Considering Birmingham for 2021?

Frequently asked questions for students considering joining us for postgraduate study in 2021

If you have any further queries or you cannot find an answer to your question below, you can use our Postgraduate Live Chat between 10am-4pm Monday - Friday, or contact us via email.

 

Will I be taught on-campus or online in September 2021?

Unfortunately at this stage we are unable to advise on the mode of teaching for September 2021 however we will keep you updated and advise you as soon as we can.

What funding is available to support my studies?

Information on the funding options to support your studies can be found on our website. There is information for postgraduate taught courses and postgraduate research degrees. You will find details of scholarship and funding information searchable by subject and level, and guidance on the government postgraduate loans.

If you have already applied for a University of Birmingham scholarship you can contact our Funding team to check on the status of your application.

It it possible to work alongside my studies?

Absolutely, however there are some restrictions. Our postgraduate taught students are restricted to working 15 hours per week in term time and are eligible to work full time during Christmas and Easter vacations but restricted to 15 hours during summer vacation as students will be working on their dissertation.

Postgraduate research students are able to work 15 hours per week all year round apart from an 8-week vacation period in which they can work full time hours. 

Part time postgraduate students are unrestricted in the hours that they work. 

There are some variations to this and there may be further restrictions for some students so please ensure you check the latest guidance with Worklink.

More information is available here.

Is it possible to commute to the University?

It is definitely possible, and the University has great transport links, including train and bus routes. There are regular buses to and from the University as well as a train station on campus which is commonly used by students. Unfortunately there is limited parking on campus, and this is only available for those with a permit if you meet the criteria listed on this page.

How do I apply for the Birmingham Masters Scholarship?

We are pleased to announce that the Birmingham Masters Scholarship is now open for applications for 2021 entry. For details about the eligibility criteria and how to apply, please visit this page.  

How do I apply for a postgraduate course?

We can confirm that applications for September 2021 entry opened on 1 October 2020. To apply, visit our Postgraduate Course Finder. If you type in the subject area you are interested to study in the key words search box, the database will pull all relevant courses we offer. You can then click into each to find out more about the course details, entry requirements and how to apply.

All postgraduate applications are made online through the relevant course page. Please click on the 'Apply now' button at the top of the course page to submit an application. You can find more guidance on the application process here.

What do I include in my personal statement?

For typical personal statements, the limit is 5000 characters which is roughly one side of A4. We would recommend including information about your past experience and how this makes you a suitable candidate, why you're interested in this specific course, and what you wish to accomplish on completion of the programme for example your future aspirations.

I want to apply to a postgraduate research course - what steps should I take? 

Before you apply, we recommend that you contact an academic in the department who you feel best matches your research interest. They will give you a preliminary view about whether your proposed research and academic background is a good fit with the School’s research strengths. If there is a good fit between your proposed research and our research strengths, they will give you advice on a draft of your research proposal before you make a formal application. They will also help you to identify funding opportunities.

When contacting a member of our staff, it would be helpful to include the following:

  • A draft research proposal or a summary of your research ideas
  • Details of university-level qualifications and any relevant professional experiences
  • Details on how you propose to fund your research.

You can also apply to an existing project. Further information can be found here.

Do you offer distance learning courses?

Yes and you can find a list of all courses that we currently offer via distance learning, on this page.

I'm an EU student applying for September 2021 entry, what fees will I pay and am I eligible for any government funding?

It has been confirmed that from the 2021-22 academic year and onwards EU students not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement who start a course in England during the 2021-22 academic year, and the following years, will no longer be eligible for home fee status and tuition fee loans. However EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, and who meet the relevant eligibility requirements in force at the time of course commencement, will have access to home fee status and student financial support in the 2021-22 academic year. Further information about eligibility and changes to the tuition fee loans can be found on the Government webpages which you can find here: Masters Loan and Doctoral Loan

What does 'response deadline' mean?

The 'response deadline' in your offer letter is simply asking for a response to your offer - whether you wish to accept or decline. You do not need to satisfy the conditions of your offer by this date. UK students are required to meet their offer conditions by the start date of their course, and overseas applicants requiring visas should meet their conditions two months before the start of the programme.

What are 'qualification supporting documents'?

If you have graduated, we will ask you to upload a a scan of your original or certified copies of your degree certificate(s) and transcript(s) on the postgraduate application portal. 

If you are currently studying, we will ask you to upload an interim transcript from your latest exams, or other evidence of results achieved so far. We are able to make an offer which is conditional on you achieving a particular result, which you will need to evidence before you start your course.

Read more about our document requirements

When will I receive a decision on my application?

