Applicants can provide details of their referee(s) when they make their application, and our online Postgraduate Admissions Application Portal will then automatically contact the referee(s) to request the reference(s) on the applicant's behalf.  This is the easiest way to secure references in relation to an application for postgraduate study at Aberystwyth University.  However, if you already have a reference(s) in-hand, then these can be uploaded at the point of application.  If you choose to upload a pre-existing reference then please refer to the Reference Guidelines below to ensure that your reference(s) meets the necessary criteria.

Please note that an applicant will not be admitted without the necessary satisfactory reference(s). It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that their referee(s) submit the necessary reference on their behalf.  We do not repeatedly contact referees to request references.

Postgraduate Taught (PGT) Applicants – 1 reference required

Applicants for PGT courses are required to provide at least one satisfactory reference. In most cases these will be academic references but in some cases a work based/professional reference may be appropriate. 

Offers may be made for PGT courses prior to the receipt of any reference(s). In this case receipt of a satisfactory reference will be a condition of the offer made. 

Postgraduate Research (PGR) Applicants (e.g. MPhil, PhD, DProf and LLM by Research) – 2 references required

All applicants for PGR courses are required to provide two satisfactory references.  PGR applicants are encouraged to provide their references at the point of application, or as soon as possible thereafter.

Offers may be made for PGR courses prior to the receipt of any reference(s). In this case receipt of a satisfactory reference(s) will be a condition of the offer made. 

References for Non-Graduates

A work based reference may be submitted from your current or previous employer.

PGCE Applicants

PGCE applicants who have graduated within the last 5 years must submit an academic reference, which comments on their degree performance, as part of their application via UCAS. A second referee may also be named. 

Reference Guidelines

If an applicant chooses to upload a pre-existing reference(s) at the point of application then they must ensure all references meet the following criteria.  Each reference should:

  • Be written on letterhead paper. Emailed references are acceptable providing they are sent directly from the referee’s official work email to the Postgraduate Admissions Office ( We do not accept references from Yahoo, Gmail or Hotmail accounts.
  • Be signed and dated by the referee.
  • Contain the contact details and position of the referee.
  • State the name, address and the course that the applicant has applied for.
  • State how long the referee has known the applicant and in what capacity.
  • Address the issue of the applicant suitability for the course they have applied for.
  • Be saved in a secure format such as PDF.  Aberystwyth University does not accept references received in Word format directly from the applicant.