You must nominate two suitable referees by providing their contact details in your online application and you must ensure that each of your nominated referees submits a reference in support of your application. You should use each referee’s academic/official email address when nominating your referees. Once you have completed the References section of your online application, your referees will automatically receive a reference request email from us asking them to submit their reference via our online referee portal. This is a secure and confidential service for referees and helps speed up the decision-making process. Your referees will be asked to complete a brief questionnaire before uploading a written letter of reference, which will be added to your application.
You may submit your application without waiting until we have received your references: as long as you have successfully nominated two referees and completed all other mandatory sections of the application form, you are ready to submit your application. Please note, however, that your submitted application will not be processed and considered until we have received a reference from each of your nominated referees.
Make sure you check our requirements below before nominating your referees to ensure you have chosen the two most appropriate referees (usually two academic referees) to support your application. You should also check the relevant programme page(s) via our available programmes page for any programme-specific guidance on references.
An ‘academic’ referee is someone who has taught you during your university-level studies.
All references must be translated into English.
Current students and applicants who graduated from their most recent study after January 2019 must nominate two academic referees. References should be from a teaching member of your current (or, if you have graduated, from your most recent) university department.
Applicants who graduated from their most recent study before January 2019 may nominate one non-academic referee in place of one of your academic references. This should normally be a reference from your most recent employer.
Applicants who graduated from their most recent study before January 2017 may nominate two professional referees if they are unable to provide academic references. It is in your interests to nominate academic referees wherever possible.
Applicants for Executive programmes should note that all Executive programmes are willing to consider one academic and one professional reference. Additionally, the following programmes are willing to consider two professional references:
- Executive MSc Cities (K4U1)
- Executive MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy (L2UJ)
- Executive Global MSc Management (N2U9)
- Executive MSc Social Business and Entrepreneurship (N2UC)
- Executive MSc Health Economics, Outcomes and Management in Cardiovascular Sciences (L4CS)
- Executive MSc Health Economics, Policy and Management (L4HM)
- Double Executive MSc Health Policy (with Chicago) (L4HP)
Applicants for the Executive Master of Laws (M3U5) are required to provide at least one academic reference. Two professional references will be acceptable if you have been out of school for five years or more and are unable to obtain an academic reference. Applicants for the Executive MSc in Evaluation of Health Care Interventions and Outcomes in collaboration with NICE (L4HN) may provide two professional references if they are unable to provide an academic reference.
Please be aware that when you submit your online application, we will consider it as complete only once we have received two references. You don't need to (and should not) arrange for more than two references to be sent. We will not accept additional references unless the selectors request them during the decision-making process.
More information about supplying references can be found here.