In Step 4 of the application, you will be asked to register the email addresses of your two referees. These must be their official, institutional email addresses. Please do not enter web based email addresses such as Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail 163.com etc, as these will not be accepted.
If your referees do not receive the automated notification from the Embark system, you can arrange for it to be re-sent.
This can be done by logging in to your application and going to Section 4 – Referees. In the Reference Status screen, you will see an option to ‘Resend Registration Email’. Please only do this if you are certain your referee has not received the automated notification email from Embark.
Please do not chase the referee via the Embark system by resending the registration email multiple times. In such cases applicants must contact their referee by email or telephone outside of the online application environment.
Imperial College has no specific requirements for an acceptable reference. Imperial is looking for referees to comment on their knowledge of the applicant’s strengths and academic ability, as experienced by the referee, and their suitability for further study at Imperial College. A letter of recommendation is therefore sufficient.
There is no deadline for submitting a reference, however departments may delay considering an application or making a decision until we have received both of an applicant’s references, so uploading it as soon as possible would prevent any delay in the processing of any application.
References can be sent in hard copy, however they must be sent by the referee themselves, not the applicant.
Hard copy references must be written on headed paper, signed and dated, and sent in a sealed envelope which is signed by the referee, across the seal.
Please note there is no template or form for referees to complete if they wish to send hard copy references.
If you choose to provide hard copy references, rather than providing your referees’ email addresses in the Embark application form, you should wait until you have submitted your application form before asking your referees to send their letters of recommendation. You should wait until you receive your CID number and ensure that the CID number is clearly written on either the letter of recommendation itself, or the envelope. This is essential as it will enable the admissions team to identify your application and match your references up to the application with ease.
Hard copy references should be sent to the appropriate admissions team within Registry
References should be ‘current’ (produced within the last 12 months) where possible.
If you graduated some time ago, it is acceptable to provide 2 work/industry referees, so long as they are able to comment on your intellectual suitability for the particular course of study.
The following rules must be adhered to when submitting references or referees’ details within the Embark application form.
When supplying referees’ email addresses in the Embark application form, you must provide official institutional addresses or company account. If you supply web-based email addresses such as ‘Hotmail’, ‘Gmail’, or ‘Yahoo’, your references will be deemed unacceptable.
We will not accept scanned copies of references, via email.
If providing hard copy references, these must be sent by the referee themselves, not by the applicant. Hard copies must be on headed paper, in sealed envelopes which are signed across the seal by the referee. Hard copies should be sent to the appropriate admissions team, and not until after the applicant has submitted their online application.
If your referees do not wish to use the online Embark system to submit their references, or they are having technical difficulties using the system, there are two other options available.
They can either send hard copy references, which must be on headed paper, directly to the admissions team. The contact details of each admissions team and the postal address of the Registry can be found here. Please note if references are sent in hard copy, they must be on headed paper, in sealed envelopes, signed across the seal by the referee.
Alternatively, the referees can email their reference directly to the admissions team. The email addresses of the various admissions teams can be found here.
Please note – References sent from internet based email accounts, such as Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, 163.com will not be accepted. All references must be sent from official institutional or company email accounts.