The Department of Modern Languagesis unreservedly committed to research, as demonstrated by our publications and by the international conferences that we regularly host here in Birmingham.
Our academic staff regularly travel to the Iberian Peninsula, Brazil, Australia and the USA to carry out research in libraries and archives, develop collaborative projects with colleagues in partner institutions, give seminars in prestigious universities and present papers at international conferences.
Since 2005 the Instituto Camões has sponsored the Cátedra Gil Vicente, a research centre for Lusophone Studies within the department. The Cátedra funds conferences and training events organised or attended by academic staff, language instructors and postgraduate students. It also offers partial bursaries to fund postgraduate students.
All of our postgraduate students become part of the College of Arts and Law Graduate School. Visit the website to find out more about its vibrant research community and top class facilities, as well as funding and scholarship opportunities.
Our commitment to you
We are strongly committed to promoting the intellectual and professional development of all our postgraduates. In addition to the research skills training opportunities provided by at University and College level, our Department offers a lively programme of Postgraduate Research Seminars where you are encouraged to discuss your work in progress. Our postgraduates also take part in the CELC postgraduate Round Table.
Every year we welcome the participation of guest speakers, including lecturers from, poets, playwrights, novelists, musicians, translators and critics, who inspire us by their passion for the medium in which they work.
The University takes seriously its commitment to postgraduate research and therefore observes a Code of Practice for supervisors as well as formal procedures for upgrading theses from Masters to Doctorate. The Graduate School Committee undertakes a formal review of work done and measures to be taken by postgraduates and their supervisors to facilitate completion. In addition to their supervisor, students are customarily assigned an academic mentor to ensure that they receive uninterrupted and balanced support throughout their period of study.
Students with their supervisors do a Training Needs Analysis and establish attainable targets for the production and presentation of their work. All of our graduate students undertake training programmes consisting of seminars on Research Skills and Methodology, such as creating a bibliography, working in libraries and archives, organisation and presentation of materials and text.
As you progress, you are encouraged to attend specialist conferences in the UK and abroad, deliver papers and publish in the Actas or Proceedings, write book reviews and submit articles to leading journals. This very deliberate strategy has enabled generations of postgraduates to build up a professional profile which has stood them in good stead when applying for jobs.
Former Departmental postgraduates have been appointed to posts in the Universities of Birmingham, Cambridge, Durham; Edinburgh, Leeds. Leicester; Royal Holloway; King's College London; St Andrews, and Stirling in the United Kingdom, and the Universities of Vic and Girona and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in Spain, the University of Lisbon and the University of the Algarve in Portugal, as well as Bennington College (USA), City University of Hong Kong, Instituto Português do Oriente, Macau, Beijing; the University of the West Indies (Trinidad) and East Timor.
We know that not all of our graduates plan to take up a career in teaching. This makes it all the more important that you should acquire the skills that will give you access to different kinds of professional activity. Working closely with CLAD and the Careers Service, your needs are met through specially designed Career Management courses. Because of the transferable skills that our postgraduates have acquired in the course of their research, some have gone up to take up jobs in accountancy, publishing and Arts consultancy, while one of our graduates has designed and delivered out-reach projects on behalf of English Heritage, West Midlands.