Applications for postgraduate study are processed through our Admissions Office and sent to the relevant academic departments for consideration. It usually takes 8 working weeks to make a decision, providing that you have submitted all of the relevant supporting documents. We aim to process applications as soon as we can, and you can can view your latest application status via the application portal. Your username is your Applicant ID number or the email address you registered with. If you have forgotten your password, please use the 'Forgotten Password' option for a new password.

If you have a more specific request, please contact our Admissions Team who will be able to advise you on the matter.

How do I change the postgraduate course I have applied for?

In order to change courses at postgraduate level, you are required to submit another application and then request to withdraw your application from the existing course.

Can I change the email address on my application?

In order to do this you should contact us using the original email address with which you submitted your application. Please contact the Admissions team with your name, email address, date of birth and address. If you don’t have access to the original email address with which you started this application, you should contact us confirming your full name, address and date of birth, and we will be able to update the email attached to the application for you.

How do I meet my offer conditions?

You will need to upload the relevant references, transcripts or supporting documents to the applicant portal. We will contact you with details of the documents required, and let you know if documents you have submitted are not sufficient. If paying a deposit is a condition of your offer, you will need to upload the payment receipt to meet this condition.

Visit the admissions portal here.

How do I challenge my fee status?

If you believe that your fee status has been wrongly classified, you can complete our fee status questionnaire. It usually takes 6-8 working weeks for this to be processed.

I have emailed documents over, why can I not see them in the portal?

All documents need to be uploaded in the portal, we are unable to receive them in email format.

Visit the portal to upload your documents here.

I'm having technical issues with the application portal - can you help?

If you are having technical issues with the application portal, please contact the support team

Can I be exempt from taking an English language test?

If you have graduated from a UK institution within two years of starting your postgraduate programme with us, then you are exempt from needing to provide a test. The two year time limit on this is not as strict as the two year IELTS limit, so if you graduated in June 2019, this should still be valid for September 2021. We may also be able to accept an undergraduate degree as proof of English language competency if it is from a country where English is an official language (for example Ghana or India). If your degree is from a country where English is not the official language, you will need to provide an IELTS or other test. This is the case regardless of the subject you studied. So if you studied English Language and Literature at university in a country where English is not the official language, then you will need to provide a test.

Read more about English Language requirements.

Can I have an update on the status of an application?

You can access and check the status of your application by visiting the application portal. Your username is your Applicant ID number or the email address you registered with. Applications for postgraduate study are processed through our Admissions Office and sent to the relevant academic departments for consideration. 

Please be aware that decisions can take 6 working weeks or longer depending if supporting information has been requested, if it is pending an interview or if the application is part of a gathered field. We aim to process applications as soon as we can. If you have forgotten your password, please use the 'Forgotten Password' option for a new password. 

I have met all the conditions of my offer, why has it not been changed to unconditional?

Once the terms of the offer have been met, it can take around 15 working days for our Admissions Team to process evidence of meeting the terms of the offer. If the terms of the offer have been met, the offer will be made unconditional automatically and the student will be notified by email accordingly.

When will I receive my CAS?

Once you have met all the terms of your offer and your status changes to unconditional accept, we will issue your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) as soon as possible. Once you have received your CAS you will have what you need from us to be able to apply for your visa. However, the situation in your home country may affect your ability to apply for your visa due to Visa Application Centre (VAC) closures. Please check the UK Government website for the status of VACs in your country.

How do I cancel my offer of acceptance?

After you have accepted an offer of a place, you can cancel your acceptance within the cancellation period without giving us any reason. The cancellation period runs for 14 days from the date we receive your acceptance. If you cancel your offer within the cancellation period, any deposit or administration or other fees you have paid will normally be refunded in full. If you start your course during the cancellation period, the University will charge you a reasonable sum for the course provided. 

You can cancel your acceptance by contacting the Admissions Team. Please include your name, address and applicant/ID number.

Why has my application been unsuccessful?

There may be any number of reasons why your application has been unsuccessful. Some courses are very competitive and only the very best applicants receive the offer of a place: this does not mean that we do not value your application, but is simply a reflection of the large number of applications that have to be considered.

If you would like feedback on your application you are welcome to contact our Admissions Team. The team will do their best to provide feedback, although please be aware that this is not always possible. There may also be a delay during busy periods.

How do I apply for University accommodation?

Students who currently live in the UK are not guaranteed a room in our postgraduate accommodation although you can still apply. The Postgraduate Guarantee Scheme guarantees a place in university or partner accommodation to all first year postgraduate international and non-UK students providing you have applied before 31 July 2021.

Find out more about University postgraduate accommodation.

If you are looking to live off-campus, there's often rooms in houses near and around the University that are available. The University does have a department to help students with finding accommodation, Living. They can give advice on finding landlords, negotiating contracts, etc. There are also sometimes house openings posted on the different social media pages (such as PGMSA - Postgraduate Mature Students Association).

Find out more about Living.