Application Guidance Notes

Before continuing with your application please read the following guidance carefully.

Your application is specifically designed for the programme you have applied for via course finder. It is sensitive to the answers you provide as you proceed through the application. 

You do not have to complete your application in one session. You will be sent an email containing a secure link to enable you to complete your application at a future date should you so choose.

You will be able to save your application at any point in the process and return to it when you are ready to continue.

Please note that your application will not be processed until all the relevant sections have been completed and your application has been submitted.

Upon submitting your application you will be given the opportunity to upload scanned documents in support of your application. 

You may want to consider the supporting documentation that you will need to upload at the end of the application process before reaching that point. See Upload Documents Screen

Please note that a decision on your application may be delayed if the relevant supporting documents are not received.

The following information will usually be needed before a decision can be made on your application:

  • Two academic references (or one if appropriate);
  • Degree transcripts (interim* transcripts);
  • English language test certificate (if appropriate);
  • Research proposal (if appropriate).

*A transcript of your degree progress and achievement to date.

You may also be required to submit further documents. This will depend on whether you indicate on your application that you will be uploading a document in support of your application. If you indicate that you will be uploading a document during the application process, the document will become a mandatory part of your application.

A copy of your completed application will be available to you for your future reference.

It is your responsibility to ensure that the information you provide is accurate and complete, and does not contain false or misleading information. It is also your responsibility to provide additional information when requested to do so. The University will check your academic history, qualifications, references, personal statements, research proposals, and anything else provided as part of your application for accuracy.

Completing the application form

The application form is divided into the following pages. Each page is listed below with an indication of the information you will be asked to provide:

Please note that the fields that have an asterisk (*) must be completed.

New User Details


*Forenames (first name/given name(s))

*Surname/family name


*Date of Birth (dd/mm/yyyy)

*Email address (this is your username).

Please provide us with an active personal email account that will be valid for the duration of the application process. This is to ensure our communications reach you. Should your email change after you submit your application, please update your details in the applicant portal and email us at with the details. Changing your email address without informing us will impact on your user experience with this system.

*Confirm e-mail Address/Username

*Password (choose a password containing a combination of numbers and letters with a minimum of at least 8 characters and no more than 32).

*Confirm password

- Proceed
- Confirm your user details
- Proceed (to start your application)

Personal Details and contact information

*Personal details will automatically appear based on the details already provided.

For international applicants your name should be as it appears on your passport. Please amend/update your name if appropriate.

*University ID number (if you have applied to the University of Birmingham before or are a current student or member of staff).

*Permanent home address. All applicants must provide a home address and this is the address we will use to contact you unless you have specified a correspondence/temporary address.

*Are applying via a University of Birmingham Overseas Representative?

  • No - Please click here if your Correspondence Address is the same as your Home Address - if it is the same the correspondence address will be populated with the same address details.
  • Yes - Please select your overseas representative from the drop-down list that will appear.

In selecting your overseas representative you will not need to provide any further correspondence details as we already hold your representatives details.

*Correspondence/Temporary address. Please state the dates you will be living at your temporary address.


  • UK National

*If you have dual nationality please enter your second nationality

*Country of birth

*Country of permanent residence

*Have you, apart from holidays, lived continuously in the UK or EU for the past three years?

No - In which other countries have you lived? Please give details and dates.

*What was your home postcode immediately prior to the start of your undergraduate study?

*Were you in receipt of a Maintenance Grant from the Student Loans Company in the final year of your Undergraduate study?

  • Non UK National

*If you have dual nationality please enter your second nationality

*Country of birth

*Country of permanent residence

  • Answer UK

*Which area of the UK?

  • Answer other than UK:

*Do you require a Student Visa to study in the UK?

  • No - What is your current UK immigration status?
  • Yes - Please provide your passport number (if known) and your passport expiry date (dd/mm/yyyy).

We will also ask you to upload a scanned copy of your passport identification page on the document upload section of the application.

For further information on how fee status is assessed, please refer to UKCISA:


This information will be treated in the strictest confidence and does not form part of the selection process. We are collecting this data to ensure support needs are identified. If you have any support requirements, please indicate these at this stage.


This information will be treated in the strictest confidence and does not form part of the selection process. We are collecting this data for equal opportunities monitoring.

