How to: submit your references

We get many queries from prospective students about their reference letters. These supporting documents are an important element of your application and it is crucial that you read our guidance carefully to ensure you provide valid references.

Choosing your referees

We require two reference letters for each master's student. Usually we would recommend that you provide one academic and one professional reference. If you do not have any work experience, you may provide two academic references. Similarly, if you have been out of full-time education for at least two years, we can normally accept two professional references.

Please note that we cannot accept references from fellow students, friends or family – even if you have worked in a family business – as we cannot guarantee the impartiality of these.

How to provide your references

When you fill in the application form, you will see that you are asked to provide the email addresses of two referees. Normally we do not need to see the references at the initial review stage. Therefore, we will contact your referees if you are made an offer. When you are submitting your application it would be courteous of you to inform your referees in advance that we might be contacting them.

Referees are invited to email their reference directly to the Admissions Office from an academic or professional email account. We cannot accept references emailed from web-based email accounts like, or because we cannot confirm the provenance of these. Please bear this in mind when you fill in their email address on the application form.


We can only accept confidential references. This means that your referee has written their letter objectively and that you have not read it.

Therefore, we cannot accept references that you email to us yourself, or that you upload with your application. We also cannot accept references from agents. The reference should always come directly from the referee.

When do I need to provide my references?

Due to the huge volume of applications we process, for most programmes, your application will be considered without references. This means that if you were to be made an offer, providing satisfactory references would be listed as a condition.

We hope this clears up a few common queries but if you have any questions about providing your references you can check the guidance on the website or contact your Admissions Officer who will be glad to advise you.