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School of the Humanities and Social Sciences


Referees are kindly requested to submit a reference letter, to assist the University in making a full assessment of each application.

What is the reference for?

The aim of SHARE (Social Science & Humanities Access to Research Experience) is to encourage and facilitate participation in postgraduate studies in the field of humanities and social sciences by talented students from backgrounds that are currently underrepresented, or who have not had the same educational advantages to date as some of their peers, or who would not otherwise have the means to access such research experience.  

You can read more about this programme on the overview page.

What should I include in my reference?

Please read the guidance below, which provides a suggestion of what to include in your reference letter and instructions for sending your reference. 

We ask that referees comment on the academic ability and general suitability of the applicant for postgraduate research, and any other information you may consider relevant (e.g. any relevant circumstances concerning the eligibility criteria). Please ensure that the applicant's name is clearly visible in your reference letter.

If possible, please include the following in your reference letter:

  • the name of the applicant, so that we can attach your reference to the correct application;
  • the duration and extent of your familiarity with the applicant;
  • the specific course the applicant is on;
  • their general aptitude and academic potential;
  • their academic achievements (including prizes, publications etc);
  • their relevant skills and experience (eg academic writing, work and/or research experience, laboratory skills, etc);
  • their suitability for postgraduate study/research; and
  • their relevant personal characteristics (eg independence, innovation or determination).

How do I submit my reference?

If you have been registered as a referee, we will send you an email containing instructions on how to submit your reference. Please submit your reference by the deadline shown in our email.

You will need to send your reference to us by email ( as a PDF attachment. To be considered valid, you should send your reference from your professional/institutional email address. Where this is not possible (eg because you have retired), could you please explain the circumstances in your reference letter.

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