Applications are submitted online. Applications are made directly to the University of Birmingham by using course finder and clicking on the course you wish to apply for. To complete an online application, you will require the following:
- A research proposal of between 1000 and 1500 words specifying the subject of the proposed research, the body of ideas or theory that will be used, the aim and objectives and the methodological approach to be adopted. Please see additional guidance below.
- Copies of university transcripts
- Two references from referees who are able to comment on your academic and professional background
- Certificates to show competence in the English language (if English is not your first language).
- A personal statement of no more than one side of A4 in length explaining why you are interested in studying on your chosen programme.
It normally takes us 4-6 weeks to make a decision once we have received all of your supporting documents as we select students with care and your application is likely to be considered by several members of academic staff. If you have followed the steps above, it will help us to arrive at a decision much quicker. All applicants for research programmes will be interviewed. This may be in person, by telephone or by electronic means.
During the application process, we may ask you to refine or reformulate your proposal in the light of comments from staff involved in assessing your project. If you have any questions on the application process, please contact us
Research Proposal Additional Guidance
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. The following guidelines give a sense of what is often included:
- an outline of your chosen topic or overview of your research.
- 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?).
- your research question(s) or a clear description of your area of study.
- an indication of the literature you will be drawing on, for instance, primary works or thinkers.
- in addition some disciplines will also require an indication of appropriate methodologies and of any specific resources (such as archives) you propose to use.