Step 1. Identify a Supervisor
How to Identify Potential Supervisors:
Identify at least one member of staff within the College of Medical and Dental Sciences who might be your supervisor by looking through the Institute Staff Lists and looking at their Research Interests and Postgraduate Supervision areas.
Consider whether your chosen field is relevant to the member of staff. If it is then it may be worth contacting them to express your interest and to explain briefly your ideas for a proposal.
Make a connection
When you are ready to contact potential supervisors, approaching them by email is a good initial step. Ensure that your messages are tailored to each supervisor, not generic. You must catch the interest of the supervisor quickly and make a good first impression. State why you are approaching this particular supervisor, and why your research interests and goals are a good match. State why you are interested in Postgraduate Research (including career goals) and emphasise any research or leadership experience. If you already have funding, state the amount, duration and source.
Step 2. Application Documents
If you are applying for any of our research courses - MRes, MSc by Research or PhD - you will need to supply a research proposal with your application.
Your proposal should include information about your chosen area of research and your proposed research question(s) so that we can understand exactly what you’re hoping to study. Each discipline requires slightly different things in a research proposal, so you might find it useful to seek advice from the admissions tutor or your potential supervisor before you apply but the following guidelines give a sense of what is often included.
Your proposal should normally be around two pages (double spaced) and will often include:
- Overview: an outline of your chosen topic or overview of your research.
- Background: some background on the topic (what’s already been done) and an indication of why your research will be important and interesting (what questions will it answer?).
- Aims: your research question(s) or a clear description of your area of study with an indication of the literature you will be drawing on, for instance, primary works or thinkers.
- Methodologies: in addition some disciplines will also require an indication of appropriate methodologies and of any specific resources (such as archives) you propose to use.
- Timescale: provide a timescale for the conduct of your research.
- References: provide a list of references to the sources which you have mentioned in your application.
Research proposals are not expected to be a finished document, and you may wish to refine or change your research focus in negotiation with your supervisor at a later date. It is important that it is your own work so that if you are asked about it at interview you can explain your arguments clearly.
CV and Personal Statement
An up-to-date CV (approximately two sides of A4 paper) demonstrating clear evidence of academic, personal and professional achievements (including prizes received or papers published) and a personal statement, approximately 5000 characters, explaining why you are interested in studying on your chosen programme. Alternatively, you can type this within your application.
Two academic references (or if appropriate to the programme applied for, one could be from your employer)
Degree transcript(s) - originals or certified photocopies (Your qualifications must have the original certification stamp and should be certified by either the institution where you studied, a notary, the British Council or a University of Birmingham Overseas Representative)
English language requirements
International applicants are required to provide evidence of their proficiency in the English language, if English is not their first language or they are from a country not on the UKVI list of English speaking countries. All research programmes within the College of Medical and Dental Sciences require an overall score of IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each individual component.
All shortlisted candidates will be interviewed, either in person or by conference call/telephone.