Academic references

Requesting an academic reference

You may need an academic reference whilst still a student or once you have graduated. This might be in support of an application for work, further study, or research studentship, etc.

Staff can provide an academic reference but only in response to a formal request from an appropriate body: a potential employer, higher education provider, or embassy, etc. We cannot provide you with a reference directly.

Who can act as an academic referee

An academic referee must be a member of academic staff who is familiar with you academically. That will usually mean a Personal Tutor, Group Project Supervisor, or your Project/ Dissertation Supervisor, but could be another member of staff if you have been sufficiently engaged with them through your studies. Please choose someone appropriate.

Process for requesting a reference

Step 1: Ask permission

Once you have decided who you would like to be your referee - please ask them before you name them as a referee in your application. When you contact your proposed referee, you should provide them with details of what the reference is for and, where possible, provide any role description (or eqivalent.)

Note: a referee will usually agree to provide a reference for a specific application; you should seek permission on each separate occasion you require a reference.

Step 2: Provide your referee with any additional information

If the member of staff agrees to act as a referee, they may ask you for additional information to help them with this, for example: an up to date curriculum vitae; a job or programme description; and any specific achievements of yours that may be relevant to the application (any prizes you may have one, or notable projects you have been involved with, or if you have acted as a Course Representative, etc.)

Step 3: Confirm your referee's details

Once your referee has agreed to provide a reference in support of your application, you may list them as a referee on your application.

Your referee will consult your academic record when producing your reference. It may take upto three weeks to complete the reference (excluding closure days.) If the requried reference is particularly detailed then this may take longer.