Studying a PhD / MSc by Research at the University of Birmingham offers you a wealth of opportunities to expand and transform your thinking through independent inquiry. By undertaking an intensive research project, backed by intellectual and scientific knowledge, you will be joining a vibrant and proactive research environment. All doctoral researchers are brought together by the University Graduate School, providing an abundance of opportunities to meet fellow researchers.
Metallurgical studies date back at Birmingham to 1881, but the School of Metallurgy and Materials continues to advance materials research and discovery. The School (including the IRC in Materials Processing) has more than 25 full-time academic staff and in addition to 40 honorary staff, up to 15 visiting staff, 65 research staff and close to 150 postgraduate students.
Our diverse research portfolio ranges from fundamental aspects of materials science to practical high performance engineering applications. Research is funded from a wide range of sources including the UK research councils, the EU and a cross-section of UK and overseas industry, giving a total income of around £4 million per annum.
Research focuses on active collaboration with industrial partners across four main themes: Alloy Processing, Characterisation and Modelling, Engineering Properties of Materials and Functional Materials Processing.
MSc by Research
Our MSc by Research programme is a one-year programme open to those with an upper second-class Honours degree in science or engineering. Competion of a Metallurgy and Materials MSc by Research consists of undertaking an extensive period of advanced research under the supervision and guidance of one or more experienced members of staff. To be awarded, you must complete an original work of merit in the form of a 30,000-word thesis.
Learning and Teaching
Every doctoral researcher is assigned two academic supervisors as well as a mentor. Meetings with your supervisors take place typically every week or few weeks, depending on your need for support and the stage you are at in your research. Most PhD projects have industrial involvement, sometimes with formal industrial supervisory input. This provides you with useful experience of industry and adds a different perspective to your research.
Within the School, supports will be offered to train new students to use the equipment needed in research project. We also regularly run some specialised courses for doctoral researchers, such as the electron microscopy course, doctoral research induction course and courses to offer you guidance on how to write the report which you will need to submit during your first year.
To support you acquiring extra skills to advance your academic, personal and professional development a development needs analysis is undertaken. Throughout your research programme we keep track of your progress and invite you to reflect on your own academic and personal development, helping to offer you new directions in your research area. Normally, routine progress reviews are collaboratively completed by doctoral researchers and their supervisors, but for some PhD projects presentations with links to industry presentations may be required. There are more formal annual progress reviews, particularly at the end of the first and second years.