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How to apply

Application information for the A*STAR programme

How to apply

We recommend that you apply as soon as possible.

If you wish to be considered for a Singapore A*STAR studentship and meet our eligibility criteria, you must complete an online application.

Complete the form following the instructions below.

Key dates

  • Application deadline: 17 April 2020
  • Interview dates: Early May 2020 (to be confirmed)

Application instructions

Step 1: Check you are eligible to apply

To be eligible for the programme, applicants should be from the UK/EU and have obtained (or be about to obtain) at least an Upper Second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a related subject area.

Many of our students have also undertaken a master's degree, although this is not compulsory.

Due to strict entry requirements set by the A*STAR Graduate Academy as part of the approvals process, we require that applicants have obtained consistent marks throughout their undergraduate degree units, equivalent to a UK Upper Second or higher.

Any significantly lower results for individual units (without special circumstances) may mean your application is not considered competitive for the programme.

We therefore suggest that you get in touch with us directly if you are unsure about your academic background or if you have a non-UK bachelor's degree, for example, so that we can check your suitability for the programme.

International applicants

We can consider non-UK/EU nationals who are able to finance the difference between the home and overseas tuition fees (approximately £19,000 per year).

Some restrictions apply to applicants from certain Asian countries. In general, students from Europe, the Americas, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Korea and Japan are eligible to apply for the programme. Unfortunately, we cannot accept applications from south-east Asian countries such as Singapore, China and Malaysia.

Please contact us for further information before making an application if you are unsure about your eligibility for this studentship by emailing

Information on living costs in Singapore can be found on the Living in Singapore website.


Step 2: Choose your project

Decide on the project(s) that are most relevant to your research interests from the list of available projects.

You may apply for up to three projects of interest on your application form. You do not need to submit a separate application for each project.


Step 3: Register to apply

Go to the Postgraduate Application Form and ensure you read all the instructions carefully.

If you have not already registered for an account, do so first of all. You can then make separate applications under this account for the A*STAR programme, and any other studentships you may be interested in.


Step 4: Create a new application

Create a new application for the A*STAR programme.

Select 'Postgraduate Research' as the 'Academic Career' on the application form.

On the 'Programme description' section of the application form, search for and select 'PhD with A*STAR Singapore'. You should select this programme for any project on the programme (for example, do not apply to the Faculty of Science and Engineering directly, even if the principal supervisor is based there). Work your way through the application form, including all details as requested.

For Part 3 – 'Proposed Research', identify your first choice supervisor and project title (this should be the lead supervisor name on the project). In the 'Further information' section, list up to two more lead supervisors and project titles if you wish to apply for more than one project on the programme.

For Part 8 – 'Main Funding Source', select Internal, University Scholarship, Awarding Body: University and A*STAR. The other boxes can remain blank.


Step 5: Supporting documents

Your application form must be accompanied by a number of supporting documents.

  • A supporting statement. This should be a maximum of 500 words summarising your motivation for PhD study, outlining any research experience and why you want to do a postgraduate research degree at Manchester. If you are applying for a CASE studentship and wish to submit a second supporting statement for a CASE project, then you can do so, although this is not required.
  • Two references from people who have knowledge of your academic ability. References must be signed, dated and on headed paper. References should be accompanied by a Referee report form.
  • Please ensure that your referees complete this form electronically. If your references aren’t available at application, please email these as soon as possible after you have submitted your application to or your referees can send these to us directly.
  • Certificates and transcripts from all your current/previous degrees.
  • Official English Language transcript (IELTS or TOEFL), if applicable.
  • Current curriculum vitae (CV).

All supporting documents can be uploaded and submitted with the online application form or, alternatively, can be sent directly to Your application cannot be considered until all of your supporting documents are supplied.


Step 6: Language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, or if you have not studied recently in the UK, you must supply an official IELTS or TOEFL transcript to support your application, or provide a date on which you will be taking a test. Please note the IELTS and TOEFL are only valid for two years.

If your IELTS or TOEFL expires before the start of your programme, you will need to take another official English test before we can issue you with a CAS for your visa application. This is a requirement of UKVI.

We require a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 overall or TOEFL (iBT) 90.

Each component of the English test should meet the minimum requirement of IELTS 5.5 in all components, TOEFL (iBT 22).  Some programmes require overall IELTS 7.0 and in each component, please check the subject listings page. For the writing component we expect that you have achieved a minimum of 6.0 (IELTS). For each of the other components of the English test you should meet the minimum requirement of IELTS 5.5.

For more information about English language tests see English language requirements.

Please contact us at for further information.


Step 7: Acknowledgement

Once submitted you will receive an acknowledgement that your application has been received. Once all your supporting documents have been received your application will be reviewed by the A*STAR Recruitment Committee and circulated to your preferred supervisor(s).


Step 8: Interview

You will be kept informed of the progress of your application throughout the application procedure. We will contact you directly if we wish to invite you to interview in early 2020.


Contact us

For queries regarding the application process, the projects on offer or your eligibility.

For general queries about the A*STAR programme email Recruitment Manager, Tasleem Hanif.

Application enquiries can be directed to the Doctoral Academy Admissions team.


If you have a query about a specific research project, you should contact the Manchester supervisor regarding your interest and application. Contact details for supervisors can be found in the University's online directory.