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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: 29 January 2021
  • Interview dates: Week commencing 15 March 2021

Application instructions

Step 1: Check you are eligible to apply

To be eligible for the programme, applicants should be from the UK 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.

International applicants (including EU nationals)

The University of Manchester aims to support the most outstanding applicants from outside the UK.

Funding for this programme will cover UK tuition fees/stipend only. However, we are able to offer a limited number of scholarships that will enable full studentships to be awarded to international applicants.

These full studentships for international applicants will only be awarded to exceptional quality candidates, due to the competitive nature of this scheme.

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.

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.

If your country is not listed, you must contact the Doctoral Academy Admissions Team ( You should provide a detailed CV. This should include academic qualifications, stating the degree classification(s) and dates awarded, along with the relevant transcripts.

Following the review of your qualifications and with support from potential supervisor(s), you will be informed whether you can submit a formal online application.

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. You should also outline why you believe you are suited to undertaking a PhD across two countries.
  • 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 March 2021.


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.