How to Apply

How to Apply



Identifying a potential supervisor is required before submitting an application.

For students applying for an existing funded project, the principal supervisor will be the owner of the project and you should contact the principal supervisor to discuss the funding opportunity.

For students applying with your own project, either for scholarship or a self-funded studentship, you should always first identify and contact a potential supervisor whose research interest aligns with yours. The potential supervisor list is available on individual programme page.


Detailed information of our doctoral programmes please refer to programme page.


We accept PhD application all year round. The start date of the programme is normally the first day of March, June, September, or December.

To ensure that you will be able to register on your intended date, please submit your application with all the required documentation through the online application system by the deadline outlined below for each entry.

Entry Point Start Date Application deadline
September entry 1 September 30 June
December entry 1 December 30 September
March entry 1 March 15 December of the previous year
June entry 1 June 31 March


1. Apply for a scholarship for an existing Funded PhD Project

Funded projects will be open to take application until position is filled.

2. Apply for a Scholarship with Your Own Project


There will be two application rounds for each academic year:

  • First round – applications submitted by 17:00 CST(UTC+8), 15 October will be reviewed in the first round and the decision will be announced in December.
  • Second round – applications submitted by 17:00 CST(UTC+8), 15 April will be reviewed in the second round and the decision will be announced in June.

Go to Scholarships to find more information about how to apply for the scholarships.



You can submit your application when your research proposal as well as all the supporting documents are ready.

If you are applying for an existing funded project, please make sure that you’ve discussed the funding opportunity with the principal supervisor and that you provide the correct project code in the PhD application system.


All your documents should be in English, or be accompanied by a certified English translation(size limit: within 2MB each document).

  • Research proposal(template)
  • Full academic transcripts of university studies and grading system (both bachelor and master)
  • University degree certificate or enrollment statement (both bachelor and master)
  • Verification report of degree certificate (Chinese students only, both bachelor and master)

– A Online Verification Report of Higher Education Qualification Certificate obtained from China Higher Education Student Information if a degree was gained from a Chinese university;
– Certification is obtained from the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange if obtained a degree abroad or in Taiwan, Hong Kong or Macao.

  • Certificates of English language qualifications (IELTS or equivalent)
  • Personal statement
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Two formal reference letters: Your application must be supported by at least one academic reference from someone who has taught you at highest degree level, and must bear the official letterhead of your referee’s workplace and his/her handwritten signature. If you are a graduate, you may provide one employer reference in place of an academic reference. The reference letter should be recently issued and serve the purpose of your PhD application.
  • A copy of your National ID card (for Chinese students only) /Passport (for international students only)
  • Letter of financial support (for self-funded applicants) (template).
  • A copy of Master dissertation or an equivalent writing sample (Business, Humanities and Social Sciences applicants only)

XJTLU reserves the right to request additional documents to assess your academic qualifications for particular programmes.


Your application will be initially reviewed by XJTLU and then sent to University of Liverpool for further review and decision.

After submission of your online application, you may be contacted by the XJTLU Graduate School ( for additional documents or information. All communication will be made through your email address registered in the online application system.

Check your email regularly in order not to miss any important message from the university.

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) is a supplemental assessment that must be satisfied by all non-UK students (excluding exempt nationalities) intending to pursue postgraduate studies or research in certain sensitive subject areas at a UK university. Failure to obtain ATAS clearance will prevent students from enrolling in the PhD programme at the University of Liverpool.

Upon receiving an offer from the University of Liverpool, students requiring ATAS clearance will be requested to complete an ATAS application. Full registration is subject to obtaining the ATAS clearance certificate. If your ATAS application is refused, please contact the Graduate School to discuss the options with an admission officer.

To apply for ATAS and for further information, please visit