Reference Letters - Examples and FAQs

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As discussed in our Reference Letter FAQ video, we have uploaded some example reference letters, to give students a good idea as to what they should be looking for when gathering their reference letters when applying for master's courses in the UK.


Reference Letter Example 1

Reference Letter Example 2


You need to make sure your reference letter has the following things:

- University name and contact details.

- Date of reference.

- Referee name and contact details.

- Referee signature.

Your reference should be specific and detailed to you, with your referee providing exact examples of times when you have demonstrated key skills and abilities. It should also focus on your potential, both in your chosen master's subject and in the future.


Your reference letter should be one to two pages long, but ideally no longer. It needs to be in English. If your referee's English is not up to standard, ask them to write it in their language, then take it to an approved translator. Don't write your reference yourself and simply ask your referee to sign it!


Examples of referees include your tutor or lecturer. It should be someone who knows you well, and has experience of working with you in an academic setting.


Get two different references from different referees. You can get more than two, but some universities will only take two, and not even consider any more.


Above all, make sure you double check with your chosen universities as to their reference requirements. The above information applies is a (good) guide, but each university varies in what they ask for in a reference. Some will accept written references as part of the pack of documents needed when applying, whereas others will only accept the contact details of referees, and prefer to get in touch with them themselves.

If you have any further questions on reference letters, please contact Team AppUK on


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