Research details (for research programmes only)

*Proposed area of research

*Proposed start date (dd/mm/yyyy): Start dates for most (PhD) research programmes can be at the beginning of any month apart from July or August. Please check course details for any specific start dates.

*Research summary (maximum 2000 characters)

Provide a brief outline of your likely topic of research or which research group you wish to be attached to. A scanned copy of your full research proposal will be required at the upload documents section of the application.

If you are applying for more than one research project within the same department then please upload both proposals so they can be considered by the department within the same PhD application. The second research proposal can be uploaded after the application has been submitted in the applicant portal.

*Have you been in touch with a research supervisor?

  • No 
  • Yes

We advise that you make contact with a potential research supervisor before you submit your application.

 *Name of proposed supervisor(s)?

The naming of at least one potential supervisor is a mandatory part of a PhD application. You can search for your supervisor using our staff search. You may list more than one preferred supervisor in this field.

*Research methods training already received

If you have already received any broad or specialist training in research methodology or research techniques, principles or procedures, if you have designed, developed research proposals or conducted any independent research projects then please indicate any research, course, modules, or credits previously undertaken.

Education/Qualifications already held/to be obtained

*Do you have (a degree) or are you currently studying for a degree? (undergraduate, postgraduate, masters, phd)

  • No - *Highest level qualification on entry (information required by HESA) 
  • Yes - please provide us with details of each qualification undertaken

*Details of current degree qualification(s)

Please record details of each degree qualification including those currently being studied. You should include all studies whether they were completed or incomplete (undergraduate/postgraduate). This information will be used to assess your application for suitability to the programme. 

Please note: You will be required to upload academic transcript(s) for all prior degrees/studies at the end of the application form.

If you have studied and achieved a qualification at (validated by) a university then it is considered to be an academic qualification. 

*Professional or other qualifications 

Qualifications that are studied outside of university.

Academic (Bachelor and Masters) qualifications should be provided within Details of current degree qualification(s).


  • If you have studied/are studying outside the UK, you will have the opportunity to upload certified copies of your degree certificates and transcripts to date as part of the application process. If these are in a language other than English please scan and upload official certified translations as well as copies of the original documents. These documents should have an original certification stamp, certified by a notary, an organisation such as the British Council, your university, or by a Birmingham local representative in your country.
  • If you are currently studying or have recently studied in the UK and your institution provides a transcript(s), you may scan a copy as part of the application process, Please ask your institution or academic referee to certify them as a true copy (copies) before uploading the documents;
  • UK applicants - if you are currently studying in the UK or have obtained your qualification(s) in the UK and your university provides transcripts you may upload a copy as part of the application. University of Birmingham graduates do not need to provide transcripts or copies of degree certificates, however we advise applicants who graduated prior to 2000 to upload copies of their qualifications as they may take longer to verify. 
  • *Professional or other relevant qualifications (not achieved at/validated by a university)

*English Language proficiency

If English is not your first language (native language) please provide information on your English Language Qualifications taken or to be taken. Select ‘other’ if you have studied at a UK institution - and provide details

You will have the option to upload a copy of your English Language qualification (test certificate) as part of the application process.

Read more about the University of Birmingham's English language requirements.

Work experience (if relevant to application)

+Details of any relevant employment history

Personal Statement (maximum 5000 characters)

Provide a brief statement describing why you are interested in applying for this programme of study. You will have the option to upload a copy of your personal statement as part of the application process.

Additional Information


It is important that you have sufficient funds to pay for your tuition fees and living expenses during your period of study. Please give as much information as possible about your known or anticipated funding arrangements. Some laboratory-based programmes may also require a bench fee to cover the cost of additional materials and equipment, details of which will be included in the offer letter. 

*How will you pay your fees? (please tick all that apply)

If you're studies are being funded by someone other than personal or family funds, please indicate whether it is through sponsorship/scholarship and provide us with the relevant sponsor/scholarship details as requested on the application form. The following questions may appear depending based on the selected funding choice:

*Has this funding already been obtained?

  • No 
  • Yes

*Have you applied for this funding?

  • No 
  • Yes

+How did you find out about us?
+Other applications

We would like to know the sources of information that you used to find out about us and we would also like to know which other universities you may have applied to. This information will be treated in the strictest confidence and will not affect your application and will only be used for marketing purposes.


