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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 the Singapore A*STAR PhD programme and meet our eligibility criteria, you must complete a single online application.

Complete the form following the instructions below.

Key dates

  • Application deadline: 1 April 2022
  • Interview dates: Week commencing 16 May 2022

Application instructions

Step 1: Check you are eligible to apply

Applicants must have obtained or be about to obtain a First or Upper Second class UK honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in a related subject area.

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

International applicant eligibility requirements

We aim to support the most outstanding applicants from outside the UK. Funding will cover tuition fees and stipend only.

This scheme is open to both UK and international applicants. However, we are only able to offer a limited number of studentships to applicants outside the UK. Therefore, full studentships will only be awarded to exceptional quality candidates due to the competitive nature of this scheme.

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.

International applicants must ensure they meet the academic eligibility criteria (including English language) as outlined before contacting potential supervisors to express an interest in their project.

Eligibility can be checked via the University's country-specific information page.

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 Online Admissions 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

Under 'Academic Programme', search for and select 'A*STAR PhD Programme'. 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 Section 6 – 'Research Details', you must state the name of the primary project supervisor and project title in the format below. You can indicate up to three supervisors here, listing the primary supervisor and project title in order of preference.

  1. Name of Primary Supervisor – Project Title
  2. Name of Primary Supervisor – Project Title
  3. Name of Primary Supervisor – Project Title

For Section 9 – 'Funding Sources', you must select the details as follows:

  • Select 'Yes' from the drop-down.
  • Type of Funding: 'University of Manchester Scholarship'.
  • Awarding Body: University and A*STAR.
  • Status of Funding – Awarded.
  • Funding Covers – Fully Funded.
  • Leave the remaining boxes blank.

Step 5: Supporting documents

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

  • 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.

You should also outline why you believe you are suited to undertaking a PhD across two countries.

  • References

We require two references from people who have knowledge of your academic ability. These are usually academic references, from a lecturer or professor at your current or previous university.

You will need to provide details of your referees in section 10 of the online form. Your referees will be contacted directly after you submit your application and directed to complete our online reference form.

Email addresses

It is recommended that the email address you provide for your referees is related to the academic institution or organisation to which they belong, rather than a personal use email (for example,

If a personal email address is provided, it may cause delays to your application, as extra steps may be required to verify this.

  • Certificates and transcripts

These should be from all your current/previous degrees, including official translated copies where applicable.

  • Official English Language certificate

This should be a valid English language qualification, where applicable. See step 6 below for further information.

  • Curriculum vitae (CV)

Ensure your CV is current and up to date.

Please note, your application must be complete and contain all required supporting information at the time of submission, as incomplete applications will not be considered.


Step 6: Language requirements

In Section 5 of the online application form, you will be asked to provide details of how you meet the English language requirement.

We mainly accept IELTS or TOEFL tests. Please note IELTS and TOEFL are only valid for two years.

If your IELTS or TOEFL expires before the start of the 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). For the writing component, we expect you to have achieved a minimum of 6.0 (IELTS).

The University accepts a number of English language tests. For more information, see: English language requirements.


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 May 2022.


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.

Tel: +44 (0)161 275 5608

You may wish to contact supervisors directly about projects. You can find the name of the supervisor on each project, and their contact details in the University's online directory.