PG Certificate in pre-Doctoral studies


Our new Postgraduate Certificate in Pre-Doctoral Studies is designed to prepare you for PhD study at the University of Birmingham. 

If your academic qualifications are suitable for doctoral research but you lack the appropriate academic English language and study skills, the pre-Doctoral programme provides you with an entry route to a PhD.

Why choose the Pre-Doctoral programme?

  • Study English and Academic Skills modules created specifically for preparation for a research degree.
  • Begin your research proposal immediately with the help of your intended PhD supervisor
  • English language and study skills support from our dedicated Birmingham International Academy.
  • It is a tailored programme which will fully prepare you for postgraduate research study at the University of Birmingham.
  • Ensure you embark on your PhD studies with a good grounding in Academic English, study skills, the academic area of study and a fully developed research proposal.
  • You will have a full campus experience at the University of Birmingham.

How to apply

To apply for the PG Certificate in Pre-Doctoral Studies you will require a conditional offer for PhD study at the University of Birmingham, with a named supervisor.

Apply online using your student ID, included in your offer letter.

Dates and Fees

The fee for the Pre-Doctoral programme, for 2016/17 is £7,100 (International) and £4,500 (EU)

It will be a six-month programme (starting in September or March).

Entry Requirements

To be eligible, your current English qualification will need to be no less than 0.5 IELTS band (or equivalent) below standard English language entry requirements for the PhD programme:

  • For PhD programmes requiring 6.0: 5.5 overall with 5.5 in writing
  • For PhD programmes requiring 6.5: 6.0 overall with 6.0 in writing
  • For PhD programmes requiring 7.0: 6.5 overall with 6.5 in writing.

Programme Structure

The programme is a 60-credit programme consisting of:

  • 40-credits of Academic English and Study Skills
  • 20-credit Extended Research Proposal, supervised by the intended PhD supervisor

You will be able to develop your academic English and study skills while developing knowledge of your area of PhD study, all based on our inspiring Edgbaston campus in Birmingham.

Programmes will begin in either September or March.

Extended Research Proposal module 

You will focus on a topic relevant to the PhD project you will progress onto after completion of the Pre-Doctoral programme.

With guidance from your potential PhD supervisor, you will write an in-depth review of the subject area, before going onto produce a PhD project proposal.

The proposal will have appropriate objectives and hypotheses, an achievable programme of work and a discussion of the appropriate methods to be used.

During the module you will further develop your academic writing skills and obtain experience in the use of information databases to access literature and texts, digitally and in the library.

Academic English and Study Skills module

You will develop your English language and study skills for postgraduate academic studies.

This module equips you with the academic skills required to listen to lectures effectively, produce academic texts such as essays, short articles and theses, and to deal with a range of written information and data.

The module will foster skills and behaviours such as critical thinking, reflection and self-managed learning.

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