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Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering

PhD/MSc by Research

Start date
Registration for PhD and MSc by Research study can take place at the beginning of any month
PhD - 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time; MSc by Research - 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Doctoral research

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2024/25:
£4,778 (UK)
£27,360 (International Students)
Further fee information is available.

Research in Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Birmingham addresses key challenges, problems and opportunities currently facing our civilisation, in power, communications, transport, healthcare and human-systems integration.

The Department of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering is very pleased to have achieved a very good performance in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) – the system for assessing the quality of research in UK.

We have a total annual research grant income of around £4 million, from a wide range of sources including the European Union, UK Research Councils, UK Government agencies, charities, and industry both in the UK and internationally.

We are proud of our long-standing international reputation in research related to Electrical Power and Control Systems, railway engineering and communications and sensing.

Why study Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering PhD/MSc by Research at Birmingham?

Heather, PhD student, Energy Efficiency in Railway Networks

Vittorio - PhD student, Microwave Filters and Passive Components

The investigation that I’m conducting for my PhD at the University of Birmingham is related to compact multi-function devices at microwave frequencies. The University and my professor have close collaborations with the European Space Agency and my research topic has one of its applications in the space industry. 

Vittorio Tornielli Di Crestvolant, PhD EECE


Annual Tuition Fees 2024/25 academic year

  • £4,778 UK students, full-time
  • £27,360 International students, full-time

Learn more about fees and funding.

Postgraduate Doctoral Loan

A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate doctoral course, such as a PhD.


We offer a range of postgraduate scholarships for taught programmes and research opportunities to ensure the very best talent is nurtured and supported at postgraduate level.


How To Apply

International students applying for this programme will need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office before the University can issue you with a Certificate of Acceptance of Studies (CAS). We recommend that you apply for your ATAS certificate as soon as you receive an offer from us.

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate research programme, you will need to submit your application and supporting documents online. We have put together some helpful information on the research programme application process and supporting documents on our how to apply page. Please read this information carefully before completing your application.

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

A 2:1 Honours degree in a relevant subject, an appropriate standard of English and adequate financial support. The requirements also allow for entry based on comparable ability, as indicated by a good UK MSc performance or a lower first degree performance plus substantial relevant experience.  Learn more about entry requirements. 

International Requirements

International Students

English language

For students whose first language is not English, one of the following English language qualifications is required:

  • IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band
  • TOEFL: 80 overall with no less than 19 in Reading, 19 in Listening, 21 in Speaking and 19 in Writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) including online: Academic 64 with no less than 59 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced – minimum overall score of 169, with no less than 162 in any component

International students applying for this programme will need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office before the University can issue you with a Certificate of Acceptance of Studies (CAS). We recommend that you apply for your ATAS certificate as soon as you receive an offer from us.

Research themes

Our research is organised into three research themes, reflecting our wide ranging expertise:

Communications and Sensing

Researchers in the Communications and Sensing group are addressing key challenges across a range of fields, including wireless and space-ready communications; virtual and augmented reality; and remote sensing applications. Learn more about Communications and Sensing research.

Electrical Power and Control Systems

The University of Birmingham is situated in the second largest city – Birmingham, which is considered to be the ‘energy valley’ in the UK as well as in Europe. Energy research is one of the priority research areas of the university. The 3rd energy industry revolution is taking place where the key is the development of electrical power systems in the context of smart grids.  Advances in electrical power systems are playing a pivotal role in the development of a sustainable energy supply, enabling efficient integration of renewable energy generation into smart grids.  Learn more about Electrical Power and Control Systems research.

Railway Systems Engineering

Research and knowledge transfer is crucial to improve the speed, safety, resilience, sustainability, operations and management of railways across the system. We seek to translate our findings to tangible improvements and impacts on railways. Our integrated research and consultancy approach provides solutions to grand system-wide challenges as well as at component level and sub-system level. Learn more about Railway Systems Engineering research.

Find a PhD

University Careers Network

Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about as you start university. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal.

Our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area, offering a specialised team (in each of the five academic colleges) who can give you expert advice. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you. Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CVs and job applications will help give you the edge.

If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.