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 for all of our postgraduate research programmes:
- 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 guidance
All of our MRes, MA by Research and PhD programmes require a research proposal as part of the application process. 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.
For further guidance, please read our detailed advice on what a research proposal is and our top tips for writing a strong one.