We are asking you to provide two academic references (or if appropriate to the programme applied for, one could be from your employer). Contact details should include an academic or professional (official) email address and details of where the referee can be contacted in a professional capacity.

*Referee One

*Referee Two

Please note that it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that references are provided. References from family members are not acceptable.

Your referees will be contacted automatically by email and will be asked to provide a reference. Alternatively, you have the option to upload a reference from your referee. If you are uploading a reference on behalf of your referee, ensure the reference is a scanned copy of the original and that it is on headed paper.

Please note that the University of Birmingham reserves the right to contact the referee independently.


*Criminal convictions


*Proceed & Upload Documents

Before you submit your application please go back through each tab and check that all the details have been added correctly.

Once you click on the Proceed & Upload Documents button you are agreeing to the terms and conditions of this applications process. You will now be taken to the upload document screen.

Terms and conditions

By submitting this application you:

  • Agree to the University processing personal data contained in this form or other data which the University may obtain from you or other sources;
  • Agree to the University approaching your previous institution(s) to request verification of the qualification(s) stated in your application;
  • Agree to the processing of such data for any purpose connected with your studies or your health, welfare and safety, or for any other legitimate reason;
  • Agree to the University sharing your personal information with appointed education agents;
  • Confirm that the information given in this application is correct and complete, to the best of your knowledge.

Upload Documents Screen

You will need to provide us with specified documents in support of your application. We accept electronic copies of documents in most formats including the following: .docx, .pdf, .rtf, .txt, .jpg, .xls, .gif, .zip. You are able to upload one file for each specified document, and each document must be no larger than 2mb or 5mb for your transcript and research proposal. If you have a document larger that 2mb we advise either using compression software to produce a .zip file, or separating the large file into smaller files and uploading these as unspecified documents. Please note that you are only able to upload 2 unspecified documents per application. Please do not upload RAR files.

One document should be uploaded per requirement; please do not upload all required documents merged into one document.

The documents requested will vary depending on the programme applied for and the responses you make in your application but can include:

Transcripts certified copy of your degree record. Please ensure both sides of your certified degree transcript are uploaded. If you are currently a student then please provide a copy of your degree progress and achievement to date.

Translation of transcript if your transcript is not in English.

Degree Certificate(s) can be uploaded as a document in support of your application. If your degree certificate is not available, i.e. if you have not yet completed your degree, we will be able to consider your application on a conditional basis and you will have the opportunity to upload the certificate once it is available.

Translation of degree certificate (if your degree certificate is not in English)

English Language Certificate (IELTS, TOEFL, GCSE etc)

Personal Statement (if appropriate)

First Reference (if appropriate)

Second Reference (if appropriate)

Research Proposal (for research programmes only)

Copy of passport identification page (if appropriate)

Evidence of Immigration status (if appropriate)

Curriculum Vitae (CV) (if requested)

Sample of written work (if requested)

You are asked to provide two references in support of your application. You can either upload the references using the upload documents section of the application or we can contact your referees on your behalf using the email details you have provided us with. Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure that the references are provided.

In addition you can upload up to two additional documents that are relevant to your application and not specified above e.g. if you hold more than one degree you may upload an additional degree certificate.

Please note: if you receive an offer from the university you will need to supply us with the original or certified hard copy of your degree qualification(s)*.

*University of Birmingham graduates do not need to provide transcripts or copies of degree certificates.

If you are unable to upload electronic copies, please contact the admissions office for advice. Email or telephone 44+ (0)121 414 4500.


  • Click on the Upload button;
  • Browse and Select Document then;
  • Click on Upload button again to upload document.
  • The button will change to Amend and you will be able to 'View document'

All Mandatory documents (those documents which have a tick) must be uploaded at this point of the application before you can Complete Application Process. You will have the choice to Save and Return Later.

After you have completed and submitted your application, you will receive a confirmation email with details on how to return to your portal page, track and review your application and upload any additional documents.

The University of Birmingham reserves the right to request original documentation at any point in the admissions process. Failure to provide original (or attested copies of) documentation confirming all the information you have provided in your application may result in the withdrawal or any offer of a place at the University of Birmingham.

Data Protection

The University of Birmingham holds information about everyone who applies to the University and everyone who studies here. We use the information from your application form to administer your application and to compile statistics that may be published or passed to government bodies such as the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

If your application is successful we will also use the information to administer your studies, to monitor your performance and attendance, and to provide you with support.