply?


However, if you’re offered a place on the programme, the offer will be on the condition that you meet the entry requirements for the programme. You may not enrol on a programme unless all entry requirements have been met before the commencement of the programme. 

How will my application be assessed?

Applications are assessed based on the information supplied. Please make sure you submit all requested information with the application form before the deadline.

Applications will then be assessed based on (a) entry requirements for the programme and (b) where applicable, professional experience. Some programmes require interviews and skills tests too.

What documents do I need to submit with my application form?

The online application process includes a document upload facility that allows applicants to scan and upload evidence of qualifications/awards, transcripts to date and evidence of English language competency certificates.

All scanning should be of original documentation and the electronic files created from the scanning process should not be interfered with in any way. You will need to submit:

  • Your final award certificate.
  • Transcripts for each year of your programmes.
  • A supporting statement.
  • English language certificate if English is not your first language.
  • Certified English translation of your award/transcripts, if applicable.
  • Birth certificate or passport.

Do I need to post in original documents/awards to the University?

When you apply online, you must upload your documents and submit them with your application form.

Original documentation will be requested if you are offered a place on the programme. As such, all offers are conditional on receipt of your original certificates/awards. Please do not post in your original qualifications/awards unless we ask you to do so.

How many referees do I need?

Two referees are required: one academic and one from your place of employment.

If I do not have an academic referee, what referees are acceptable?

If you have been out of college/university for a long period of time and the lecturers/staff in that college/university do not know you, then two work-related references will suffice.

Can I print my final application form?

You can save your application form and re-visit it at any stage. To view your application form, login through the portal and you’ll see your previous application.

Can I print a version of the application form before I apply?

A preview of the application form can be found here.

What do I need for Evidence of English language proficiency?

If English isn’t your first language, please indicate the score you achieved if you have completed an English language proficiency test. The table below outlines the English Language Requirements.

Acceptable English Language qualifications include the following:


From European countries where English is presented as a subject and an acceptable level is achieved


Ordinary Level Grade D or above


580 (paper based) or 90 (internet based)


Minimum score of 6.5* with no less than 6.0 in any component.
*Please note some programmes have a higher IELTS requirement.


Grade C1


Grade C or above


Certificate of Proficiency in English - Grade C /
Certificate in Advanced English - Grade B


Oxford Delegacy of Local Examinations - Grade C / Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate - School Certificate Pass 1-6 /
University of London Entrance and School Examinations Council - School Certificate Pass 1-6


a minimum score of 61 (with no section score below 59)

Results in examinations other than those listed above may also be accepted as meeting our English language requirements.

Further to this, offer holders who do not meet the English language requirements above, can if they wish study pre-sessional English language classes at the UL Language Centre which is located on the UL Campus. For more information on preparatory language classes, please email language.centre@ul.ie

Offers: accepting, deferring, appealing, etc.

What happens after I apply for a postgrad?

You’ll receive an email confirming your application has been submitted. Your application will then be passed to the Course Director who will decide whether or not to offer you a place. Some programmes require interviews and you will be notified of the date, time and venue.

For Research applications, the completed application forms are reviewed by the relevant faculty and then presented on a monthly basis to the Postgraduate Research Committee.

Following this meeting, applicants will receive a decision letter from the Postgraduate Admissions Office. 

If you’re accepted, you will receive one of the following letters from the Postgraduate Admissions Office:

  • An unconditional offer.You satisfy all of the academic conditions required and are being offered a place.  
  • A conditional offer.You don’t yet satisfy the academic conditions required before entry but you intend to meet those requirements. The conditions are listed in the offer letter and may include English language tests as well as degree results.
  • Letter of regret.We are unable to offer you a place. 

Please note that a decision is authoritative and official only if it has been sent in writing from the Postgraduate Admissions Office.

When will I know whether I have a place on the programme or not?

Applications to programmes that do not require interviews/skills tests will be reviewed by the Course Director when the application is received by the University. It can take two to three weeks for your application to go through the internal process but every effort will be made to ensure a swift response!

If offered a place, you will receive your offer in writing. 

Applications to programmes that require interviews/skills tests will only be considered after the closing date for that particular programme. Successful candidates will be notified in writing after the interview/skills tests. 

