Entry Requirements

To gain admission to a research programme an applicant must comply with the following
entry requirements:

  • Attainment of a good Honours degree (normally a First or Upper Second Class
    Honours degree) awarded by an approved University in an appropriate subject, or the equivalent thereof, or
  • Attainment of an alternative qualification or qualifications and/or evidence of experience judged by the School as indicating a student’s potential for research and as satisfactory for the purpose of entry to a research degree programme

Admission may be subject to preliminary study, which may include assessment. In such cases, registration for a programme leading to a research degree will be subject to satisfactory completion of the preliminary study. The time taken for the preliminary study will not be counted towards the period of registration.

Applications from international students whose native language is not English must satify one of the following English Language requirements. The School of Education requires  IELTS: 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in any band; PTE: PTE Academic 67 in all four skills.


Research applications are made online via Course Finder 

You will be asked to submit a research proposal with your completed application form. Your proposal should not exceed 2000 words and should include the following:

  • an overview and rationale for the research 
  • an indication of relevant literature 
  • research aims/questions/hypotheses 
  • an outline of the intended research design

You are advised to have a preliminary discussion with a member of academic staff
before submitting your proposal. If you have had such a discussion and if you would like
that member of staff to be involved in considering your application, please ensure that you enter their name in the relevant section of the application form.

This proposal will not be held as a final ‘contract’ and may well change considerably in negotiation with your supervisor. However, it is an indication to the School that you have
the background ideas and knowledge to begin independent research in the broad area of your interest. It also enables the School to send your application to relevant members of staff for consideration.

Download a document on how to prepare your research proposal (PDF, 19.3KB)

Split location postgraduate research study

International students normally carry out their research and are supervised at the University of Birmingham. However, there are students, often academic staff at overseas institutions though not exclusively, who are looking for flexible study arrangements. In these cases, most of the study period would be spent in their home country with short periods at the University of Birmingham. Students registered for a doctoral degree must spend a minimum of six months full-time at the University of Birmingham. The period need not be continuous but needs to take into account accessing the research training programme. The University will seek to ensure that the facilities for research and study in the home country are broadly comparable to those at this University.

If you are interested in a split location doctoral degree, you are advised to contact the postgraduate research administrator: pgreducation-enquiries@contacts.bham.ac.uk