How to apply

IDD operates a rolling admissions policy with no fixed deadlines for admission. We encourage students to apply as early as possible in order to secure a place and in order to avoid any last minute problems in getting and verifying the required documents. Overseas students should also be aware that they must receive a firm offer letter before they can apply for a visa to study in the UK.

Taught Postgraduate degrees 

The University of Birmingham requests that all applicants use the online application form.

If you cannot access the online form, then please contact IDD's Postgraduate Office directly for an application form:

Debra Beard, Postgraduate Admissions Manager:
Email:d.l.beard@bham.ac.uk, Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5034

Admissions requirements

MSc and MA

  • An Upper Second Class Honours degree or equivalent from an approved university or an equivalent professional qualification in a relevant field (the equivalent US Grade Point Average is 3.0).
  • A Lower Second Class Honours degree from an approved university with excellent work experience.
  • Adequate capacity in written and spoken English. For those whose first language is not English, evidence of this capacity is required. Applicants should reach at least level 6.5 in the IELTS.
  • The University’s own English for International Students Unit (British Council accredited) offers further training to on-campus students if extra support is required before and throughout the academic year.
  • Great importance is placed on work experience.

Graduate Diplomas

The Graduate Diploma provides entry for applicants without the required qualifications and / or work experience required for direct entry onto the MSc Course.

Graduate Diploma students will be considered on a case by case basis. 

In some cases, students who have applied for the MSc will be offered the Graduate Diploma route instead when their qualifications are not considered to meet admissions requirements. 

Some students may prefer instead to consider the two-year on-campus masters programme offered through collaboration between IDD and the English for International Students Unit. This programme gives students a strong first-year grounding in English and study skills, as well as further subject-relevant study.

Research degree

How to apply: Online application form.

Please follow the same procedure as applying for an on-campus taught programme and ensure that you meet the research programme admissions requirements (below).

Applications for research programmes should be accompanied by:

  • Copies of the applicant’s degree certificates
  • Transcripts of degree results
  • Confidential academic references: We prefer references from people who are familiar with an applicant’s academic performance, preferably a member of staff from the institution where he or she studied at masters level, and who is familiar with any dissertation work undertaken
  • The result of a recent English language test (if appropriate)
  • An outline (1000-1500 words) of their proposed research showing:
    - Subject of research
    - The body of ideas or theory that will be used
    - Aim and objectives of the proposed research
    - Methodological approach to be adopted

Applicants should check Research topics for postgraduate study for the list of research topics on which the department currently welcome proposals, although please note that this is not a definitive list.

Admissions requirements

Masters and MPhil

  • Good honours degree in a relevant field, but the application may also be supported by appropriate work experience.
  • Applicants for the MPhil degree should provide evidence of their research ability, for example, the mark received for an undergraduate dissertation.
  • Besides formal qualifications a key factor determining whether the department decides to accept a candidate is the quality of his or her research proposal and its relevance to our own interests. Successful completion of a research thesis demands a high level of self-discipline, motivation and commitment to the subject of research.
  • Great importance is placed on work experience, when relevant.

Three year PhD

  • Excellent undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Typically the latter will be a taught master's degree, including a dissertation.
  • Normally candidates for the PhD programme will initially be offered a place on the MPhil programme and will be transferred to the PhD at the end of the first year, subject to a satisfactory review of progress.
  • Besides formal qualifications a key factor determining whether the department decides to accept a candidate is the quality of his or her research proposal and its relevance to our own interests. Successful completion of a research thesis demands a high level of self-discipline, motivation and commitment to the subject of research.
  • Great importance is placed on work experience, when relevant.

Four year PhD with Integrated Study

  • Either excellent undergraduate degree with evidence of research ability.
  • Or undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, which are not necessarily in fields directly related to the intended area of research.
  • Besides formal qualifications a key factor determining whether the department decides to accept a candidate is the quality of his or her research proposal and its relevance to our own interests. Successful completion of a research thesis demands a high level of self-discipline, motivation and commitment to the subject of research.
  • Great importance is placed on work experience, when relevant.

Distance learning programmes 

MSc in Public Administration and Development:

MSc International Development (with specialist pathways):

If you have completed the online application ensure that you click on the postgraduate taught programmes box, and quote course code Stated above. (Please do not apply through the Business School website as your application will go to the wrong place.)

It is very important to ensure that you receive a response with a reference number if you have submitted your application online. If you do not receive this, then it is likely that your application form has not gone through. If this happens, please contact our distance learning office, a.j.potter@bham.ac.uk Once you have completed the online form, please send an email to a.j.potter@bham.ac.uk to let us know that you have done so. We can then ensure that your application comes directly to us.

If you have any questions, please contact Andrea Potter, Distance Learning Administrator, Tel: +44 (0)121 414 7561, Email: a.j.potter@bham.ac.uk

Admissions requirements

Admissions requirements are the same for distance learning as for on-campus programmes above.

In addition, distance learning applicants need:

  • Access to a computer and the internet: Although teaching materials will be available in hard copy, internet access is needed in order to participate in the discussion groups, to access electronic reading materials and to view some electronic teaching materials provided on CD-ROM.

If you would like to apply very close to the beginning of term or the beginning of a distance learning intake, please contact:

Debra Beard, Postgraduate Admissions Manager
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5034, Email: d.l.beard@bham.ac.uk

Andrea Potter, Distance Learning Administrator
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 7561, Email: a.j.potter@bham.ac.uk

Tricia Carr, Doctoral Research Student Administrator
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 3497, Email: p.a.carr@bham.ac.uk

As long as there are still places on our programmes and we believe there is a good chance of your meeting admissions requirements, we will do what we can to consider and expedite your application.