You will need to check your emails regularly for updates on the status of your application. If your email address changes, please notify the Postgraduate Admissions Office immediately. If you are a non-EU applicant please notify the International Education Division at international@ul.ie.

How do I check my application status?

We’ll email you about the status of your application.

Please make sure that the email address you give us is up to date, active and that you check it on a regular basis. We may also send you updates in the post, particularly at the later stages of the process.

Any changes to your email or postal address should be notified to the Postgraduate Admissions Office at postgradadmissions@ul.ie

How do I accept a place at the University of Limerick?

To accept a place on a programme, you’ll need to pay an acceptance deposit and send in the course acceptance form, stamped by the bank, the Postgraduate Admissions Office.

In most cases, this deposit is €250 for EU applicants and €600 for non-EU applicants but may be higher for some programmes. You will receive a course acceptance form in the mail with your offer letter giving details on how to accept your place on the programme. 

If you’re paying your acceptance deposit online, please ensure you provide us with as much information as possible (i.e. your name and programme applied for) so that we can match the deposit with the correct person/programme.

On receipt of this acceptance form/deposit, the Postgraduate Admissions Office will change the status of your application to Firmly Accepted. You will receive an orientation pack in August. The orientation pack will provide you with full details of orientation and enrolment.

Can I/How do I defer my offer?

If you wish to defer your place on a programme, you’ll need to write to the Postgraduate Admissions Office and officially request to defer. The Course Director may decide to grant you a deferral. 

If you are offered a deferral, the Postgraduate Admissions Office will communicate this to you in writing. In January of the following year, you will receive an offer letter again for your programme. You won’t need to re-apply online, though you should contact the Postgraduate Admissions Office before March to confirm that you’ll be accepting your place.

If you aren’t granted a deferral, you will need to re-apply again online for the following academic year.

What is the admissions appeals process?

If you wish to appeal the decision made about your application, details of the process are available here on the Admissions Appeal Process.

Is my acceptance deposit refundable?

If you receive a conditional offer of a place on a programme and pay the acceptance deposit, the deposit is only refundable if you fail to meet the conditions of the offer or if you have extenuating circumstances.

Can the University withdraw its offer of a place to me?

Yes. In circumstances where it is subsequently determined that the original documentation is at variance to those provided online, the offer will be withdrawn. Also, if you fail to produce documents requested by the University, the offer will be withdrawn.


Where can I see the full list of courses?

What are the contact details for the admission office?

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Graduate & Professional Studies
Foundation Building
University of Limerick

Tel: +353 61 234377
Fax: +353 61 233287
Email: postgradadmissions@ul.ie

My name on my application is different from that on my documents (transcripts/awards). Is this acceptable?

If your current name is different to the name on your birth certificate or your final award/certificate, you’ll need to provide official documentation to show your name change.

Accepted documents include: a marriage certificate, a signed affidavit provided you have changed your name by deed poll.

What is a PPSN?

This is your Personal Public Service number provided by the Department of Social and Family Affairs. All enrolled students with Irish nationality must provide this number.

All non-Irish nationals living and working in Ireland must provide this number also. The majority of non-EU applicants will not have a PPSN number and may leave this blank.

If you do not know your PPSN number or do not have a number, please contact the Department of Social & Family Affairs at (01) 8748444 or www.welfare.ie.

I can’t scan documents on my computer; what do I do now?

You must make every effort to upload the required documents with your application form.

In the event that you can’t upload the required documents, please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Office at (353) 61-234377 or email postgradadmissions@ul.ie. If you are a non-EU student please notify the International Education Division international@ul.ie. 

Can the University decide to cancel a taught postgraduate programme?

Yes. The University of Limerick reserves the right to cancel a programme of study in any given year.

If I have any questions that aren’t listed above, who can I contact?

Please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Office at: Tel: +353-61-234377 or email postgradadmissions@ul.ie. If you are a non-EU student please notify the International Education Division internationa@ul.ie.  

How much are the fees and when do I have to pay them?

And where can I find information on funding my postgraduate?

Why is a postgrad the best self-investment?

Why do a postgrad

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